One foot out the door

3 min readOct 4, 2022
Lawn sign saying “open house”
Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Staging is an important psychological tool — but it ain’t comfortable.

Yes, staging: the process of de-personalizing a home to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

It involves renting trendy furniture, erasing all signs of the people who actually live there, and making it possible for new folks to imagine themselves in a spacious, sparsely furnished and impossibly tidy environment.

We’re in the process of selling our home, and our realtor rightly suggested that we may just have too much stuff. And much of it is, ahem, stuff that may not be to everyone’s taste.

Of course, we love it, and of course, she’s right. Our marital home is the result of combining two households in midlife, with an added layer of inheriting bits and pieces with sentimental value as grandparents and parents downsized.

So all our comfy, earth-toned, antique stuff went into storage, and was replaced with an amazingly angular collection of light-coloured, glass and metal, mid-century modern pieces that are … well, let’s just say, not conducive to relaxing?

The staged result (author’s photo)

After two weeks in this foreign landscape, we have grazed shins — things just aren’t where we’re used to them! And we’re both getting tired of the other saying, “do you remember where we put the …” in reference to some useful thing like a wastepaper basket or a charger or a box of tissues, all of which are apparently NOT ALLOWED in a fully staged residence.

Moreover, we have proven to be less than perfect at projecting what we’d need to keep at hand and what can safely go into storage for the duration. Who knew that a three hole punch could be so essential to the work process?

I won’t lie, the place looks great. And feels uncomfortably foreign.

Which brings me back to the role of staging as an important psychological tool. We haven’t moved yet, and our address remains the same. But surrounded by all the accoutrements of staging, it no longer feels like home. As my husband observed, staging has proven a valuable contributor to letting go, emotionally, of the building that has been our…




Recreational writer, collector of antique corkscrews, urban gardener and retired management consultant to social profit organizations. Proudly Canadian.