Love Where You Live: Pro Tips for Living in Your Staged Home

Posted December 8, 2018 in Real Estate Trends

Shana O’Brien 2018, Clark County WA real estate agent

You’ve decided to sell your home, and have had it professionally staged. Congratulations! It looks fantastic… but how do you keep it that way while continuing to live a normal life inside your now pristine house?

It’s not easy! And if you have kids and/or pets, it just got even more not easy! Today I have 3 simple tips to keep the house looking as good as it did the day the designer left. And, bonus, you’ll always be ready for an unexpected showing. The same tips are equally as applicable for those of us who are not moving, but want to keep our home visit-ready for surprise guests.

You’ve done the decluttering. You’ve done a big household purge. You’ve started packing for the move, removing items that you can live without until the sale is complete. You’ve made a vow not to accumulate more stuff until after you’ve moved. And you’ve even done a nice deep clean before listing photos were taken. You’d think the hard part was over!

But here’s the thing. It takes about one minute for our bad habits to creep back in and undo all the good we’ve done with our hard work. It requires a mindset shift and some hard work to make the changes stick.

  1. Mentally move out of the house. This isn’t your home anymore. It’s a house you’re trying to sell. It’s business. It looks great, and you’re going to get a faster sale for a better price if you can keep it that way. Is this a temporary inconvenience? Absolutely. Will it be worth it in the long run? Absolutely.
  2. Find things to do OUTSIDE of the house. Keep the family busy. Eating out is a win-win because it keeps you out of the house AND reduces cooking odors and kitchen clean up. Of course, you need to keep your budget in mind, but be creative. Some free ideas: discount cinemas, hiking, take the dog for walks, the library, the farmers market, concerts in the park, community pools, church, volunteering… make a list and get going.
  3. Daily cleaning. Do the things, all the things, every day. Make the beds, clear the nightstands, keep laundry out of sight. Rinse the bathroom sink, put the personal products in the cabinet. Clear the kitchen counters, do the dishes every day, keep the dining table clear.
  4. And remember, not everyone is a pet person. Hard to believe, I know! But try to keep the house devoid of any evidence that a furry family member lives with you.

I know, it’s not glamorous, or exciting, or fun. But once you change your mindset around household chores, you’ll see a big return on the investment of time you’re putting in to keep up with cleaning versus the extra time spent tackling huge projects because you didn’t deal with them when they were small projects.

Want some help getting your home photo-ready? Visit for a full gallery of staging photographs, or find us on and

Shana O’Brien
Realty One Group Cascadia
Realtor & Home Stager, WA and OR licensed • Author •