Well, the time has come to reveal the house as the stagers have done it. It is no longer my house, the home that I have lived in for the last 10 years, it is a house that is waiting for the next person. It is a model home.
Friday was a very interesting experience to be sure. Disorienting. Nerve racking. Insightful (we will get to that later). Joyce and Laura, stagers extraordinaire, arrived with a car and a van full of stuff. Stuff that they had picked out for our house. We don’t get to keep any of the stuff thank goodness, we just get the privilege of renting it from them. How nice.
They arrived, we unloaded and then the transformation began. Our house was a blank canvas, a tabula rasa if you will. Joyce is like the energizer bunny. An tiny, blonde energizer bunny who is flitting from here to there, moving furniture to just the right spot. Hanging pictures. Putting a vase here, a silk Ficus tree there. A blur in my stationary world.
I really just tried to be helpful if I could and that wasn’t all that often. I also tried to NOT interject my thoughts in the whole rearrangement of my world process. That was harder than I thought. Especially as they moved around the house removing things from shelves and putting things in. Putting most of the books that I had left on the shelves onto the floor so that they could be packed away because, sniff, they weren’t wanted. And then, what books were used were strategically placed on the shelves. Laura spent what I thought was a ridiculous amount of just moving one book so that it was sort of askew. NO ONE WILL CARE!! I wanted to say. But I didn’t.
All in all it took about 3 hours to transform my home into a house that someone can walk into and see their furniture and stuff in.
So, I am going to do side by side comparisons of some of what they did. I am not going to bore you with all the rooms. I am kind like that. The pictures on the left will be what the rooms looked like pre-stagers. The pictures on the right, post-stagers.
I have learned a thing or two in this entire process.
1. You need to have a thick skin when you are dealing with stagers. They are there to make your home more “saleable” and sometimes you are going to hear things that you don’t like. It is hard to hear someone tell you that the things that you most like about your house and that make it your “home” are the things that most need to be changed. They aren’t being mean to you, they are just doing what you have asked them to do.
2. It is a good idea to every 5 years or so look at your house with an unbiased eye and think, what needs to be changed or updated. That way, if there are things, you can do what needs to be done and then enjoy them for a while. Otherwise you will be doing things at the last minute, you will like what you see when you are done and you won’t want to move.
3. I am not meant to be a home stager. I thought about it, I really did. But that was before I had actually seen how they work. I do not have it in me to pick out some of the things that they put in my house. I have no ability to know that the rather large and fuzzy picture of a house will look good in my dining room. I don’t really like the picture in the first place and I am someone who is going to have to like what I put up, even if it isn’t my own house. They have a 5000 sq ft warehouse where they keep all their “staging stuff” and they go over there and pull what they think would fit. I would have no ability to go and say, “I think these pillows and those paintings and these vases and how about those silk flowers.” No ability at all. Sigh, another possible carrier down the tubes before I could even start it.
4. However little stuff you think you have and have packed away in anticipation of selling your house…you haven’t packed enough stuff. Look at how much you have packed and then pack 50% more and you might hit it right.
And when you are done packing and cleaning and cleaning out this what your garage will look like…
And this is what your basement is going to end up looking like. Half of my possessions are now in boxes. And if it takes a while to sell the house, and I don’t miss any of these things I am going to wonder if I really need them at all.
Something to think about.