Declutter Your Bedroom

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Too much furniture makes this bedroom appear cramped.An overabundance of furniture and clutter make this bedroom feel small, dark and cramped. Photo by

Declutter your bedroom of most of the furniture to increase a sense of spaciousness and light. Too many pieces of furniture in a space will visually shrink the room. 

The poster bed in the above photo takes up a lot of "visual" space along with the matching bedroom suite furniture. Don't presume that buyers will be able to see all the wonderful qualities of your home under all the clutter. 

Home buyers should find a serene oasis, a sanctuary they'll want to return to at the end of a long day when they view your master bedroom. Your goal is to have buyers want to linger in this space.

Keep reading to find out how to do this!

These things don't belong in a home staged bedroom!

Exercise equipment doesn't belong in a home staged bedroom.Exercise equipment does not belong in a bedroom.

Exercise equipment

It seems like a good idea at first; get out of bed, exercise, then jump in the shower.

But eventually that rowing machine or bicycle becomes a relic of good intentions, functioning instead as a clothes hanger and taking up valuable floor space in your bedroom.

If you are trying to sell your home, now is a good time to organize a yard sale and sell your unused  exercise equipment.


Removing the TV from the master bedroom will help create that restful ambiance that buyers find so appealing. You want them to notice your beautifully dressed bed, not the size of your TV.

If you can’t live without your TV, try hiding it in an armoire or other piece of furniture.

Computer work area

Declutter your bedroom by removing any work-related items; the computer and all of the unattractive accessories that come with it; printer, keyboard, and far too many wires.

People don't want to be reminded of work when lying in bed.

Unless you have a huge bedroom with a designated office area at one end, refrain from keeping electronics there, especially in a master bedroom. These items will spoil the impression of your bedroom as a peaceful retreat.

If you must use a portion of the master bedroom as an office, try screening off the area. 

For tiny bedrooms, see small bedroom decorating ideas for tips on making a small space appear larger.

Dirty clothes hamper

Personal items like dirty clothing is a real buyer turn-off. Keep the dirty clothes hamper out of sight by placing it in a closet or the laundry room. 

Personal daily use items

Sometimes personal items are far too personal.These items are way too personal and a real buyer turnoff!

When buyers are looking at a home, they don't want to see evidence that people actually live there. 

As they make their way through your home, they are envisioning how their furniture will look, and coming across personal items will make that difficult for them.

This is probably the most challenging problem for sellers-- trying to depersonalize their home by keeping signs of daily life out of sight. 

Long, flat plastic storage boxes with lids that slide easily under the bed are an ideal solution.

These under-the-bed storage boxes are perfect for that frantic moment when buyers are on their way and you need to quickly stash your daily use items!

Multi-functional furniture is another great way to stash stuff-- a lift-top chest or ottoman at the end of the bed can serve as both storage and seating.

Closed cabinetry nightstands are another ideal place to quickly hide personal items.

How to declutter your bedroom

Before: Cluttered bedroom dresser.BEFORE - Cluttered bedroom dresser.
  • Remove overflowing items from dressers and nightstand surfaces. Get a head start on your move by packing up anything you don’t need while you are living in your staged home. 
After: Decluttered bedroom dresser.AFTER - Decluttered dresser
  • Declutter your bedroom by removing excess furniture. 
  • Store extra furniture offsite if you don’t plan to use it for home staging. 
  • All you really need to stage a bedroom is a bed and two nightstands with lamps. If you have a large bedroom add a dresser or chest of drawers. Just enough furniture to indicate the purpose of a room.
  • Clear everything off the floor and remove items stashed under open-legged furniture. Anything interfering with traffic flow should go. Revealing more floor space will make a small bedroom appear larger.
  • Declutter your bedroom by packing up, (or throwing out!) worn out items and anything that looks outdated.

Clean your bedroom before you home stage it

Flooring - Carpets will most likely need to be cleaned. I recommend hiring professional carpet cleaners, as they're fast and have great products for getting out the toughest stains.

Wood floors will look better after a good cleaning with "Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner". It'll bring out the beauty of the wood, as well as remove any wax build-up.

When you have your home on the real estate market, it should be impeccably clean. Sadly, this means you should get down on hands and knees to clean every corner of your bedroom--we all know  this is the best way to clean a floor.

When I was a Realtor, I occasionally saw a few buyers peaking behind doors for dust and grime.

Dusting - Dust everything! The ceiling, trim and molding, doors and light fixtures. 

Polish wood furniture until it gleams. Don't pile items on furniture surfaces, except for the few accessories you'll add for home staging later. 

Electrical outlets and switch plates - These items are often overlooked during the cleaning process. Clean switch cover plates of fingerprints and grime-- if the grime is stubborn, a quick spray with "Johnson Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner" will get them clean. 

Additionally, cover plates should match in your beautifully staged room. Electrical outlets and switch plates are a distraction to the eye if they contrast too much with wall paint colors. 

Lighting - Your goal is to have as much natural light as possible in your bedroom. Open window treatments fully or remove them entirely if the windows are pretty or you have a great view.

Take down light fixtures, dump out the bugs and run them through the dishwasher. Polish any metal surfaces.

Be sure to replace burned out light bulbs. I was always puzzled when sellers didn't bother to change burned out lightbulbs. The result was a dark and gloomy house-- not a good impression for home buyers. Replace burned out and dim bulbs with the highest wattage allowable. 

Windows - Wash windows inside and out until they sparkle! Remove heavy draperies to allow natural light to flow in.

Here's a tip:  Use my favorite window washing product, E-Cloth. No window spray necessary, just water. It works better than anything I have ever tried.

Paint the bedroom walls in a serene, neutral color

This cluttered bedroom with dark, gloomy red walls will not attract buyers!Where to start in this room? The dark wall color and shabby window treatments make this a gloomy room. Clutter makes it a disaster.

Wall paint colors - Consider painting your bedroom walls if they are too bright, too dark or dirty. There is nothing that updates a room faster (and cheaper!) than a fresh coat of paint. 

Freshly painted wall just make a great impression. Dingy, dirty walls will give buyers the impression that the house has been neglected.

Soft neutral colors create an inviting bedroom retreat.Soft, serene colors create an inviting bedroom retreat.

Think neutral and tranquil paint colors, especially for a master retreat.

Bedrooms are the perfect place to use soothing blues, greens or gray tones. These colors also appeal to both sexes.

This outdated bedroom decor with the old wallpaper will not help sell your home.This taste specific and dated bedroom will be a hard sell.

The style in the above photo is simply too "taste-specific." It's outdated, fussy and far too feminine. A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes.

Once popular, this style is now a tacky remnant of the past and will appeal to very few buyers.

The furniture, drapes and accessories are an easy fix, but the dated wallpaper may deter buyers from making an offer.

Wallpaper can be a real deterrent to selling a home--most buyers just don't want to deal with it. Increase the number of offers on your house by removing the wallpaper yourself.

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