By: Kris Louis
Cleaning up after your kids is a major chore on a regular day, but it’s even harder when your house is on the market. Clutter becomes much more apparent when you start looking at your home through a potential buyer’s eyes. It might be hard to keep your home in order for showings when you have kids, but these tips can help minimize the stress.
Talk to Your Kids About Cleaning
Your kids probably already know the lecture about how important it is to clean up after themselves. However, they may not realize that it matters even more now that your house is up for sale. The Spruce says it’s important to talk to your kids about moving so they understand everything that’s going on and also feel included. If your kids know it’s a special time in their lives, they may be more excited to help out, and that includes cleaning.
Making cleaning into a game can help motivate your kids to help you out. There are lots of fun games for getting your kids excited about picking up toys and minimizing their messes.
Start Packing Up Early
If you know your house will be up on the market soon, it’s never too early to start packing. After all, the less stuff there is in the house, the less there is to tidy up before every showing. It’s easy to pack away seasonal clothes, toys, and other items. Holiday decorations and other things you only use once a year can all be temporarily stashed in a self-storage unit or a moving pod.
Keep in mind that if buyers don’t have children, they might have a harder time picturing themselves living in your home when it’s filled with kids’ stuff. Some professional home stagers recommend taking down your kids’ artwork and making a designated place for all of their things while your house is up for sale. This might also include temporarily having your kids share a bedroom to free up an extra room for staging a home office or other multi-use room.
Get Professional Help with Cleaning
Getting everything in your house clean is hard, even if you enlist the help of your kids. To address the issue, you can hire a professional to do a total house cleaning for you. However, house cleaners usually do a one-time job, meaning it’s still necessary to keep your home tidy between showings. Fortunately, there’s a solution.
If you have a busy schedule, it might be a better idea to hire a housekeeper to help with ongoing cleanliness so you don’t have to worry about it. Unlike a house cleaner, a housekeeper focuses on routine tasks that will keep your house in good shape at all times; this can include wiping down surfaces, sweeping, changing linens and even light yard work.
Have a Last-Minute Checklist
Even if you do a deep cleaning or hire a housekeeper, your house might not be in showing-ready condition at all times. It doesn't take long for a tidy house to get a little out of order when you have kids around. When a Realtor calls to set up a showing, make sure you go through a short cleaning checklist to get everything in the best shape possible.
Your kids might benefit from having their own cleaning checklist, such as this one from the Early Bird Mom. Having your kids tidy up daily will help keep the home in order between showings.
Selling a home when you still live there is a challenge. When kids are in the picture, it’s even harder. However, involving your kids in the process and having a cleaning plan for showings will help you stay on top of it all.