Prepare your house for photography

To get the most out of your photography its important that you prepare your house. In most cases it is always best to hire a stager for this job. A stager can either add furniture to the home and get it ready for images and open house or shuffle your furniture around to showcase the home. Both are great options to start with, but if the budget does not allow here are some tips on preparing your home to maximize its appeal.

General Preparation for Photography

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closet


Exterior Front Preparation

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
  • Remove empty planters
  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

Exterior Rear Preparation

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
  • Clean pool
  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trash cans


  • Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

Dinning Room

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Use decorative place setting if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

Living Room/Family Room

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove kid’s toys

Master Bedroom

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos


    • Remove personalized names from walls
    • Remove wall stickers/posters
    • Remove diaper genies
    • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos


Bathroom Amazing-Remodel-Image-5

      • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
      • Put toilet seats down
      • Close closet doors
      • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
      • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
      • Remove floor mats


      • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
      • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
      • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
      • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
      • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys