Top 5 tips for staging to sell

Meet Danielle, founder of Sadie Road, a Chicago-based home organization and styling company. What I love about Danielle is her flexible and personal approach. Danielle understands that everyone’s organizational and styling woes are unique, so she works with each of her clients to develop solutions that work for their specific space and tastes.

I feel so lucky to announce that Danielle will become a more regular voice here on Neighborhooding, sharing her wisdom about ways we can make life easier and our homes even just a little prettier. Today Danielle shares her top five tips for styling your home on the cheap in preparation for selling. Take it away, Danielle!

When preparing to sell your home there are a number of simple, cost effective steps you can take to showcase your home in the best light to attract quality buyers. The key is to simplify each space and incorporate a few decorative pieces to make your space feel welcoming and inviting.

My top five tips:

1.     Clear the clutter: Too much stuff makes a room feel overwhelming or small, and sends the message that the house lacks storage. Each room should feel open and airy, which can sometimes only be achieved through storing large and/or dark pieces of furniture that don’t have a direct use.

2.     Paint: Go with light, neutral colors. Using shades in the same color family will help small rooms appear larger and brighter as well as appeal to a wider group of potential buyers. You may love your statement wall, but trust me—it’s worth neutralizing bold colors so buyers can visualize their own décor in the space.

3.     Organize: Maximize all the nooks and crannies that your home has to offer—even (especially!) the closets and cabinets. Shoving things behind closed doors works when company comes over, but not when selling your house. Buyers want to see your closets (and pantry)! In fact, it’s one of the first areas buyers will assess, behind the kitchen and bathrooms. Use baskets, drawer dividers, and matching hangers and store anything that doesn’t easily fit on a rod, or in a drawer. Don’t leave anything on the floor.  

4.     Repurpose the unused: If you have a room that usually sits unused, stage the room so buyers can easily see how it should/could be used. If you and your broker decide a room is an office, it’s worth investing in a desk and chair, and the same goes for a bedroom and a bed/nightstand. Buyers see an average of ten homes before buying, and a furnished room is much more memorable than an empty one. Writing a clear story for buyers pays off.

5.     Style with accessories: A few well-placed decorative items makes your home aspirational for buyers and makes your online marketing photos pop. The pieces you use should be neutral and the proper size. Try a few of the these ideas:

     - Lamps: Lighting is key. A general rule of thumb is three sources of lighting per room. Also make sure the light bulbs you choose give off a natural color instead of blue or white.

     - Artwork: Replace family photos with framed prints that show off large walls.

     - Rugs: A new living room rug will make the space feel cozier, and also delineate spaces if your home has a living/dining room combination.

     - Accent pillows: Accent pillows are one of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to add some color, patterns and personality.

     - Greenery: Use fresh flowers or potted plants to add height and color variance to any room. A tall potted plant by a window is a great way to fill an awkward corner!


Sadie Road, founded by Danielle Reidy, is a Chicago-based company that offers clients a personalized home organizing and styling experience. Danielle’s mission at Sadie Road is to restore balance and productivity in her clients’ lives by simplifying the space, and introducing solutions that are both functional and beautiful. Find out more about Sadie Road at