De-personalize Your Home to Sell

Photo above: A de-personalized master bath

If you're getting ready to sell your home, the first thing you've GOT to do is de-personalize!

Hey homeowners!  You know, all that stuff that you've got around your house that speaks to YOU?  Things like your family photos, a special collection, banners and blankets with your favorite sports team's logos, and your monogrammed bath towels.  It's the things that when you take them away, your home feels, well, less like your home.  But that's what you've got to embrace if you want your home to appeal to buyers.  Your personal likes made evident by your personal interior design style, are not going to align with those of potential buyers viewing your home. 

That's why it's so important to know that while your home likely has beautiful personal style a.k.a. interior design that's all about YOUR preferences, staging is a way of decorating that appeals to the preferences of the masses.  So while you're living in your home definitely decorate it just the way you want it.  Bring in the pieces that speak to you.  Keep your diplomas on the wall, your kids' photos all over your living room, and your last name sign hung proudly above your front door.  BUT, when it's time to sell, those items must go!  You've got to de-personalize as the first step when staging your home.  After all, do you really want buyers (strangers) staring at your family photos when touring your home? 

Today I will share a list of items you may or may not have in your home that I recommend removing prior to your listing photos being taken.  And remember, this list isn't picking on you specifically.  With staging we want to neutralize your home so that a buyer can picture themselves living in your home.  What your really after is a relaxing, beautiful space that resembles a high-end hotel suite.

Here's your list:

  • Name signs, monogrammed items such as towels or doormats
  • Religious artifacts
  • Collections, whether it's coins, china, dolls, or Hummels, lets get them packed away!
  • Sports team memorabilia
  • Political artifacts
  • Diplomas, awards, trophies
  • Family photos
  • Personal or kids' art work

While this may not be the funnest part of your home sale, it is ESSENTIAL.  And, don't be surprised if once you've gone around your home packing up these items, your house feels sparse. 

Sellers have often told me (and I felt this way myself when I staged my own home for sale last year) that once they de-personalized, their home didn't feel like theirs anymore!  That's SO true and that's exactly what you want so that buyers can mentally move in to your home when they see it.

So, now the big question is....  what do I put on my naked walls?  If you're asking this question check out these ideas for neutral decor:

A monogrammed door mat can be replaced by a beautiful coir mat like either of these: 


Instead of your last name sign hanging by your front door, try a wreath for added curb appeal:


Where family photos or personal art work has been taken off the walls, try adding a neutral yet beautiful piece like one of these:



Let me know what you think of these simple swaps!  Is there a space you've de-personalized that's now feeling too sparse and you don't know what to add?

Until next time...




Looking for more staging ideas for your home? 

  1. Read this blog post --- > My #1 Staging Tip
  2. Get a Staging Checklist to learn what's necessary to prepare your home for market --- > Staging Checklist  (this service is available in any location via video call :)
  3. Shop my recommended staging products --- > Staging Essentials

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