If you’re wondering when you’ll stop feeling nervous about how a home staging project will come together, you should know that you may always feel that way and that if you do, you’re completely normal!
You’ll never be able to anticipate every problem or surprise that could come up and it’s impossible to see how your staging design ideas will all come together until you’re completely done.
I’ve been a home stager since 2002 and I’m still nervous until I’m completely finished a home staging project.
There will always be small hiccups (and sometimes larger ones) that can throw you off. They’re the challenges that:
- Keep home staging projects interesting and creative
- Help you grow as a home stager
- Make it easier to anticipate (and avoid) problems on future home staging projects
For example, I once rented an armchair that wouldn’t fit up the client’s narrow staircase because the legs didn’t unscrew. That became a thing to check for when I did future furniture rentals.
Or the time I took two drapery panels out of their packages to discover one had been mislabeled and was 14 inches too short a mere hour before the photos were due to be taken of the property! Now I open the packages ahead of time.
Those home staging projects still looked fabulous and thanks to some last minute creative problem solving, nobody knew the difference. And guess what? Nobody died. The world didn’t end.
Most live performers feel nervous before a show even if they’ve been touring for years but once they’re onstage they’re fine.
“Show Time” for Your Home Staging Project
Think of the moment that a home staging project comes together as “show time.” You’ll see that it always comes together and that you always feel anxious until that moment.
Home stagers, I would love to hear your stories of a time when you felt particularly nervous about a project. Or tell us about some surprises that happened during a staging project and how you handled them. If there’s a lot of participation, I’ll take your comments and turn them into an article!
I always appreciate hearing your own home staging stories. They remind me that I am normal to feel that way (just like you said in your post!).
I will never forget my very first home staging consultation which wasn’t that long ago (3 months ago now). I had both feelings of absolute and utter excitement because I couldn’t believe that someone had found me on the internet and wanted to book a consultation with me, and then the nerves set in. I was so nervous that I would forget everything I had learnt so far. I think I checked, double checked, triple checked and quadruple checked that I had everything for my consultation from my checklist that I bought from you. I was worried I wouldn’t know what colours to choose for the property owners as they had already told me they definitely wanted to change the colour of the paint on their walls. The things going through my head were unbelievable.
I kept going over everything I had learnt from your courses and kept telling myself that it would all be ok in the end.
The funny thing was that the second I arrived at the property and walked through their door after introducing myself and saying it was lovely to meet them and be in their house – everything fell into place. From the moment I drove in their driveway as they had instructed me to due to road works around their property, I knew what to look for. I looked at the street and curb appeal of the property looking at how their home compared to others on the street. When I walked in, all my knowledge and past experience just came to me like a click of my fingers. It was great and I felt like a true professional.
The feeling was amazing. I will never forget it. And yes, I am still nervous when going to a home staging consultation because you never know whats going to greet you when you open the door. I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected and embrace it. It’ll all work out in the end – for the best 🙂
Patricia Ebrahimi says
I’m sure I’ve mentioned the time I forgot to take the airbed for the master bedroom, but maybe not the time the red shower curtain that was to “make” the bathroom was left behind or when none of the eight new lightbulbs we had brought worked or when the sofa for the rec room missed the truck. Things happen. You think fast and find a way around whatever goes down. You make it work, sometimes more creatively than you thought you would or could, but you make it work. Packing tubs under the comforter “made” the bed. A red throw hung in for the shower curtain. A lone lightbulb traveled the photo shoot. A different furniture plan minus a sofa was configured. The show must go on… and it did!
Gary Baugher says
Debra, I agree with Lorraine that I always love hearing your stories. I have often thought to myself, does anyone else get nervous. When does it stop ? I have been staging four years now and still get those last minute jitters. I have learned to stop , take a deep breath and say to myself ” It will all work out .” Somehow it all does in the end. I have found also I get more creative when things get crazy. Thanks for confirming that I am normal, I was getting a little worrried.
Gary Baugher , An Eye 4 Change Home Staging Nashville, TN.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva says
Thanks Gary for sharing your experience and for your kind words! Great to hear from you. You’ve always done such great staging work.
Pamela Moore says
Debra, thanks for helping us all feel a little more “normal” even though we still get nervous. I had a “surprise” this week. First, after the initial consultation the homeowner made many of the changes I suggested and gave me an artwork budget. I purchased the artwork and called to schedule a time to hang it and found the homeowner had decided to not put the home on the market. While hanging artwork upstairs we heard a loud crash. We raced downstairs to find one of the large pieces had fallen, damaged the baseboard and crushed one corner of the frame. Needless to say I felt sick to my stomach, but picked up the artwork and surveyed the damage. The wire on the back of the artwork must have had a flaw because it just snapped cleanly at a place that did not have any pressure or reason to snap. What else could l do but offer to purchase another piece of artwork and repair the baseboard. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned but we can learn in every situation.
It makes me feel better to know that many other stagers have the same anxieties about seeing a project come together.
It’s funny. Last night the tv show ‘The Stagers’ was shown here in Australia for the first time and I watched intently as the stager featured (Michael) ran the full gammet of emotions seeing his project come together. It all came togehter in the end, but it wasn’t without hiccups along the way. I could totally relate to most of it.
Thanks for sharing this post.
Amy Bly says
This is so reassuring to me as well! I get a little nervous before each new job, although I love meeting people and walking through their houses to see what needs to be done to make each one more sellable. My bigger problem is when I take home all the photos to write up my report, and start agonizing over some of the smaller changes — like right now, I’m debating whether to recommend a new comforter for the bed (that currently has just a sage green blanket on it), or just stick with my walk-through recommendation of buying pillow shams and decorative pillows to dress up the bed. And should I recommend new curtains — the current ones are OK, but they are flowered sheers that the owner was happily telling me about because she bought them recently. A little too grandmotherly, I think, and she’s a young woman. If everyone was happy to spend money, this would all be no problem! But everyone these days seems particularly anxious about finances, and I always hesitate to recommend changes that WILL make a difference, but are not priorities. Any thoughts?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva says
Thanks for sharing your own stories about being nervous before a project. I knew I couldn’t be the only one!
Keep those comments, and how you conquered your fears coming. I know everyone will learn and enjoy them.
Several July’s ago I had gained a few pounds and the weather was really hot and I had a home staging consultation coming up. I was fretting over what to wear because nothing I tried on seemed to fit right, hide my bulging middle, and strike the right balance between comfort and looking like a successful/professional home stager. I finally settled on an outfit and insecurely asked my friend, “Do I look like a home stager?” Without missing a beat she said, “You look like the Staging Diva!”
That humor brought me back to my senses. But I have to tell you, few people in my local area actually know me as the Staging Diva. To them I’m just a home stager who has a staging company called Six Elements.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva says
Amy, I always give my clients my best staging advice and prioritize my recommendations from “you absolutely have to do these things”, to “these would be helpful too and here’s why”. After that it’s up to them whether they follow your advice or not and ultimately they live with the consequences of those decisions.
You shouldn’t be writing reports at all though. I’ll address this in a future post.
Susan Atwell says
I’ve learned from my days as a competitive gymnast, that nerves are actually a good thing. Nerves make you prepare more, perform better, and also prove that you care. So, for those that get nervous – and I am definitely one of those – I say embrace these feelings, knowing this energy will make you succeed.