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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do Stagers need a 12-Step Program?

I blogged about Home Stagers having A.D.D.

- and although I know most of us do not actually have that condition - I did think that Stagers enjoy staging because of the short term gratification element.

Along those same lines - I also believe that those of that have found our life passion with Staging are ADDicted to Staging.

What is an addict? Websters defines it as: A person who cannot resist a habit, especially the use of drugs or alcohol, for physiological or psychological reasons.

OK - let's just remove the drugs and alcohol part - and put in "A person who cannot resist a habit, especially the use of Staging and creativity, for physiological and psychological reasons." - and there you have it!

We that love Home Staging are Staging Addicts!

Does this mean we need our own 12-Step program for support? Having grown up in a 12-step household (so this is not in any way meant to demean the helpful groups that saved my family's life), I can just hear the statements now at the weekly support groups - "SA - Stagers Anonymous."

"Hello, my name is Jennie, and I am a Staging Addict." Group: "Hello, Jennie."

The 12 Steps would be launched with the statement:

1. I am powerless over Staging - and help declutter other houses and my own so their lives and mine will not be unmanageable.

2.. Came to believe that a power greater than myself - Staging - could restore me and my clients' houses to sanity.


The truth is, like an addict, I CAN feel myself going through withdrawals when I have not had my hands in someone else's house. My husband and kids notice it too - as I begin to "re-Stage" our own house - rearranging things, straightening, and fussing in the house - in order to make something "old new again." It bothers them - they want to be able to leave a blanket on the ground or not put the centerpiece back where it belongs after playing our Wii. To me - I often don't feel complete until my own house is back "in order" and yet I do have clutter - the kind that most families with children would have. Books, papers, collections, displayed school projects, and laundry - lots of laundry. And yet I recognize when I am crossing over to the addiction fix - I become sort of like a whirling dervish - spinning through my house cleaning, straightening, and re-doing displays. Time for a Staging project - FAST!

I do believe we that love Staging are ADDICTED to it - as one of my mentors proudly shared, "It gets in our blood stream - it's addictive." And yet I also know it is one of those "healthy" addictions. We are not harming anyone in the process of Staging (unless we drop a box on our toe), and we do help others to achieve their goals.

Now as I am writing this - I realize that as Home Stagers, we are addicted to Staging spaces and making houses more visually appealing, which is true. But what about the other role we play in this 12-Step world?

Think about it. Are we also codependent as Stagers? Do we do for others what they should do for themselves - but are not able? Yes we do. The decluttering, the proper presentation for the overwhelmed home seller - are all things the seller (or Realtor) are not able to do - and we come in and "save the day" with our plans, our creativity, our inventory, our knowledge.

Hmmm. I had not thought of that before now - but there is a grain of truth. We do help rescue the sale time and time again, offering up our solutions, telling our sellers not to be concerned - we'll take care of it - and allowing them to step aside and pass the responsibility for presentation of the house to us.

I guess we play both roles - we are the proverbial Addict and the Enabler. But the good news is that we are not hurting anyone in the process - we are helping. We are helping feed our own addiction and helping the Client achieve their goal of selling, even if it means we have to do the work ourselves.

Afterall - life should not be all boring - we have to have some FUN to feed our spirit - even if it is an addiction that can drive some of our family and friends crazy! And that is a whole other 12-step program.

SA unite!

Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP, Owner & Principal Stager, Sensational Home Staging serving the Greater Denver region

•International Staging Expert, Blogger, and Media Personality

•Member of International Assoc of Home Staging Professionals since 2003

•Why Trust Your House or Listing to Anyone Else?

•Over 2,700 Houses Staged and Thousands of Satisfied Realtor and Seller Clients