Quick Tips: How To Prepare Your Apartment for Real Estate Photographs

Want to Get Organized?

Maybe you’re selling your first apartment, or just taking photos to list your place as a sublet or temporary vacation home. Maybe you’re a realtor and you need a quick-and-dirty rundown on how to prep a space for photos. Either way, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of de-cluttering your space order to take attractive real estate photos. Interiors are difficult to photograph in general, and the more stuff that’s in there, the more cramped it will seem. But Done & Done NYC is experienced in transforming the limited spaces we occupy in New York City, and these details will go a long way to making even a modest home seem like an bright, inviting haven.

You’re going to be moving stuff around, so this is a good opportunity to complete a slap-dash de- clutter of your house. Don’t just shove your stack of unread New Yorkers in your closet, because you’ll have a hell of a time dealing with it later. Plus, closet space is a huge selling point in New York City, so be sure to capture storage capabilities in the photographs!

Prepare by getting some sturdy trash or contractor bags to haul stuff out, and make arrangements to take bins to short-term to long term storage, depending on how far out the move date is.  (A good last minute stow away place is under your bed, but this isn’t ideal because whatever you shove under there will be covered in dust bunnies when you pull it out.)

Remember: your goal is to create a space that is bright, airy, and impersonal. Look at it from the perspective of your prospect: you want the buyer to be able to envision the space filled with his or her own belongings. So it should feel fairly generic, like a hotel, but still inviting and comfortable.



Stacks of paper or old bills

Mail of any kind

Tchotchkes and keepsakes you’re not going to bother moving



All personal photographs

Shoes that usually sit by the front door

Any hanging clothes on walls or by the front door: coats, scarves, hats, bathrobes, and towels

Any DIY hanging method for jewelry or sunglasses

Kitchen tools that usually sit in a countertop container. If you don’t have drawers, store half of them and find a pretty jar to display the most attractive items.

Kitchen spices or oils that sit out on the counter

Home office items – leave the furniture, stash the stapler, pencils and other supplies

Technology accessories of any kind! Including remote controls, laptops, and especially wires

All bath and shower accessories, beauty products, and makeup

Toilet paper and personal hygiene items



Wipe all counters

Wipe wooden surfaces with a wood-safe oil-based cleanser so they shine

Vacuum rugs so the colors pop

Wash the windows to let the light in! If you’re windows are really dirty, you can call a not-too-expensive window washer



Fresh flowers in a simple, pretty vase

A few attractive, unburned candles

Art Books that are in good condition can go on the coffee table (make sure they’re dusted!)

White or semi-sheer curtains let more light in the room and look beautiful in photographs


Voila! That is your to-do list—A to Z. Done & Done NYC has been staging and preparing apartments for re-sale in NYC since 2011, and we know that spending just a few hours and a few dollars transforming your space can bring in higher offers and eager buyers. Good luck, and feel free to contact us if you need any help at all!


Featured Photo by Ron Chapple Studios/Hemera / Getty Images