If you’re planning to sell your Washington home, there are countless steps that need to be taken. Of the giant laundry list of tasks you need to go through, one of the most important ones is home staging. Home staging, in a nutshell, is the act of preparing your home to be presentable to potential buyers. Much like you’re less likely to buy a used car that’s covered in grime and dirt, many potential home buyers are turned off by the idea of purchasing a home that’s ugly, inside or out. Home staging presents this by making your home as beautiful as it can possibly be. Part of this process involves extensively cleaning the premises, which leads a lot of people to ask a very valid question — what’s the difference between home staging and just cleaning up? It’s a good question, and if you need to prepare your home for presentation in the Redmond, Bellevue, or Kirkland area, you deserve to know the answer. In fact, there are many differences between cleaning and staging. Let’s go over them. HOME STAGING MAY REARRANGE THE LAYOUT The most important difference between home staging and home cleaning is that, with the former, you may end up with major rearrangements in your home. Unfortunately, while many people love the setups they’ve created in their home, sometimes the interior design just isn’t where it ideally could be in order to show off your wonderful house. Interior design has a significant impact on how people could perceive certain rooms or spaces in your home. There are many “rules” with interior design which play on the subconscious minds of those who walk through the home, and if these rules are obeyed, it’ll help people to see your home in a more positive light. Suppose that you have a small dining space in your kitchen, with a giant bookshelf, 50 gallon fish tank, and a small dining table all cramped tightly together. While this may be functional for your specific taste, it’s “wasting” a lot of space from a visual standpoint, because too many big items are blending together and not allowing the space to “breathe.” In a photograph or a home tour, this could cause your dining area to look deceptively small. If, however, things were rearranged, removing some furniture and filling the wall space with some tasteful decorations, the area might suddenly looks more inviting and spacious. HOME STAGING REQUIRES THE TOUCH OF A PROFESSIONAL While you can stage your home yourself, you’ll find that there is a big difference between an amateur home staging job and a professional one. When you ask a professional to stage your home, you’re asking someone who has trained extensively for the job, who has an intricate knowledge of interior design and how it plays on the minds of potential home buyers. This is knowledge that takes time and diligence to acquire — just because you’re capable of arranging a nice layout doesn’t mean that it optimally shows off the potential of your home. And that’s nothing against you! It’s just the simple universal truth that makes all professional services necessary — that sometimes it’s better to put a job into the hands of someone that is trained. While home cleaning can be done professionally, it’s not as essential as home cleaning. Most homeowners are more than capable of handling a home’s routine cleaning tasks, whether it’s tidying up or deep cleaning. In many instances, professionals are hired for convenience and relief, not for the lack of ability to do the job by one’s self. HOME STAGING IS DONE FOR LOOKS, NOT PRACTICALITY When you’re cleaning a home, you’re no doubt doing so to improve the way it looks. But cleaning also has a secondary goal that’s equal in importance — preserving the practicality of your home. What we mean is this — when you’re cleaning a home, you can’t take shortcuts, because compromises you make in one area will just come back to bite you. Suppose that you have a room that’s completely full of clutter. The only way to truly clean it up properly is to put everything in its proper space so that it can be accessed and used again in the future if need be. That is to say, you can’t just pick up all your junk, throw it into a pile in the garage, and move on with your day. Well, you can, but it’s a decision you’ll regret, especially if it’s one you do on a consistent basis. With home staging, shortcuts are an option. While home staging companies do their very best to make your home livable and usable (especially because the clients haven’t officially moved out a lot of the time), it might be expedient to find temporary “hiding spaces” for certain items and clutter that just aren’t conducive to a good aesthetic. For you, the homeowner, that might mean that some of your furniture or possessions are stored in well-hidden locations that potential buyers won’t be privy to, or even moved off-site into a storage unit. We’re not saying this is something that’s an absolute guarantee, but it’s important to be open to the possibility! For homes with exceeding amounts of clutter, sometimes the best option for home staging is to just pretend that clutter doesn’t exist by moving it somewhere safe and out of the way. HOME STAGING IN REDMOND, KIRKLAND, BELLEVUE, AND SURROUNDING AREAS Ready to sell your home in the greater Seattle area? IntExt Staging offers comprehensive staging services in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and other surrounding areas. We would love to help you make your home as gorgeous as it can be, and we’re ready to apply our professional touch to your unique needs and circumstances. Ready to get started? Contact us today!