Home Staging & Market Prep

This is a great guide provided by Kimberly Murphree & Shutterbug Studios to get your home photo ready for the professionals! 


Front and Back

  • Remove dead potted plants, toys, pet toys, bicycles, hoses, yard tools, garden hoses/sprinklers, mowers, etc.
  • Remove motor vehicles from driveway. Hide trash from view.
  • Add curb appeal and inviting atmosphere!
    • Real plants/flowers or carefully chosen artificial plants/flowers
    • Patio furniture with a decorative centerpiece (flowers, patio sculpture, tea/lemonade set with pitcher/glasses)
    • Open umbrella (as long as it doesn’t obstruct a view)


  • Open/tie-back all curtains and raise mini-blinds or open straight across (try to be consistent throughout). Turn on all lights, turn off all fans
  • Light bulbs—double-check all lamps/light fixtures have working light bulbs
  • We typically do not photograph storage areas, so hide daily essential ‘extras’ in the utility room, garage, or closets for the day (high chair/ booster seat, baby carriers/play pens, pet beds & food/water bowls, etc.)


  • Clear counters of clutter & small appliances, paper towel holders, paper napkins, drain rack, etc. – TURN OFF under/over cabinet lights
  • Remove trash cans, pet bowls, dish towels (even decorative should be put away for photos), cleaning supplies (soap, sponge)
  • Leave only minimal decorative items (bowl of fruit, vase of flowers, cookbook on stand, or wine bottle/glasses on a platter… etc.)
  • Dress breakfast table with plant, vase of flowers or centerpiece (bowl of fruit, candle arrangement, etc.)

Living Room / Family Room / Game Room

  • Make sure decorative pillows are in place. A small throw blanket may be draped over a chair, ottoman or sofa.
  • CDs, movies, video games/consoles & accessories, and remote controls should be put away out of sight – close TV cabinets, if possible
  • Remove clutter, newspaper, and magazines
  • Enhance a room with decorative touches: plants, decorative candles, a stack of a few books, art.
  • Bookcases should be organized. Staging tip: 1/3 books, 1/3 art/plants or sculptural displays, 1/3 empty space


  • Remove all personal items and toiletries (toothbrushes, hairbrushes, medicine/vitamins, shampoo, etc.) from all bath caddies and counters
  • Remove bath mats, weight scales, trash cans
  • Remove health aid devices (shower chair, etc.)
  • Display only decorative towels, candles, plants, etc…


  • Clear end tables and dressers of all clutter and health aid devices (breathing machines) and make the bed with matching bed linens and decorative pillows
  • Stow laundry baskets/hampers, bathrobes, and any other extra wardrobe items (clothes, shoes/slippers) or toys in the closet
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