February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to decorate them, to the fascinating history of them, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!

Picture yourself walking through an open house, waltzing in and out of rooms that one day might be yours. You enter the bedroom and bam: a wrinkled bedspread, coupled with a few much-too-large pieces of furniture, become an instant turnoff. You know none of the furniture would be in the room once you move in, but it’s clouding your vision anyway. 

That’s exactly why home stagers exist: To help present a home in its best light, allowing buyers to envision themselves in it without any distractions. A properly staged room highlights the most attractive aspects of a space, while a poorly staged room can do the opposite. In order to uncover the secrets of making a bedroom look tidy, I talked to home staging experts from across the country. Here are the things they always do to make bedrooms look neater.

No one likes clutter, and in home staging, it is nothing short of a sin. 

“To help you organize your bedroom spaces for a tidier look and feel, you can start by storing away any non-decorative items and clutter,” says Trish Anne Van Vliet-Banning the lead in-house staging professional of Stuccco, a virtual staging an online interior design company. “Make sure you hide those unsightly cords,” she explains. “They do not add any appeal.”

Carol Smith, the founder of Creative Home Stagers, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, advises using small chests for side tables. “It enables you to use them for storage for various smaller things,” she says. 

Likewise, she suggests the use of storage ottomans at the foot of a bed or on the side of chairs to store extra sheets, throws, and pillows. “In a lot of [primary bedrooms] there’s a place to sit, and if a bedroom has a side chair, we like to use a storage ottoman as a footstool or use a large basket next to the chair,” she says. “In that you can pile pillows or throws.”

Additionally, under-bed rolling storage units are also a great option to get an overflow of clothes, shoes, and handbags out of sight, according to Smith. 

Eliminate Pieces, Rather Than Add Them

Minimalism is a key aspect of cleanliness and organization, especially when it comes to staging a room. 

“I believe that less is more, so when I am doing a staging, putting things in a specific space is what makes things tidy,” says Dr. Sylvia Gholston, the franchise owner of Showhomes of Cobb in Cobb County, Georgia. “Too much furniture makes a place look small and cluttered.”

Instead, fewer pieces of furniture, strategically placed art, and repeating the colors used in the room help make a pleasing arrangement. “I don’t do all the extra. You don’t need 12 quilts — just a lamp, a small accessory on the table, and a tiny picture,” she says.

If the furniture is high end, there is even less need for accessories, she says: “If it’s a luxury bed, you don’t need a chest and a dresser; the bed stands alone.” 

When it comes to the colors used in a staging, it’s best to avoid anything too loud and noisy.

Instead, make your bedroom light, bright, and spa-like, according to Van Vliet-Banning. “Add white or light neutral colored bedding, with small pops of color to add interest and harmony,” she says. 

And don’t forget to add some touches of greenery. “Greenery and white orchids always add that splash to make a space feel alive,” she advises.

Mili Mansaray

Contributor

Mili Mansaray is a writer whose work covers everything from porch paint colors to voting rights. She received a degree in journalism and Africana studies from New York University, where she served as a staff writer for Washington Square News. Since graduating in May 2020, she has also been published in The Beacon and Cooper Squared.