Guest Post by: Kristin Louis from Parenting with Kris
When you have kids, keeping your house clean is a constant battle. So when it comes time to sell, maintaining a picture-perfect home for weeks sounds implausible at best.
But while you might not achieve a magazine-quality living room without sending the kids to Grandma’s, you can avoid scaring buyers away with a messy home.
These tips will help you keep your house clean, your kids happy, and yourself sane while selling your family home.
First, Declutter Everything
Decluttering is one of the most important things you can do when selling a house with kids. The more you declutter now, the less you have to worry about while your house is on the market. Hit your bedroom closets, kitchen cabinets, play room, garage, and everywhere else that clutter accumulates.
This isn’t the time to be wishy-washy about what to sell and what to donate. Avoid heaping items into the “maybe” pile and toss anything you rarely use, plan to replace, or that your kids have outgrown. Keep the toys your kids use weekly, but pack everything else up for donation or storage.
Pack Everything But the Necessities
Yes, storage! Normally a storage unit is a waste of money, but the $100 you spend on a self-storage unit per month while moving will save you immeasurable stress. If you don’t need it before you move, pack it up and get it out of the way! This includes things like:
● Family photos, artwork, and collectible items.
● Seasonal clothing, decorations, and recreational equipment.
● Kitchen knick knacks and countertop appliances.
● Spare linens, towels, and blankets.
● Old and oversized furniture.
● Files and paperwork.
● Books, media, and games.
● Arts and craft supplies.
● Anything that’s already stored in attics, basements, and garages.
Rethink Your Old Furniture
Furniture takes a beating with kids in the house. If your old couches and furniture aren’t showing off your home’s best side, consider investing in home staging. A professional stager can bring in new furniture or make the most of what you have depending on your budget. They can also point out issues that might keep your home from selling — issues you barely notice after years of living there!
Hire a Cleaning Service
This might sound crazy, especially if you’re already living on a tight budget. But the time and stress that a cleaning service saves is well worth the cost. In exchange for about $150 a week, you can eliminate time-consuming chores from your to-do list and focus your energy on daily upkeep like tidying up, sweeping the floors, and doing laundry.
Keep in mind that the initial deep clean may cost more than weekly maintenance, but it’s a smart investment nonetheless. A professional deep clean will hit all the nooks and crannies you overlook so your house hits the market looking (and smelling) its best.
Have a Get-Out Game Plan
The final hurdle is the hardest: Getting your kids out of the house when prospective buyers are on the way. Rather than struggle to get kids dressed and diaper bags packed, keep spare clothes, coats, shoes, and supplies in a tote in your trunk. With everything you need already in the car, you can hit the road with less stress.
Whatever you do, don’t skip these steps when preparing your home to sell. While you might get your house on the market sooner, you’ll spend a lot more time waiting for an offer if you don’t put your home’s best foot forward. And we all know what that means: More time cleaning up messes, wrangling kids before showings, and stressing over why your home won’t sell!
Thank you to Kristin for writing this great blog post. Please check out her site at Parenting with Kris.