Almost every house that I either stage or visit for a consultation has some sort of shelves: libraries, closets, kitchen pantries, china cabinets, which all need attention during the home staging process. Staging the shelves is not hard, although it is often time consuming.
In my opinion, there are three main things to take into consideration:
1. Decluttering the shelves is the most important step. Remove everything that is either not necessary and too personal (like photos) or is not decorative (like cheap plastic file holders). Do keep your books, especially the hardcover ones.
2. Don’t be afraid to leave some shelves empty. There’s nothing wrong with it. Remember: buyers are interested in your house, not your stuff. The house below became vacant at the time of the staging. Just a few accessories on the shelves allow to focus on the the beautiful built-in bookshelf.
3. Keep it simple. You don’t need to overfill the shelves. The photo below shows you how I staged the bookshelves of a family room: just a few simple items are enough.
Home staging tip: “After decluttering the shelves, use only a few well-balanced accessories to stage them. Never overfill the shelves, you might create distraction rather than interest”.