Why You Should Remove Personal Items in Home Staging

Published on
September 2, 2021

Removing personal items is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to home staging. Potential buyers don’t want to know about the family that lived on the property before. And, they don’t want to see empty rooms. Instead, buyers want to see a blank slate full of potential.

You risk distracting or alienating potential home buyers by leaving personal items on display (family photos, religious texts, favorite movies, even sports memorabilia). Imagine walking into someone else’s home for the first time. You’re likely on your best behavior and very hesitant about breaking something or going into a room you’re not supposed to be in. It’s not as comfortable as your own home because the space simply is not your home. That’s the opposite of what you want your buyers to feel. Ideally, when someone walks into a staged property, they can easily visualize the space as their home. Lining the walls with personal artifacts ruins that illusion. Nobody wants to feel like they’re intruding.

Home staging revolves around aesthetic and marketing strategies that make your home as appealing as possible to the largest pool of potential buyers--even people with whom you may have absolutely nothing in common. You want everybody who walks through the door to visualize themselves owning and living in the house.

Remember to take down posters, framed degrees, and any certificates. Also, remove any family games, photos, musical instruments, toys, refrigerator door magnets, workout equipment, and anything else that a buyer might interpret negatively. People will be opening cabinets and closet doors when looking at the property, so make sure personal items are stored away from the property and not tucked under the bed or stuffed into a pantry. Consider renting a small storage unit if you have nowhere else to keep your stuff. Or ask a friend if you can leave some things at their place while your home is being staged.

Note that “personal items” also extend to color choices. You may love your bright orange kitchen cabinets or your quirky bedroom wallpaper, but most buyers will prefer a more traditional look.

We know it’s a good deal of work to completely depersonalize a space for home staging. It’s both physically and emotionally draining at times. But taking the time to put away personal items and present your home in the best possible light is worth it in the long run.

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