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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

10 Easy Tips for Staging Your Home: Military Edition

The season is upon us, friends. PCS (permanent change of station) season that is. If you're a military family you know this all too well. And if you've done this before then you probably have a checklist of "to dos" to prepare for your PCS. "Sell this house" or "Rent this house out" is likely near the top of that list and it can be a daunting task. You want to create a look that says "buy me" or "rent me", but you're also juggling a million other things and trying to stay on a budget. So, today's #militarymonday post is going to give you some quick tips on how to do that and where to shop for the things you need to pull it off. Everyone needs a battle buddy. I've got your six.

Why You Should Stage Your Home

Staging your home holds so much value and doesn't have to break the bank. The goal of home staging is to highlight your home's best features, make a lasting impression, and create an emotional connection between the seller (or property owner) and the buyer (or potential renter). If done well, the potential buyer or renter will be able to easily envision themselves and their families making new memories there. Now that you know the "why", let's talk about the "how". Here's 10 easy and budget-friendly steps for getting your home ready to sell or rent!


*Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information about the use of my website, see my terms of service.*


10 Easy Tips for Staging Your Home


1.) Deep Clean & Repair

I know this might go without saying, but... I'm saying it anyway. A good scrub goes a long way. Not only is a clean home going to be more attractive to potential buyers - it's going to reveal anything you may need to fix before you list. Wiping down your wooden cabinets with furniture polish and realizing you have some loose knobs that need to be tightened up? Grab the screw driver! It only takes a few minutes, but it can go a long way. Do you have door knobs that you noticed after a thorough cleaning might be scratched or damaged? Replace them! I don't know about you, but I totally open the pantry door in a house I might be moving into so I know how much of my own stuff is going to fit in there.

If you live in a highly military populated area near a larger base, there's a higher probability that the potential buyers/renters walking through your house are military families, too. They have a to do list of their own and they are looking for a move-in ready place to call home. They're also likely doing a mental checklist for their own PCS move and deciding what to pack and what to purge.


Pro Tip: Use cleaning supplies that don't have a strong scent. Some people may be sensitive to strong chemical smells so keep it light.

I love to use these natural and mildly scented products in my own home and recommend them to clients frequently. Use my referral code to get $10 off your first order from Grove Collaborative.


2.) Declutter

Speaking of packing and purging - it's time to declutter. If it doesn't serve a purpose, isn't a sentimental piece or family heriloom, etc. Pitch it or donate it. It's going to make your move AND your sale a much easier process. This way the things that DO need to stay will be much easier to organize and tuck away out of sight.

Now, I know you may be thinking "well, I'm in the middle of packing so where do I put it all?". I get it. I do. But hear me out. Using [labeled] bins to sort and prep to pack will make it easy to keep things organized and will make those things easy to tuck neatly away into a closet for showings. Use nice decorative baskets to tidy up the toys, books, blankets, etc. in your home. This will keep those things still accessible to your family, but will eliminate the cluttered look and make your home much more appealing to potential buyers. It's so much easier for them to picture themselves in your home if they aren't needing to filter through all of your "stuff" when they look around.

I love using storage solutions that look like part of the decor. Here's a few of my favorites!


Shop Storage


3.) Create More Open Space

Now that we've decluttered your space, take a look around. Noticing empty space? GOOD! Don't fill it with more "stuff". This is an opportunity to reimagine your space a bit. Take a look at your current furniture layout. Could it be better? Moving furniture pieces away from the walls and arranging them in conversationally inviting ways gives your potential buyers a visual of gatherings with family and friends. Remember that emotional connection I mentioned above? This is what I'm talking about. You want the room to feel spacious and welcoming. If you need some tips on how to arrange your current furniture items you can download my FREE digital guide (and other guides) HERE.

Furniture Configurations


4.) Neutralize

I'm a sucker for cute family photos when I'm designing for a family in there forever home, but here's the thing - we want potential buyers to envision their family in this house. So, swapping out your family photos for more neutral pieces of art is a great way to de-personalize the space without opening your home to showings with "naked" walls. You want to show off a completed and well-designed space. A simple swap with some fun/neutral prints will do the trick! There are a ton of cool prints available for digital download on Etsy and they will be a great cost-effective way to give your space a quicky #glowup for listing! Simply download them and print at home or swing by your local print shop. You can shop some of my favorites here:

Neutral Wall Art Printables


5.) Give The Bathrooms Some Love

Bathrooms are big selling points. You can easily give your bathroom a spa-like feel on a budget by upgrading a few of the key elements. Replace the shower curtain and bath mats/rugs - your kids might love their "under the sea" themed bathroom, but the family moving with teenagers in tow may not appreciate your toddler's affinity for sea turtles. Add fluffy white towels - nothing says relaxing bath like a fluffy luxury feeling towel. And be sure to tidy up the space - remove as much as you can from the coutertops (personal hygiene is great, but we don't need to know what kind of toothbrush you prefer), add a small plant and/or fresh scented candle for added spa vibes - voila! Instant upgrade. Shop a few of my favorite budget-friendly neutral bath linens here:

Hotel Bath Linens



6.) Go Green

I've said it before and I'll say it again - add plants! They are such a fresh and inviting element to add to your home. Bonus - they fit into every design style and they are a proven air-purifying mood booster! Because PCS season usually occurs over the Spring and Summer months, they are typically readily available and you can easily stop by your local greenhouse or hardware store and snag a few potted pretties. Or, because I'm an e-designer and I'd be remissed if I didn't give you an online option -

Stick with something low maintenance, like spider plants, snake plants, ZZ plants, pothos, or succulents - it's a busy time and wilted plants just don't give off the same vibes. If you think a live plant is just too much for your schedule or if you've got a black thumb - grab a few faux plants with realistic looking leaves. Here's a few suggestions to shop:

Plant Picks


7.) Light It Up

Lighting - and I can't stress this enough - is your friend. You've heard the phrase "follow the light", right? Well, that's because light is inviting. It pulls us in. And that is exactly what you want your home to do. Open the blinds and curtains to show off those streak-free windows you cleaned if you followed tip #1. Make sure all of your light fixtures are clean and fully functioning. And when it's time for a showing - light it up! Make sure ALL of the lights are on so that potential buyers will see your home as bright and inviting. If you've got lighting in need of a replacement, you can refer back to my post from a few weeks ago [The Lighting Installation Guide], HERE and shop a few of my favorites below!



8.) Create Functional Spaces

You'll want to make sure that each room has a clear purpose. If you currently have an "multi-purpose room" that functions as your family's "catch all" - pick ONE clear function and purpose for the room. What do you have the most of in that space? Is it toys? Make it clear that this is the playroom. Is it books? Call it the library. Potential buyers want to walk through and find each room with a specific function. Even if they plan to change how they would use the space, it's much easier to do that when they aren't looking into room.

9.) Decorate!

First and foremost, you want to make sure you're creating a cohesive look throughout your home. It's so much easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves living there if they aren't walking in and seeing your child's finger paintings. As adorable as they are, this isn't exactly everyone's preferred aesthetic.

Since you've already neutralized the space by cleaning and decluttering, this should be a easy one. You've got your home down to a clean and organized blank canvas - so let's add a few things back in to give it that final touch. I like to use "props" when I stage my home. For example, books (like plants), work with every design style. Chances are you already have a few, but if you don't - go to your local thrift store or grab a few of my favorite coffee table books from Amazon (see below). [Pro tip: If you have books, but none of them have the right color binding to help you create that cohesive look, you can use fabric or paper to wrap them and give them a quick upgrade.] Another super easy decor element is a bowl of lemons in the kitchen. It gives such a fresh look to the space and you're likely going to be pulling out Grandma's glass bowl to pack it soon anyway so why not use it?

Coffee Table Books


Pro Tip: Choose neutral decor items to stage the home your selling or renting. This way you can be sure that you will be able to use them again.



10.) Curb Appeal

Yes, interiors are my thing. BUT, first impressions matter and if your potential buyer is going to pull up to the house and think "I hope the inside is better than the outside" - you may have already lost them. Some buyers will even walk before they enter the home because the curb appeal is just not there. So, make sure you take the time to tidy up the landscaping, give the house a good pressure wash, and make use of that extra can of paint you have in the garage to give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Add a welcome mat (I like to layer mine with an outdoor rug - shop a few of my favorites below!), a wreath to the door, and maybe a potted plant if you have the space. Curb appeal accomplished!

Welcome Mats & Wreaths


I hope you found these tips to be helpful and that I could give you one less thing to stress about in the mix of this crazy military life. May your journey be one of great memories and lasting friendships and may your house always feel like home...wherever that may be.

Until next time,

Be Well. Stay Kind.

And Keep Dreaming.

Are you planning your next move? Ready to collaborate on a design project? I'd love to help! Check out my e-design services HERE and let's connect!


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