How To Live In A Staged Home During Holidays

Living in a show-ready house takes keeping up with things on a daily basis and having a plan of action for showings. It’s especially important over the holidays when we tend to add to our decor and keep a busier schedule. These tips should help.


  1. Do your very best to keep the furniture arrangements as they are, especially if you had help from a professional stager. If you’re bringing in a tree, consult with your professional stager regarding placement. The last thing we want to do is to make the house look crowded.
  2. Limit decorations this year. You may be tempted to go all out for the last Christmas in your house, but this can quickly become clutter. Keep gift packages under the tree to a reasonable number, not letting them spread out all over the floor.
  3. Limiting decor applies to the exterior too. Stash the lights and reindeer this year. Many prospective buyers drive by houses that interest them at night. Keep an exterior light on, have a simple wreath, and let the house be seen.
  4. More than ever, keep a lidded box handy to clear clutter fast before a showing.
  5. Find a place to hang coats and put shoes away rather than leaving them by the door.
  6. Kitchen: Wipe counter tops clean, put dishes and counter top items away. Refrain from cooking foods with odors that will linger. This is a good season to heat mulling spices on the stove.
  7. Bathrooms: Be sure they are sparkling clean and put away all counter top and shower items. Keep toilet seats down. Put out fresh towels (used for staging only) and make sure they are hung properly.
  8. Bedrooms: Make beds every day. Put all clothes away and put dirty clothes in covered hampers. Put away all personal items.
  9. Keep medications, jewelry, valuables, and identifying documents out of site.
  10. Turn off electronics and hide remote controls.
  11. Vacuum carpets, sweep floors, dust, and be sure the entrances are swept clean.
  12. Turn all lights on for a showing and have the FM radio tuned to light music – only if you can find non-Christmas music this time of year.

Remember that your house is for sale and must be appealing to many different people. When a prospective buyer walks in, they need to be able to connect with the house, not be overwhelmed by holiday messages, decor, and gifts. It is possible that they don’t even celebrate the holidays.

The best gift would be a SOLD sign in the front yard!

Miller Shire is a home stager and interior decorator located in Asheville, NC. She is a member of RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association, and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Miller can be reached at 828-989-0404 or