Even the cleanest parents know that messes and clutter are simply a fact of life with kids. On top of that, parents are busy! Between work, kids, and activities, you are always on the go. To make the most of your time when prepping your home to sell, set aside a weekend or two to clean, declutter and stage your home. Then, develop a few strategies to get the whole family on board with simple daily tasks to keep it viewing-ready.
Get Rid of Clutter
When you stay busy, the “stuff” that comes with everyday life tends to pile up, and that amount of stuff is often magnified when you have kids. Start decluttering by doing one room at a time — and don’t stop until it’s finished! Focus on surfaces where things get dumped, such as countertops, mantels, and dressers, and create storage solutions for the stuff you pick up. You also want closets and cabinets to be clean, organized, and have plenty of unused space.
To get these spots organized and space freed up, it helps tremendously to put infrequently used toys, clothes, and anything else you can live without into a nearby storage unit. Having a storage unit removes the clutter entirely from your home, which also means there’s less stuff to pick up any time you have last-minute showings. Just be sure to budget for the cost and shop around for the best prices. In Atlanta, you can rent a storage starting at $21 a month.
Along with decluttering, you also want to depersonalize your home, which includes toning down kid spaces. You may have a daughter who loves her hot pink princess room, but the average buyer would have a hard time looking past that. Along with painting more neutral colors, consolidate the toys that you don’t store. To make it easier to keep them out of sight, Good Housekeeping recommends using cubbies and other small containers where kids can drop their stuff, which can then be stowed away.
Clean Like a Pro
Saying your house needs to be clean may sound like a no-brainer, but this isn’t your everyday clean. With kids in the house, messy fingerprints end up just about everywhere. This is the time to add commonly overlooked spots to your cleaning checklist, including appliances, cabinets, windows, and blinds. Even after you have given your whole house a deep cleaning, Motherly recommends getting down at kid-level to look for any smudges or scratches you may have missed.
When you’re used to your daily lifestyle, it’s easy to forget that your setup may not be right for everyone. Many families with kids arrange furniture against walls, leaving open space for kids to play. This arrangement is less appealing to buyers, though, who would be more drawn to a living space that has a conversational seating area. Pull furniture away from walls to create a more inviting space where buyers can envision spending time with friends.
If you simply don’t have the time to do this step, hiring a professional stager can greatly help. It costs $1,056 on average to have your furniture and decor rearranged, plus it includes any rentals that are needed for the staging. Since there’s no fixed timeframe of staging and selling a home, many stagers allow you to keep the staging materials for at least three months.
Keep It Clean!
Now that your home is set up to appeal to buyers, you want to keep it that way without having to spend much of your precious time. Make cleanup quick and easy with these strategies:
- Create a “stash spot” – Whether it’s sippy cups or school papers, there are some everyday things we can’t avoid altogether. Purchase a bin or basket for each room in your home to serve as a quick catch-all to get things picked up in a snap. You can find large storage bins for under $11.
- Make less mess – Making a few switches to your routine can result in less mess. For example, you may want to order takeout more and limit cooking to oven meals only.
- Do quick chores daily – Spend just a little time each morning doing basic cleanup tasks, such as putting things back where they belong, clearing away the dishes, and spot vacuuming. Enlist kids who are old enough to help out.
When the whole family gets involved, this process is quicker and easier for everyone. And keep in mind that these changes are temporary. Buyers will be drawn to your spotless home, and you’ll be moving on in no time!
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