Declutter Your Bedroom

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Overcrowded bedroom interior design picturesAn abundance of furniture and clutter make this bedroom look small and cramped, with very little walking space. Photo by

Declutter your bedroom and stage it to make home buyers want to linger in that space. 

When entering your bedroom, especially the master bedroom, home buyers should find a serene oasis, a sanctuary they'll want to return to at the end of a long day. Don't presume that buyers will be able to see all the wonderful qualities of your home under all the clutter. 

Most of us are guilty of cramming too much furniture into our bedrooms. Master bedrooms are especially guilty of this home design crime, often crammed with an oversized matching suite of furniture.

Too many pieces of furniture in any space will visually shrink the room. When you declutter your bedroom, the end result is a room that appears more spacious.

Things that don't belong in a staged bedroom

Exercise bikeExercise 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 will become a relic of good intentions, functioning instead as a clothes hanger and taking up valuable floor space in your bedroom.

Declutter your bedroom by putting exercise equipment into storage or sell it in a yard sale.


Removing the TV from the 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

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

Personal daily use items

Personal itemsDon't leave these kinds of surprises for home buyers!

When buyers are looking at a home, they don't want to see evidence that people actually live there. This is probably the most challenging problem for home sellers-- keeping the signs of daily life out of sight while you are trying to sell your home. 

I like to use long storage boxes with lids that slide easily under the bed. These are great 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 hide stuff-- a lift-top chest or ottoman at the end of the bed can serve as both storage and seating. Bedside tables with storage can hide personal items, as well.

Declutter Your Bedroom

  • Remove overflowing items from dressers. Clear table tops and get a head start on your move by packing up anything you don’t need while you are living in your staged home. 
Cluttered bedroom dresser interior design picturesBEFORE - Cluttered bedroom dresser
  • Declutter your bedroom by removing excess furniture. Store it offsite if you don’t plan on using it for home staging. All you really need to stage a bedroom is a bed, two bedside tables with lamps, and maybe a dresser or chest of drawers. Just enough furniture to indicate the function of the room.
  • Clear everything off the floor and remove items stashed under 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 dated, like ruffled pillows.
Staged bedroom dresserAFTER - Decluttered dresser

Cleaning the bedroom

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 scrub with "Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner". It'll bring out the beauty of the wood, as well as removing wax build-up.

When selling your home, you'll need to get down on hands and knees to clean every corner of your bedroom--we all know that this is the best way to clean a floor. When I was a Realtor, I saw many buyers checking behind the doors for dust and grime.

Dusting - Dust everything! The ceiling, trim and molding, doors, lighting fixtures, every corner.

Polish your 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 dirt is stubborn, a quick spray with "Johnson Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner" will make them look like new. 

Additionally, all 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.

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

Be sure to replace burned out light bulbs. As a former real estate agent, I was amazed by how many people 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 in more natural light. 

Cluttered bedroom interior design picturesWhere to start? 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 boring, too bright, too dark or dirty. Nothing updates a room faster (and cheaper!) than a fresh coat of paint.

Think neutral, tranquil and serene paint colors, especially for a master retreat. Bedrooms are one space where you can bypass boring beiges and whites, replacing with blues, greens or grays in restful tones. These colors also appeal to both men and women.

See color theory to view the color wheel and learn about color schemes. For tips on choosing home staging colors, see interior colors for home staging.

Outdated bedroom interior design picturesThis taste specific bedroom will be a hard sell.

The style in this bedroom 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 has been know to scare home buyers away! Increase the number of offers on your house by removing the wallpaper yourself.

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