1) Decide where you will store your unused items while your home is on the market. Once the stager determines what stays and what goes, you may have the following options:
a) store the leftovers (neatly) in the garage
b) store the leftovers in off-site storage
c) store the leftovers in on-site storage (i.e. POD)
d) move the leftovers to the new residence/donate what you are not using
2) Clear out the clutter. There may be some items that you choose to leave in the home for the stager to use (these include furniture in good condition and decorative items like artwork, lamps, or rugs.) However, the obvious clutter (paperwork, storage containers, old files, excess electronics, etc) should be cleared out before the stager arrives so he/she can more easily see what is available.
3) Replace burned out light bulbs, repair holes in walls, tighten loose fixtures, etc.
4) If you are a Do-It-Yourself person, paint the walls if necessary. Walls needing a fresh coat include those with scuff marks or a dingy appearance, walls with bright/trendy colors and walls with several holes. Opt for a neutral color or ask your stager which color he/she recommends.
5) Have the carpets cleaned.
This checklist should get you off to a good start and your realtor may have additional suggestions based on your specific needs. Now the fun part begins; sit back and let the pros go to work for you!