Maintaining a show-ready house while you wait for your home to sell is hard enough. Doing it with kids? Now that can feel downright impossible. It is challenging to keep a home clean and staged when you have children, especially if your kids aren’t old enough to help with chores. However, believe it or not, it can be done! These are the best strategies for keeping your home clean and organized while it’s on the market.
The way you stage your home greatly influences how easy it is to clean.
The first rule of home staging is to remove things, not hide them. If you stuff clutter into boxes and shove the boxes in closets to keep it out of sight, it’s only a matter of time before those boxes are dragged out by curious kids. Overstuffed storage areas also give buyers the impression that your house doesn’t have enough space for the average family. Instead of simply hiding the excess, put it in storage. With less furniture and fewer possessions in your home, there’s less for kids to make a mess with and your home looks more stylish and spacious.
The next thing you need to do is depersonalize. Instead of looking like your home, you want your house to look like it could be anybody’s home. Don’t feel bad if you struggle with this — most homeowners do! If it fits your budget, the best solution is to hire a professional home stager. A professional stager helps you cull anything potentially distracting to buyers and redecorate for broad appeal. A professional can also bring in rental furniture and décor, a great option if you’ve been holding out on new furniture until the kids are older.
When it comes to keeping a clean house, your biggest worry isn’t toys scattered across the floor or unmade kids’ beds. What you need to worry about most is muddy feet running across the carpet, juice stains on the couch, and other messes that can’t be solved in a few minutes.
Avoid major messes by moving children’s play areas to rooms that are easy to clean, like a dining room with hard floors and no upholstered furniture. If you don’t have a suitable area, create one. Enclose an area with child gates (there are plenty of affordable options starting at $14.99 on Amazon) and lay a play mat or washable rug to protect carpeting against stains. Pack your kids’ favorite toys in portable containers, and when they’re done using them, pack everything up and store it out of sight. While it’s more of a hassle than letting your kids run free, it’s preferable to paying for professional carpet cleaning twice!
You might not have much notice before a showing, so it’s important to maintain a baseline of cleanliness in your home. That’s easier said than done when you have kids, of course, but daily cleaning keeps messes to a minimum so you only have to tidy up before showings.
Dishes, laundry, and toys should be put away daily and high-traffic areas swept and vacuumed. Ensure beds are made before leaving the house in the morning and keep pet areas clean and waste-free. If you struggle to find the time for housekeeping, sign kids up for extra time at daycare or hire a babysitter so you can focus on upkeep.
If you want to ensure that your home looks its absolute best, or you want to make sure areas that often get neglected are properly addressed, consider hiring a maid service to give your space the tidying-up it truly deserves. What’s more, when the service has finished its job, all you have to do is simple maintenance! In Albuquerque, homeowners on average pay between $141 and $292 for a maid service, which could end up being well worth the money.
Once the big stuff is taken care of, all you have to worry about before showings are last-minute tasks like taking out the trash and picking up clutter. Make a checklist of everything you need to do before showings and post it near the front door so you don’t miss anything!
As a parent, you’re used to brushing off little messes and accepting that your house doesn’t look magazine-worthy. However, a clean and well-staged home is necessary if you want the highest offers for your home. By making these changes while your house is on the market, you can keep your house looking great with less hassle.
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