If you’re vacating your abode for a new custom Florida home, but the current one needs some decorative help before hitting the market, there are ways around this conundrum.

You might need to do some decluttering first. Then some thorough cleaning, especially if you have kids and pets.Try do-it-yourself staging

Once you get past those two hurdles, however, don’t think your only option is to call a home-staging specialist. You already may own everything you need, and everything you don’t own is very affordable and easily acquired.

If this sounds intimidating, it’s not — even if you have zero interest or experience in interior design. You can stage your home yourself, with a few handy tricks.

Here’s our guide to do-it-yourself-staging.

Why stage a home?

Your real estate professional likely will have digital photos taken of your home for display on online listing sites. The more inviting it looks, the better chance it has to attract buyers. The same is true when your pro hosts an open house, or schedules a showing for a prospective buyer.

We’re not talking home-and-garden-magazine perfection. We’re talking clean, uncluttered and visually inviting. That’s your goal.

Things that look good

This isn’t the time to show off family photos and other mementos. Buyers want to picture their mementos in your home, so neutral artwork — and a restrained amount — is the best way to go.

If you have a lot of artwork, edit it. Pick a few pieces that look good in strategic locations, such as over a mantel or down a hallway, and store the rest.

If you don’t have artwork, don’t buy a lot of it! Opt for a few inexpensive framed prints, or simple decorative mirrors.

Things that smell good

Expecting a busy open house or lots of weekend showings? Don’t run through your home exhausting an entire can of air freshener before those prospective buyers arrive!

You do NOT want your house smelling like a florist shop. The key to pleasant scents is to avoid the bad ones — pets, kids’ messes and overripe trash cans — to name a few.

But subtle olfactory pleasantries can boost your home’s atmosphere. Try candles in restrained scents and use the same scent in the kitchen, living area and bathrooms.

Flowers — a potted gardenia or spray of stargazer lilies — are another option. Use them with the same restraint as candles.

Attractive, useful things

Need to replace worn-out decorative pillows? Bath and kitchen towels? Now’s the time.

Those pillows will add fresh color and cohesion to chairs, couches and beds. Just don’t go overboard at the home store sale and pile 20 of them on that couch.

New towels in all locations are important for your online-listing photos, but especially so when buyers tour your home. We’ve all used tired towels a little longer than their life span, and they’re just not pretty!

Ready for your new Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window