Monday, March 29, 2010

We’ve Been Accessorized

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.


  1. Your house is lovely. I have often wondered if people decided to stay after someone staged their house.

    My father once told me my uncle had packed away several boxes in anticipation of a move. Once they sold the house and were ready to move, he decided since they had lived that long without whatever was in the boxes, they didn't need it and tossed them away ~ without ever looking inside them. I don't think I could do would bother me for eternity! :)

  2. Man, it's going to be SO strange for you to live there now, isn't it? I'd be afraid to use anything for fear of messing something up. Like the blanket that was so carefully arranged (I'm sure) to look casually draped over a chair.

    Were both the dining AND kitchen tables set like they do in model homes? SO strange! Where will you eat? Where will you sleep? Maybe in the basement? :)

  3. @ Lookleap - the blankets so "casually" tossed on the chairs took 5 minutes for the stager to get just right. You can bet I won't be sitting in them any time soon. Yes both tables are "set" but I just move the stuff on the kitchen table and then put it back. All this would so not be possible if the girls were still here. I would be insane if that were the case.

  4. Your future awaits you ~ can't wait to hear how it all turns out! What a crazy experience, but now lets pray that it does what you wanted and sells quickly. You aren't getting rid of the red leather chair are you??

  5. I would LOVE to see a stager at work. Although their job is to make your house look like anyone could live, not like YOU live there. I bet that's strange.

    Thanks or your comments on my blog!

  6. Lovely staging! Makes me want to buy your house although I think it looks fantastic "before" as well.

    We've moved several times and each time we lighten our load of Stuff!

  7. I love the before AND after pictures! Good luck with selling it!

  8. Looks fantastic. I love your hard wood floors and your kitchen.

    I don't like fuzzy pictures of houses :)

  9. One thing that got me into getting rid of stuff so much was to ask myself if I lost everything in a fire, what would I really try to replace. The answer was "not much!" lol

    Your house looks lovely though and I hope it sells quickly for you.

  10. I bet when you unpack you will find lots of things you are going to toss out... Everytime we move (4 times in 4 years) I try to get rid of stuff before, and then I end up throwing out more stuff when I unpack. On the other hand, I find stuff that I really love and missed, and I feel like it's Christmas morning! Hope you will feel the same way!


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