Home Staging Challenge: The Garage

home stagingYour home staging efforts are almost complete. You’ve de-cluttered your main living areas. The front yard has that illustrious curb appeal. All of those extras are stored neatly out of sight–until a buyer wants to see the garage. The natural pit-stop for all things clutter-related, the garage is perhaps the most challenging room for home staging, because here, there’s nowhere left to hide. So how exactly do you stage a garage when it is being used for storage? In recent weeks the furniture blog has focused on home staging, so here are some tips for doing just that.

First, get rid of anything you know won’t be kept. Go ahead and sell, donate, recycle or give away anything not being kept. Home staging will be much easier if you first reduce the volume of stored items by 50%. For those items left over, use the walls of the garage for storage. A large set of furniture rental shelves placed flush against the wall will house boxes while looking orderly. One secret of home staging is that anything that is well organized tends to blend in with the background. By that logic, find stacking boxes that are all the same shape, size and color. Label the boxes well and place one type of item in each labeled box. Even if you have boxes stacked floor to ceiling, the overall look will appear orderly and spacious.

Where ever you are home staging, always keep in mind that buyers want to imagine themselves living there. While an accent or two makes the space seem inviting, too many personal belongings to much personal style can turn a buyer off. Ideally, home staging strikes a balance between a spacious look and a consistent sense of design and style. This home staging goal can be especially difficult to meet in a garage, especially one used to currently store items.

A clean garage is an inviting garage. Be sure to clean the garage just as you would any other room in the house, including dusting and cleaning surfaces, sweeping the floor, and removing all clutter. Remove any unsightly oil stains from the floor if necessary. Make sure that the garage is well lit, and keep the trash can empty so that the garage remains free of odor. Here’s another home staging trick: If the garage includes a washer and dryer, running the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheets in it can create a nice, familiar aroma. With these simple tips and a little ingenuity, home staging the garage can complete the look of a well-staged home.