Long before "staging" was a decorator's term, we knew some things had to go before we could rent the roach tenant's apartment to someone with teeth.
So out went the '65 Buick Riviera bucket-seat lounge chairs. Out went the beer can collection. We watered the grass religiously, simultanously praying for rain. We desperately needed the vegetation to cover the old tires that were still being used by the Darryls for patio tables. They were already pissed that we threw away their chairs. Our haste was not due simply to industriousness. We still had under $1000 to our name, a vacant apartment to renovate, extermination costs, and don't forget that looming mortgage payment!
Since all the remaining Darryls were at work during the day, I decided to show the apartment then, and hope the incomings didn't meet the outgoings. It worked pretty well, and our first tenant turned out to be a lady from Cos Cob, CT, a hoity-toity place compared to us. When she finally got a good look at her neighbors, I was able to tell her truthfully that they were moving out within weeks. In the end we moved three out of the four families. Family #4 was actually pretty good, once they were viewed separately from the rest. They turned out to be Darryl-in-Laws, and stayed for a few years afterwards.