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How to Stage a House on the Cheap

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By Myscha Theriault

Once we knew we had downsized as much as we were willing to, we rented a very small storage unit and moved everything into it except the basic essentials. For some time now, we’ve been operating with minimal towels, wardrobe items and even kitchen infrastructure. Since we want to be able to move quickly upon the sale of our home, having the extras in one nearby location preserves our options while allowing flexibility with our long-term travel plans. It also showcases just how much space is inside these walls.

Scrub: Cleaning your home from top to bottom provides a fresh look and sends a signal to potential buyers that you are serious about caring for your dwelling. However many owners feel they have to run out and purchase the most expensive products in order to get the job done. My windows and shower doors were cleaned with a homemade mixture of rubbing alcohol and water stored inside a recycled spray bottle. The addition of a scrub rag cut from an old T-shirt and a hand-held squeegee gave me a polished, professional look for pennies.

When the darker areas along the bottoms of our walls where our dog loves to nap threatened a new paint job, I started to feel discouraged. All of my concocted spray cleaners were failing miserably. That’s when my husband hopped online and discovered that baking soda — yes, baking soda — could remove wall marks and pet fur oils if mixed into a paste and rinsed with warm water. Not only did it work like a charm, but for less than $5 I was able to touch up not only the bottoms of the walls, but any necessary areas on the woodwork as well.

Spruce: Rather than dish out major dough on seasonal flowers and other plants to round out our yard, we headed to Home Depot to stock up on landscaping mulch for less than $4 per bag. Using it to fill in the areas around our shrubs and walkway added a finished look for less. Some minor weeding and a moderate pruning session completed the job.

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