The 50 Percent Rule for Cutting Clutter

The three cardinal principles of staging that I adhere to are lighten, brighten, and follow the 50 Percent Rule to de-clutter.  This article discusses the principle of de-cluttering - removing items that occupy physical and visual space that aren't useful to the sale of your home.

So, what is clutter?  While clutter is defined as a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass, when it comes to staging, clutter takes on a broader definition.  After all, a home can be tidy but still be filled with too much stuff.  Since the purpose of de-cluttering when staging is for the buyer to be able to picture their own belongings in your home, a good rule of thumb is to remove personal artifacts, religious, sports, and political memorabilia, collections, and up to 50 percent of the contents of the home.  Wow, did you catch that?  50 percent!  While that may seem drastic, I've seen it to be the reality of the pairing down that's necessary in most households.  Remember, staging your home is different than interior design.  The interior design in your home is a reflection of you and supports the way you live in your home.  When it's time to sell your home, you'll want to take on a staging mindset, which means presenting your home so that buyers can visualize themselves living in your home.  

The before and after photos that follow show stagings where the 50 Percent Rule was used.


De-cluttering is a necessary step when staging your home.  If you have trouble with the 50 Percent Rule, consider having a good friend lend a second set of eyes and an objective opinion to decide which of your belongings should be stored while your home is on the market.  For further guidance, contact Stage My Listings for a custom, room by room, Staging Report specifying the 50 percent of your belongings we recommend removing in your de-cluttering process.

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