It’s time for a bigger home to fit your growing family. But before you can settle into a new house, you need to sell the old one.
The prospect of keeping a home spotless and organized while it sells is intimidating. You can barely keep your home looking presentable with kids making messes every minute, and now you have to keep it show-ready for weeks?
Don’t panic. Your house might not look like a model home right now, but with these steps, you can quickly get it looking its best (and keep it that way!).
Break it Up
You have a lot to do to get your house into show-ready shape — but you don’t have to do it all right now. If you start early, you can tackle decluttering and organizing in manageable chunks. List all the tasks you have to complete, then set aside an hour each night for mini-organizing projects. With consistency, you can declutter your whole home in a couple of weeks before listing.
Clean High and Low — But Especially Low
Messes in an adults-only home are predictable, but kids are far more creative in where they leave dirt and grime. In addition to the usual dusting, vacuuming, and sanitizing, inspect for messes at kid-height. Nose smudges on windows, fingerprints on appliance finishes, and food splatters on the dining room wall are just a few messes to look out for.
Address the Playroom
Should you stage the playroom to appeal to family buyers or get rid of it? The answer depends on who’s buying in your area. If you’re in a suburban neighborhood filled with families, showcasing a stylish playroom could help sell your home. But if most buyers are young professionals or empty nesters, staging it as an office or guest bedroom could be the better choice. If you need to eliminate the playroom, find another home for your kids’ toys and keep the playspace contained to one area.
Pack Up the Toy Collection
If you give your kids access to every toy they own while you’re selling, expect to spend your evenings cleaning up every toy they own. Spare yourself the frustration and pack infrequently-used toys to put in storage. You can rent a storage unit for as little as $87.93 in Santa Fe, which is well worth the time and energy you’ll save.
A word of warning: Your kids won’t like watching their toys get boxed up. However, you’ll be amazed at how imaginative kids get when they don’t have limitless entertainment at their disposal! Another positive: When your kids’ toy collection is half the size, you can actually organize it so it looks nice, even in a small bedroom.
Make a Chore Chart
If your kids are old enough to help, there’s no reason you should be the only one cleaning and organizing! Make a chore chart that assigns age-appropriate tasks to kids, like cleaning the litter box, putting away dishes, and organizing their own toys. Even if your kids only do one chore each, it’s one fewer thing on your daily cleaning list.
Pack a Go Bag
When your real estate agent calls about a showing, you’ll need to spring into action. The hardest part about a last-minute showing isn’t the frantic tidying up, it’s getting everyone into the car without a fight. Make sure you’re prepared by packing a go bag with supplies to keep kids happy while out of the house. A change of clothes and a diaper bag are a must for babies. For older kids, handheld games, books, and snacks should buy you an hour of cooperation.
We can’t promise these tips will take the stress out of cleaning and staging your home. However, if all goes well, it’s only a few weeks of extra work until your home sells. When you get a great offer for your home, you’ll be glad you made the effort!