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A Day in the Life of a Home Stager

Ever wonder how we get those spaces looking their best for photography sessions and open houses? We’re diving in to HAVEN’s process from consult to contract by taking you through a HAVEN project and the various roles of a home stager.

a large living dining space with modern furniture and large windows


Where it all begins. One of our design consultants reviews photographs, visits the space in person, talks with the owners and/or realtors and creates an ideal plan for the space. There are several things to think about during this initial planning session. Does the space have any awkwardly sized rooms or areas that would make it hard for a buyer to imagine using? What type of layout will make this room feel large regardless of its size? Has the property been listed before and received consistent criticism about a specific area? As a result of these conversations, we make sure to address any areas of concern.

The main priority for staging is to help buyers imagine their lives in the property. We think about things like family room and TV placement, dining table sizes, designated kid or adult areas, etc. Once established, our consultants meticulously measure and take notes and photographs of the space for reference during prep. They draw out diagrams to specifically accompany these measurements, so that the stager who prepares the items for the project can get a sense of the space beforehand as well. A proposal is created for the client, and once approved, the stager can jump in and get started!

a work table with various office and kitchen accessories. a piece of tape sections off the accessories to designate that they are for different rooms

Accessories for a project, organized by room.


Once a proposal is approved, it becomes a project form. These tell the stager some basic info about the property to keep in mind while choosing items for the space. For example, it’s important to know if you’ll have freight elevator access versus third floor staircases in a vintage building if you’re considering a large marble dining table! Each room shows the types of items, their size requirements, and quantity needed. Stagers also have the diagram and photos to help orient themselves in the space, since often they aren’t physically there until install day.

As stagers, we get to meander through the warehouse and tag items we will use in the install. Everything gets a label to stay organized! Stagers tag and write down everything chosen for the project; furniture, rugs, artwork, accessories, bedding and pillows. Small items get bagged or boxed and are ready for the movers to grab on install day. These get labeled so it’s clear what project the items are for and what room they need to go in once there.

An example of how a staging diagram becomes reality

Just one example of how a diagram becomes reality!

two sofas in a family room, with artwork nearby but not hung

Furniture being set and arranged at an install before accessories, pillows, and artwork are placed


In a nutshell, install day is a whirlwind, but it’s so fun! We get to see our plans come to life. The morning starts at the warehouse, where our movers gather and load the truck with the items for the property. Once movers and the stager arrive to the property, the unloading begins. All items have a label that designates them for the project and the specific room they need to be in. Items are distributed to the correct rooms, and the stager ensures that layouts of each room are working well.

Then the movers can head out and the stager gets to work unpacking items, styling rooms, and hanging artwork. Sometimes we rearrange layouts, or we stop back at the warehouse for items to enhance the space even further. By the end of the day the setup is done, textiles are steamed, and the property is ready for photos and listings!


When a property sells, HAVEN schedules a date for removal of the items. On that day, a stager arrives to the property ahead of the movers to bag and box all accessories, bedding, and lamps. We pack and label items according to our storage systems in the warehouse. We wrap furniture items and load everything in to the truck. After that it’s lights out and a project is fully complete!

moving boxes, bags, and furniture being prepared to be taken out of a living room

Items packed and labeled for a removal


The warehouse evolves constantly. There are several installs and removals within the same week. Stagers unpack and restock the bags and boxes from removals. We mark items that need repair. These ongoing warehouse tasks help us stay organized and make prep for more projects much easier!

As you can tell, a lot of work goes in to just one project at HAVEN. Every project is unique and we make sure to treat it that way. This is what sets us apart from other staging companies and what drives our success stories. Thanks for coming along for the ride!


Do you have a property you need staged? Contact us at or give us a call at 312.380.1276

Are you not sure if staging is worth it? Check out this guest post on why staging is still important, even in a seller’s market.

a large primary bedroom with king bed, sofa, side tables, and artwork
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