Why stage your spare room? A staged bedroom helps emphasize the size of the house and number of bedrooms, not to mention giving the impression of a well-rounded residence. Also, a clean bedroom looks a lot better than a cluttered spare room. Since a proper home staging can lead to a quicker sale and higher sale price, the time and money you spend on this can net you significant returns.
1. Dig Into The Pile
If you have a spare room in the house you're planning to sell, you may well have something that you can use to stage it with. Is that a lamp hidden under all those old suitcases and the clothes you can't quite bear to throw away? Drag it out and see if there can't be something done with it. If you have an old set of drawers awaiting a visit from your local Salvation Army, ask them to hold off and see if you can use it to complete the illusion that this is a guest bedroom. The same goes for any old bed, painting, etc. that you can temporarily repurpose from your belongings.
You probably know someone, family or friend, who has a spare bed, furniture or tasteful art that you can temporarily place in the room to create the illusion of a happy bedroom. Many people will happily give you castoff furniture in return for you taking it to the local thrift store upon the sale of your home. If the item is to be returned, however, make sure it gets returned clean and in the same (or better!) shape it was when you first borrowed it.
3. Freecycle, Craigslist and thrift stores
Freecycle.org is a non-profit organization that began for the purpose of enabling people to get rid of unwanted items without sending them to a landfill. There are groups all over the world. Craigslist and other ad sites are another alternative. Many people are just trying to get rid of their stuff, hopefully for a few bucks. Much of this is perfect for staging purposes. Thrift stores are another cheap option.
A coat of paint or an inexpensive slipcover can make dingy walls and old furniture look much more attractive. Choose a bright, airy color for the walls, perhaps a white, blue or pale yellow. Furniture can be given a quick coat of paint that perhaps matches the room's trim or complements the color of the walls. Make sure your blankets, rugs and curtains are in a solid neutral color, which will pull the room together without distracting the eye.
What you're aiming for is the look of a bedroom, not necessarily the actual article. This means that your coffee table could actually be a box covered with an attractive looking tablecloth. It may surprise you how well a blanket or throw can help disguise any furniture dings, rips or scratches. Your bed doesn't have to be an actual mattress; air mattresses set up underneath some art with a comforter and plump pillows are all the bed you need.