As a stager, one of the first things you learn is that decluttering, organizing, cleaning and repairing are among the most important priorities before putting a house on the market. After reading one of my favorite staging books I walked through my front door and tried to put a non-biased eye to work. What did I see when I walked in my own house? Where are my eyes drawn? Is it a negative or a positive that my eyes go to certain areas? What can I do to make the room look better?
When I walked in a noticed a few things, 1) I love the color! 2) There seems to be a lot going on 3) In some areas I didnt following the grouping rules set-out in the staging book.
Now, this is a home that is being lived-in and we aren't trying to put it on the market yet. however, some of the staging rules can easily apply to a home that is being lived-in. I personally believe that some of the rules can keep your home in good repair and keep your life less-stressed by maintaining a good "flow" and staying neat and organized. I know I personally feel more stressed when things aren't clean and put away.
Since my first opinion upon walking into the front room was positive, I didn't have to change anything. But as I continued to glance around I decided that by applying the grouping rule (putting decoritive table items standing alone or in groups of 3 or 5, I could help better-balance the room and make it less-cluttered-looking.
I went into my family room and decided to try and move some of the decoritive items around a bit. I traded a couple flower-arrangements since I wanted the nicer, fuller arrangement to stand alone on the dining room table. Doing this, I could remove some of the smaller items from the dining room table and therefore, remove a little clutter. Even nice decor can begin to look like clutter if there is too much of it. Decide what you can live without or if you can move it to another room where a touch of decor is needed. I had a plant stand with an artificial plant on it along with a candle stand and candle. I LOVE both pieces, but it was just too much in the walkway...I moved the stand and plant into my family room (to an area that needed a little something), and I decided to remove the candle stand and candle all together. I will use it for staging now.
After I removed a few items and traded items from the other room, the room felt much more balanced, less cluttered, and had a "fresh" look.
Try entering a room of your choice. Be hard on yourself. What do you see? What do you like? What can be improved? Make the subtle changes, group things in 1, 3, or 5. Remove things you can live without.