How to Organize Your Home Like a Model Home
We've all gone househunting and wanted to move into a well-staged home. Here's how to recreate the magic in your own house...minus all the realtors.
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Who among us has not walked into a show home and considered hiding under the couch until the realtor left so we could stay there forever?
*slowly raises hand*
When homes are staged for sale, they are shown in their best possible light. Nary a crayon mural in sight, the furniture doesn't have dog hair on it oh, and there are no screaming children running around anywhere. This is enough to make any mom Green With Envy.
While I don't recommend you play stow away in someone else's house for sale, you can use the same principles people used to Stage their houses in order to make yours look a little bit more like this and a little bit less like the barn you frequently have to remind your children they were not raised in.
A Parallel: Staging a Home for Sale
Staging is basically the process of depersonalizing, organizing, decluttering, and otherwise cleansing a house from all the trees is this someone actually lived there, to entice potential buyers on their walkthroughs.
Studies have shown time and time again that staging can change the way that a buyer sees the home. If you've ever I thought of selling your house, picture the mess in your living room, and laughed “my house won't sell” to yourself as you quickly been to the idea, staging is the answer to how your house actually would sell.
First, you just have to make it not look like the tornado, children, chaos, disaster Zone that it currently does.
Since it would be greatly beneficial to your mental health to do that anyway, here is the guide to organizing your house like a model home. I'll get all the joys of living in that show home, without any of the moving boxes.
Step 1: De-Clutter...and Keep it That Way
The first step to decluttering your home, is to look at each room and put anything on the floor, on tables, or strewn across other surfaces back into its natural home. This seems like common sense, I am always surprised how many kids toys, stacks of papers, or other random paraphernalia gets by under the radar.
You should try for having empty counters, tables, and floors be the state of nature for your house. I know this sounds difficult, but if you use the 2-minute rule and it actually won't take ridiculous amounts of time out of your day.
Even better, once the services are clean, they will actively ward off further clutter. Don't believe me? 1980s criminology theory actually agrees with me here.
If you were staging your house, you would also need to remove any knick-knacks or even personal items. I don't necessarily recommend stripping your house if anything personal, but definitely do a cost-benefit analysis for each item you decide to leave on display.
For the items you do decide to remove, don't just throw them in the closet please actually find a place where they makes sense and can live long term.
When you have gotten rid of all the clutter, You also notice that it's way easier to deep clean and to keep your house clean from a mop-and-bucket perspective. If you need help with the kitchen area, which can be immense pain to clean, check out my ultimate guide to cleaning your kitchen.
Step 2: Keep it Light & Bright
Humans are naturally attracted to bright, sunny, open spaces.
I personally think this is because of the pieces are in a prey animal and makes us feel like we're not about to be attacked by predators, but that's beside the point.
Lighting is essential when it comes to the feeling and overall mood of your home. Try and open your blinds, or pull back your curtains each morning. You might also want to look at your light fixtures to see if they are appealing. If you have outdated fixtures or dingy lampshades, then now is the time to get rid of those and invest in something that is a little brighter.
I am a firm believer in this one. I actually wrote an entire blog about 9 strategies to brighten your home. This one is so important to me because I get seriously bummed out if I'm in a room that is too dark for too long of a period of time.
Step 3: Stage the Most Important Rooms (aka Pick Your Battles)
Organizing your entire house is great, but it takes a lot of time and even more work.
For my money, I would use a basic triage system that prioritizes rooms based on how much time you spend there and how visible it is.
This usually means the first things that get cleaned are your main living areas. The kitchen and your family room. Once you finish these rooms, you'll probably go on two bedrooms and bathrooms, which you're next on the most useless. Last on your list will be guest rooms, dens, offices, and other things that don't get used as much on a day-to-day basis.
Step 4: Furniture...More Isn’t Better
When people are actually staging their homes, they say that you should remove around half of your furniture.
Now, as a homeowner, it's not really realistic to get rid of half of your furniture. Duh. However, it is important to take note of the principle that the less furniture you have in a room the bigger and more spacious it looks.
When you're thinking about organizing your home, consider any pieces of furniture that are only there because you bought it that time and now you don't want to go through the trouble of getting rid of it. Or because you feel guilty wasting the money getting rid of something that you could still technically use.
Every house has at least a few of these pieces laying around. It's that coffee table we bought when we first got together in our small apartment that has now been moved into three different rooms trying to find an appropriate home in the house we live in now.
Don't be afraid to just chuck (or probably donate) things if they really don't belong anymore. It will make your home look amazing.
Step 5: Re-arranging
After you have thinned out your furniture, you Can begin the insanely fun process of rearranging your furniture a bit.
Sometimes, when you really want to renovate your house or buy more furniture, rearranging can give you that same happy, glowy feeling without any of the cost.
One strategy professional staging teams use is to pull your sofas, chairs, and tables away from the walls. This strategy is called floating, and it helps the room to appear bigger than it actually is.
You might also want to add an area rug as well, as this will create a degree of intimacy in the space. It also does give a little bit more sitting space in a house with children, as it really is no fun to sit on a hard floor and play with Legos for hours on it.
(Parenting Tip: If you have kids or dogs, I would not spring for expensive drugs of any kind. Go to Costco or Target and get one for under a hundred bucks. Then, when the inevitable accident happens, you can replace it with very little guilt knowing you got a few months or even a year of usage out of it.)
Step 6: Curb Appeal
And now we come to the outside of your house.
While we only interact with the exterior of our house when we come and go or intentionally spend time in the backyard, it still makes a great deal of difference psychologically.
In fact, I wrote a whole blog on how to have a nice backyard and have kids at the same time, which is way easier than it sounds. The best advice on this front is to figure out some safe, contained areas in your backyard where you can let your kids run free.
You don't need to clutter up your yard with tons of toys, play castles, or other junky objects that make it quite obvious that your kids run the roost. Give them a few play things that they will actually use more than once. If they play outdoors often, you can invest in a weatherproof storage bench for toy hiding purposes.
The Big Picture
Overall, apps for fewer things on display, with more open space.
This applies to Less furniture and more floor space, fewer knick knacks and more counter space, and few are outdoor structures with more open grass.
As you keep walking through your house with the model house mindset in mind, you will start to notice ways you can make improvements and pretty soon it will look much less like a horde of wildebeest just stampeded through your living room.
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About the Author
Founder | Contributor
Liz (or Dr. Mommy, as her toddler started calling her after learning what a PhD was) is the happily sleep-deprived mom of a baby boy (and professional raccoon noise impersonator), a sparkle-clad toddlernado, a teenage stepdaughter, the canine embodiments of Pinky and The Brain, and a rabbit of unusual size. During nights and naptimes, she uses her PhD in business psychology as an author, speaker, and consultant. She also serves as an executive and principal for three companies, two of which she co-founded with her very patient (and equally exhausted) husband.
My Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
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