An Attempt to Guess: Why Is It Hard to Put Away Personal Stuff for Selling a House?

posted in: Blog, Selling a House, Staging a House | 0

I got a little curious about this topic today, so I decided to record my attempt to guess:

Why is it hard for people to put away personal stuff for selling their house?

I once got told that I need to put some plants (I did have quite many pots) away, and another time got told to store an antique hutch away for selling my house based on the reason that they may not be liked by everyone walking through my house. Of course, I did not listen as I am also a human being that fits into the above question.


Three years ago, I had such a hard time purging belongings such as clothes and shoes when I first started doing it, although I am way better at getting rid of things now. Putting things away not necessarily means getting rid of them, but it is still so hard to do.

Who else find it very difficult to put away personal stuff?

I try not to have too many knickknacks. I know many people have knickknacks that they find very hard to put away.

Things and stuff sitting in the house accompany us every single day, and over time they kind of have become parts of the silent family members.

Without their familiar presence, we may feel the house is not personal enough to be ours. Naturally, we feel reluctant or refuse to put our collections away.

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But wait a second, doesn’t it sound a little silly when we are selling the house to someone else?


Why would we care so much for displaying our personal stuff when the house is going to be someone else’s?

Don’t we want to sell the house as fast as possible for as high a price as possible?

Why don’t we just put personal stuff away to make room for new owner’s imagination? Less us, more them. Easier to sell.

I guess it is just hard for human beings to feel being not liked or refused?

Putting personal stuff away sounds like telling ourselves to hide our personality, so that buyers won’t have a chance to dislike it.

When we are told to put personal stuff away, we feel what we like and who we are is being questioned.

 We don’t like the feelings, so we ask ourselves why we have to put the stuff away? What’s wrong with being us? Therefore, some of us refuse to put personal things away.

I can only guess so much.

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At the beginning, I believed putting away family photos and knickknacks help buyers not get distracted.

As I grow more mature and get more experienced, I see people definitely are so different, not everything makes sense. And it’s very possible that things we consider should be liked by everyone aren’t being like by many people.

I once read about Meredith Baer persuaded her friend to move her 200 pots of plants into an empty yard of a new build which had been sitting on the market for over a year, together with her furniture, and the house got sold right after she did that. Can we guess those plants helped selling the house? Then why did I get told to get rid of some of my plants?

I don’t have an answer.

I also don’t think any one (stager) can be right 100 percent of the time. We can only guess and have a reasonable assumption.


Sometimes, buyers happen to like what we put out there. Sometimes, they don’t.

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Many times, there is common sense, such as targeting a wider range of buyers with a neutral taste and not so bold personality is not a bad idea.

Say, you have a collection of plates on the wall through the house. We don’t know how many buyers will like it. But the guess is at least not every buyer will like it.

What if some buyers don’t like them, and have a hard time imagine their life in the house because of it?

Would you risk the chance that your plate collections would cost buyers not buying your house? Or would you take the chance that maybe there will be a buyer who likes it and buys the house because of it?

Which chance is higher? Would taking down the plates do more good than not?

I think analyzing on a case to case scenario makes more sense.

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