Free Home Staging Cleaning Checklists

Free Home Staging Cleaning Checklists

When selling your home there's one thing that has to be a top priority... your house has to be clean.  It's got to be squeaky clean so that it sparkles, shines and smells fresh. Unless you're looking for an investment property to rehab or a fixer upper, buyers will take note on a homes cleanliness.  Buyers want a pristine home, that they can move right into.  Can't blame them for that, and the houses that I've seen that have sold the fastest have been the ones that literally outshine the competition.

I always advise home sellers to do a one-time deep cleaning, and then you will only have to do light cleanings thereafter.  If you don't have the time to clean, I would recommend hiring a professional house cleaning service that offers this type of service.  Make sure that they have some or all of the following:  references, is bonded, insured and accredited with the  BBB.

If you are a DIY'er and prefer to do the cleaning yourself, I have found a really thorough checklist of room by room instructions.  I've seen a lot of lists over the years and really like these, they even tell you what tools and products you can use.

Don't forget the outside.  Curb appeal is initially what draws buyers to your home, it's what peaks their interest.  If they don't like the outside, chances are they won't bother with the inside.

Checklists:  Free Downloads to Print



Home Office/Study 


Living Room/Family Room

Utility Room


Professional House Cleaning Services in the Greater Houston area:

Molly Maid

Merry Maids

White Gloves Service

The Cleaning Authority

Maid Brigade

Natural Care Cleaning Service

Redesign Etc. Home Staging will be happy to advise you on actions that need to be taken before staging your home.  We offer an in-depth home staging consultation to prepare the home for your buyers market.  Contact us today!


Tips On Clutter Clearing Before Staging Your Home

Tips On Clutter Clearing Before Staging Your Home

Decorate with Intention: Clutter Clearing 101

Getting organized is something of a passion of mine. Yes, I consider cleaning out my junk drawer a leisure activity — I love labels and have been known to put my books in rainbow order, so make fun if you must! But over the years I have honed a simple routine for paring down and creating order in the home, and I want to share these 10 tips with you today.
Before we dig in, it is important to understand what we are up against. What is clutter exactly? Excess stuff, right? Well sure, but more than that, clutter is a sign of procrastination. It is the bicycle you've been meaning to have repaired, the books that need to be returned to the library, the hideous vase from Aunt Mildred you can't bear to throw out, and the heaping piles of paperwork that need sorting. I think this is why we find it so hard to declutter. It requires a lot of decision making, some that you may have been putting off for years — no easy task. Let's begin by setting an intention to fearlessly face the decisions that need to be made. You can do it!
eclectic bedroom by French Larkspur
1. Get motivated. Clutter clearing can be physically and emotionally exhausting, so now is the time to gear up and fuel your motivation. Tear out images from magazines, or create an ideabook on Houzz that you can refer back to when inspiration flags.

If you enjoy keeping a journal, here are a few questions you might like to ponder over a mug of hot tea before getting started:
  • How would clearing the clutter from my home make life easier?
  • What will be the most challenging area to work on?
  • In three words, how would you like your home to feel when this is done?
  • My intention for this project is: _____
modern living room by Chloe Warner
2. Pick the low-hanging fruit first. Get started on the right foot by making a quick sweep of your whole house, pulling out the obvious clutter. This includes items going to the trash or recycling, things you have been meaning to return to other people, and other things you know you want to be rid of.

This step is meant to be easy and lightning fast. Put on upbeat music, grab a few bags or bins, and set a timer for 15 minutes. I am always amazed at how much better my home feels after a short clutter-busting spree!

contemporary kitchen by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs
3. Pretend a camera crew is coming over. This is a fun little mental trick to play: Imagine that your favorite home design magazine is sending a full camera crew over to photograph your house for the cover story. What would you hide? How would you change your furniture arrangements or displays? Once you have made a room "camera ready," consider making some of the changes permanent.
eclectic bathroom by Jenn Hannotte / Russet and Empire Interiors
4. Repeat after me: less is more! If you find yourself using "But I might need this one day... !" as an excuse, this step is for you. Be honest. Do you really need two dozen ratty old towels, or will four nice fluffy ones for your family and two extras for guests do? When you winnow down to what is truly needed, loved, and used, you will begin to find cupboards and shelves opening up and daily tasks becoming a little easier.

eclectic bathroom by Jenn Hannotte / Russet and Empire Interiors
5. Separate emotional clutter from the gems. I am not going to tell you to get rid of Grandma's wedding dress or those bins full of your child's artwork. The point here is to be intentional about what you are saving and why. Items that you want to be able to pass down to your children should be stored properly to avoid damage, while other mementos could be put on display where you can appreciate them on a daily basis.

On the other hand, beware of memorabilia that carries negative emotions, like photos of exes, gifts you feel guilty for hating, and diaries from really low points in your life. Out they go! There, doesn't that feel good?

eclectic bathroom by Nirmada Interior Architectural Design
6. Curate your collections. Collections can be wonderfully creative additions to your home, but they have a tendency to get out of hand and lose their impact. The solution is twofold: curate with purpose, and create intentional displays. By narrowing down the focus of your collection — white ironstone, say, or plates featuring birds — you can create a more interesting and cohesive collection.

Then, find one location where you can fit all of the pieces in one display for maximum impact. Still have too much? Try selling a few pieces on eBay or locally.

modern bedroom by Nicole Hollis
7. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. As the least public room in the house, it is all too easy to let the bedroom become neglected. Piles of dirty laundry on the floor, unread magazines spilling out of the bedside tables, dust bunnies, shopping bags, children's toys, you name it, it ends up here. Which is a shame, because having a tranquil bedroom can promote restful sleep and help reduce the stress of busy days — something we all can use, right?

The good news is, while other rooms may be difficult to pare down because they must perform so many functions, the bedroom is pretty simple. All you really need are the essentials: nice bedding, lighting, a hamper, alarm clock, and perhaps a scented candle or small vase of flowers. I'm going to take my own advice this weekend and spruce up my bedroom!

modern kitchen by Van Wicklen Design
8. Give frequently used items pride of place. As you move through each room, think about which tools you reach for most often and try to put these items within easy reach. Place your favorite long-handled wooden spoons in a crock on your counter top and a pot of fresh herbs in a sunny window near the stove. I am constantly surprised at the beauty in useful objects, artfully displayed.     
contemporary entry by MuseInteriors
9. Involve the whole family. Sigh. Not so easy, I know, but so important! Encourage children to fill a box with old toys and clothes to bring to a children's charity. If it seems difficult, try timing the big giveaway before a birthday or major holiday when new toys will be rolling in. Once you have purged your home, set up new systems in key areas used by all. Baskets and hooks in the entryway or mud room and bins at the foot of the stairs would be great places to start.

Published February 11, 2012
for Houzz by Laura Gaskill 
eclectic bedroom by Aristea Rizakos
10. Maintain your space. Think about instituting a "One In, One Out" policy in your household. By letting something go each time you bring in something new, you can easily stay on top of the clutter in your home before it reaches epic proportions. For instance, if you purchase a new pair of sneakers, toss out an old pair; when you buy a new book, choose one you've read to donate to your local library.

Similar to caring for a garden, doing a little each day or week will help your home flourish.


Fast Sale on 4 Homes Redesign Etc. Staged in Houston & Galveston


Fast sale on 4 of the homes Redesign Etc. staged in Houston & Galveston in March & April 2012.  Wow, that's the fantastic news we received last week about four different properties in and around the Houston area.  Who says buyer's aren't out there?  The home sellers were worried they were going to be sitting on their properties for a while, maybe all summer.
1) Not so, one of the Galveston houses that we conducted a DIY consultation for sold the day after they put it on the market.
"Cindy, the seller took your advice, and the house had a contract within one day. Great job!"

2) The second Houston home needed a DIY consultation, and a little rearranging assistance from us, it sold in just a few days after the "For Sale" sign went up in the front yard.

"The first week! Thanks to you... You are awesome!"

3) The third house, was semi-vacant, so we added some furniture and accessories, and staged what was left in the remainder of the house by the owner.  He had already moved from Houston to his new location.  The house sold in just a few days to the second buyer that looked at it.
"Thanks again for the great job. Buyer was 2nd viewer."

4) This was a Bellaire home that we consulted on and recommended cosmetic updates, mostly in the kitchen.  Some curb appeal and other areas that needed freshening were addressed.  The owner did everthing we suggested.  We then staged the vacant property with our staging inventory of furniture and accessories.  The seller had a contract in a week!

"Cindy, Just a heads up - we have signed a sale contract!"

All of the homes that Redesign Etc. Home Staging consulted on or staged had competitive homes for sale in their areas that had been on the market for months, if not longer.  Staging made a huge difference.  The sellers are thrilled that their homes sold so fast, especially in this buyer's market. 
If you have a Houston area home for sale, or are thinking about selling, contact us to book a home staging consultation...it will be the smallest home investment with the biggest return you will make.