Clutter is distracting so make this step number one. Remove most of the items that normally reside on those flat surfaces. Instead of several little things choose one bold statement piece. This includes removing items like the plants in the windowsills, the magnets on the refrigerator, small appliances and mail.
Open the blinds, wash the windows and open the curtains. Natural light creates depth and shadows in a room and it makes a room feel warmer and more welcoming.
Remember to check the bed. You can use a steamer to remove the wrinkles and make it look fresh and welcoming. This will create a luxury feel in the furnishings. If you match the stack of pillows to the edge of the bed, it will make the bed appear wider. The pillowcases should open outward. Add a throw pillow to the stack of the pillows and center this pillow to make it look like like a showroom.
Accents of color in any room are always welcome. Flowers, throw pillows or a vase of greens will work for the spot of color. A stager I know uses a throw that she has picked up in the middle to create a cascading effect and then lies it diagonally across a bench or couch. This creates some unexpected visual interest.
Lower your artwork. In a photo this will make the ceiling look higher and give the room a more spacious feel. You may also need to use artwork that is more horizontal rather than vertical.
If you're selling your home, you might want to consider the value of a pet. They do create a bit of fun but may also turn away potential buyers who have allergies or just don't like pets. If you do have pets, make certain that you hide the chew toys and feeding bowls, pet beds and cages.
You can boost curb appeal by raking leaves, moving trash and recycle containers and pruning trees. Clear vehicles from the front of your home and take the cover off the barbecue.
When you've completed these steps, invite a few folks in to see the changes. They can help to identified things that you're used to seeing.
Now take some photos and see how good your space can look.