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10 No-Fail Tips to Stage a Child’s Bedroom Before Listing Your Home for Sale

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staged children bedroom in a house for sale

Staging your home effectively can help you put its ‘best face’ forward in the real estate marketplace. When you have children, however, it can be a bit tricky to ensure a consistent home environment while maintaining a ‘company-ready’ appearance that allows you to market your home well to potential buyers. Although a bit of balancing is required, it’s not an impossible situation by any means.

You can create a comfortable space for children and stage kids’ rooms in a manner that shows these spaces to their best advantage. And, you’ll even find that your kids can even help you manage many of these tips, which makes them great teaching moments, helping you demonstrate the importance of organization and cleanliness. With these ten no-fail tips, you can stage bedrooms that are sure to impress would-be buyers–and their kids.

1. Declutter

The hard part comes first! Decluttering with kids is no easy feat, but in order to show off a child’s room effectively, you need to make it appear as spacious as possible so that buyers can more easily imagine their furnishings and possessions in the space.

Begin by removing all items that your kids have outgrown. Create piles of items to donate or store. Hopefully, you have a place where you can neatly stow items in totes. Use clear plastic totes to store items like train sets, Barbie dolls, or action figures so you can retrieve them from your storage spot in the garage or basement when kids want to play.

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As for the room itself, you want to stick to the basics as much as possible–bed, dresser, bookcase, and a toy chest. Too many other items will make the space feel cramped.

2. Organize

Once you remove all the superfluous items, you’ll want to neatly arrange and organize remaining items. These should be kids’ essentials–their favorite books and toys, clothing, and infant or school supplies. If you have shelves or a bookshelf, arrange books neatly and keep small items stowed in attractive basketry. The baskets are ideal for kids to use too when replacing their small dolls or toy cars, for example.

Don’t neglect closet organization. Closet space is important to buyers and they’ll probably want to take a peak to examine how large–or small–it is. Naturally, you want the closet to appear as spacious and neat as possible. Use shoe caddies and closet organizers to keep this area of the bedroom neatly arranged.

3. Show off storage features

Speaking of storage, it’s ok to show off some of your space’s storage features. Built-ins aren’t always a welcome feature for buyers, but if you have an attractive window seat in your kids’ room that opens for storage, be sure to let them know.

Open it up to let them see how much space there is to fit seasonal bedding or clothing, for instance. A closet organizer, bookshelves, or a toy caddy can help you and your kids maintain a tidy room, so these items need to remain as you stage the room for a sale. Again, with good storage features in place, your kids can help you maintain the room’s clean and tidy appearance. 

4. Neutral paint color

Real estate professionals recommend that sellers keep bedrooms gender neutral. Keep in mind that you may be showing your house to people without children or families with one gender. A couple with a son won’t necessarily be impressed by a pink bedroom.

Opt for neutral colors like white or a very light beige. Don’t go too dark because everyone knows that it’s more difficult to paint over a dark-hued paint. Plus, fresh, light paint makes the room appear clean and larger in appearance. Be sure to remove wallpaper and borders too. Painted walls are your best option when it comes to staging a bedroom. 

5. Remove themed elements

Many kids’ rooms may feature special items that highly a theme–a Disney Little Mermaid light switch plate or Marvel Incredible Hulk fan blade covers. As fun as these items are for kids, they’re not effective for showcasing bedrooms. For one, buyers may have older children. For another thing, they might not have any children at all.

Your nursery or young child’s bedroom might be their idea of a guest bedroom or even a home office. Just as you’re using paint to create a neutral space, you’ll want to remove any items that could contribute to a princess or cowboy-themed setting. There’s no need for you to ‘hide’ the fact that it’s a child’s bedroom, but you don’t want to go overboard with kids’ themes either. 

6. De-Personalize

De-personalizing the space is another way to help potential buyers envision their family in your home. It may be disappointing for your kids to see their name placards, school awards, and artwork removed, but let them know that it’s important to keep these items safe before your move. It’s only a temporary timeout for them until you’re able to move to your new place.

However, de-personalizing has a safety element too. Potential buyers are strangers; there’s no need for them to know your kids’ names or see photos of them and their friends. It’s also a good idea to de-personalize the rest of your home too and remove family photos to safe storage until you’re able to showcase them again in your new home. 

7. Update lighting fixtures and window treatments

As you’re transforming your children’s bedrooms for a potential sale, consider updating your lighting features and window treatments. Anything dated or dingy could detract from the pleasant ambience of the room. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to install a new overhead light fixture. In fact, if the room isn’t bathed in natural light, add another lamp or two so that the room is well lit when buyers visit.

A bright space has a way of being a more attractive space. In addition, update window treatments too. Clean curtains or shades are essential. Remove broken blinds or window treatments that seem overly ornate. When buyers visit, keep the blinds or curtains open to allow as much natural light in as possible. 

8. Add clean, cozy bedding

Beds are usually bedroom focal points so be sure that your kids’ beds are always made and topped with clean and cozy bedding. Again, neutral hues are best, but cleanliness is even better. Stained quilts or overly worn bedspreads could detract from the cozy look you’re trying to create.

Encourage kids to keep their favorite stuffed animals in a basket next to the bed rather than strewn atop the bed during the day when potential buyers may visit. Replace stuffed bears and rabbits with a few comfy throw pillows that help tie the window treatments and wall paint together for a decorative, cheerful look. 

9. Upcycle or remove dated furnishings

In the real world, we often quite happily live with mismatched furnishings. However, when you’re trying to stage a room, you may want to set aside some time for DIY makeovers. First, if furnishings are in really poor or dated condition and they’re not essential to the room, put them in storage until the move. Then, consider painting mismatched bookcases and dressers–especially if they aren’t in great condition or designed with attractive, solid wood.

You’ll be amazed how attractive a room can be when the bookcase, nightstand, and dressers all match. In fact, go easy on yourself and use a self-priming paint designed for furniture. Again, opt for neutral paint colors when you upcycle these types of items. Off-white is typically a safe bet. 

10. Highlight the ‘good stuff’

Of course, you don’t have to remove everything from your kids’ bedrooms. Are there special collections or items that could really add something attractive to the room? For instance, a collection of vintage children’s books on a bookshelf are perfectly in keeping with a child’s room and could add some attractive ambience to the space. A small antique rocking horse would not be out of place in a nursery.

The key is to keep special collections neat and showcased in a manner that won’t detract from the spacious appeal or neutrality of the room. After all, you don’t want shelves sitting empty. Top shelves with items that aren’t plastic or too commercial. A vacation souvenir like a large seashell, a globe, or carved animals could add eye-catching flair to the space without interfering with its clean, orderly look. 

The way you stage your home now may not be entirely what you’d prefer for your next home–and your kids may have something else in mind too! But with these tips, you can help potential buyers envision themselves and their families in your home. It’s true that a considerable part of staging is removing the ‘you’ from the environment and focusing on ‘them.’

That can be challenging when you’re still living in the house; however, keep in mind that it’s only a temporary situation. Staging your home effectively may help you sell your home more quickly–and achieve your asking price. By helping kids understand that your effort and theirs together has an end goal in mind: a new house and new spaces that they can ‘stage’ just for themselves!

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