Staging Information

August 22, 2010

The Forgotten Rooms When Staging Your Home for Sale: The Garage

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Written by: Donna Dazzo
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Many home sellers think that it’s perfectly okay to leave their garage “as is” when selling their home, or worse, think it’s okay to move items out of the house and stuff them into the garage in an effort to declutter and minimize furniture and personal items.

Well, it’s NOT OKAY!  The garage is extra square footage and should be treated just like any other room in the house when staging it for sale.

It should be shown to it’s highest and best possible use – to store and shelter cars most importantly, and secondarily, to store and shelter tools, hardware, sporting equipment, etc.

It’s NOT to be used to store furniture and other items that should be discarded, given away to family or friends, donated or stored offsite in preparation for your move.

A clean, neat and sparse garage will tell the buyer he has plenty of room to store his car(s) and tools.

Here are some specific stips for staging your garage when your home is on the market:

1. Get Clean - A garage must be clean.  Just because it’s a garage and is quasi indoor/outdoor space, doesn’t mean it’s okay to have dirt, debris, leaves, dead insects, oil stains, etc.

  • Begin by removing everything from the garage (this will help prepare you for the next step).
  • Then sweep the floor and brush cobwebs away from corners and ceiling.
  • Remove oil stains with TSP cleaner purchased from your local hardware store.
  • Hose the or powerwash the floor it if there is adequate ventilation to dry it and the temperature is above freezing. Or at least mop or scrub the floor.
  • Painting the floor, walls and ceiling, makes the garage seem newer and cleaner and tells the buyer you must really take care of the rest of the house.
  • Wash the windows, if any, and make sure all bulbs are in working order.

2. Get Rid of the Clutter – don’t use the garage as a dumping ground for all of the items you’ve so proudly removed to stage the interior of the home. A few boxes or plastic bins of items are fine, however.  Begin by removing everything from the garage in preparation for cleaning and/or painting it.  Separate items into Keep, Discard, Donate or Give Away.

3.  Get Organized – For those items you are keeping, organize them into categories such as tools, lawn and garden equipment and supplies, paint cans, seasonal items like beach chairs or holiday decorations, sporting equipment, etc.

Here are some suggestions for getting organized:

slatted wall

Pegboards or slatted walls and hooks pegboard




Plastic shelves and bins

tool organizer

Tool organizers tool organizer


sports equipment

Sports Equipment Organizerssports equipment





Overhead Storage Systemsoverhead


Photo source:

Storage items:

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About the Author

Donna Dazzo
Donna Dazzo
President of Designed to Appeal, LLC, design work and staging skills have recently been featured in The New York Times, Hamptons Magazine, Dan’s Papers, LINewsday, Vox Hamptons Magazine and on TV’s NY1 News and “Getting Your Money’s Worth” and on WFUV-FM (90.7 in NYC). Donna is an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager and Redesigner and a Staging Diva graduate. She has studied Interior Space Planning at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and has her MBA from Fordham University.

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