Apr 13

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Even Busy Parents Can Become Property Staging Experts with These Cleaning Tips

Blog Post Courtesy of Kristin Louis. Email klouis@parentingwithkris.com for more practical tips or check out her website – Parenting with Kris

Prepping a home for sale involves a lot of strategy and planning. For busy parents, it can be challenging to keep a property spotless and ready to show. However, there are shortcuts to maintaining a clutter-free and perfectly staged home—even with children underfoot. Here are the tips you need to become an expert.

Think About Splurging on Professional Help

Outsourcing is an excellent way to maintain a ready-to-show property. For busy families, it may even be a necessity—especially if messes tend to follow your kids everywhere they go. While your house is on the market, budget for weekly or bi-weekly cleaning to help you stay on top of clutter and dust. In the Austin area, interior cleaning costs between $117 and $218.

Have a Method and Stick with It

Whether you hire a service or not, you’ll still need to manage clutter and your family’s belongings before showings. If the deep cleaning is already complete, a quick cleanup process may be the solution to removing trip hazards and personal items from your living space.

You can schedule cleanup time daily in five-to-ten-minute increments that the whole family can participate in. If everyone helps, a few fast-paced pickups each day always ensures you’re home is show-ready. Even young children can help declutter or clean, as long as your cleaning products are non-toxic.

Cleaning your home in less time is also simpler if you have a set process. For example, Popular Mechanics suggests working from left to right when cleaning each room. An orderly process can feel less frantic, too.

Address the Elephant in the Room: Smells

When you’re living in a home while it’s on the market, life must go on. That can mean musty bathrooms, odors left over from cooking, and even trash cans that emit undesirable smells. While Good Housekeeping suggests initial steps like cleaning out your garbage disposal and shampooing carpets and rugs (expect to pay $125 – $250 for a professional cleaning), other scent-related tasks are simpler.

Once you have the carpets and drains clean, maintain a fresh home with lightly scented candles, a simmering of herbs and fruit on the stove, and a few open windows. Remember not to overwhelm prospective buyers’ noses—think of subtle scents like vanilla, citrus, pine, and other natural elements. 

Hide What You Can’t Get Rid Of

Staging your children’s rooms—and ensuring they’re clutter-free—is one of the most difficult parts of preparing for a showing. Especially with younger children, scaling down their possessions can be a struggle. If you’re not able to pre-pack before selling your home, think about hiding the things you can’t adequately stage.

For example, you might grab storage bins to toss toys in before prospective buyers arrive. Stowing boxes or bags of toys in a closet or even your vehicle trunk can go a long way toward creating a cleaner living space. After all, more belongings make your home feel personal—the complete opposite of what you want to showcase to buyers.

Of course, getting rid of excess toys entirely might be better in the long run. Studies have shown that children play better with fewer toys, notes Motherly—and scaling down can go hand in hand with packing for a move.

Spend Less Time at Home (Or in Specific Rooms)

While you may not have a new home to move into yet, spending less time in the one you’re selling can help keep it cleaner. As a busy family, you’re likely out of the house often anyway. But planning some extra outings—even if it’s to the local park or play space—can help keep clutter to a minimum. Plus, you’ll need ideas for keeping your family occupied during short-notice showings. 

Getting ready to sell your home means extra work, but you can also hasten the sale by keeping the property in sparkling condition. Fortunately, with these tips, you’ll become an expert in quick cleaning for last-minute showings. And soon, you can apply the same clutter-reducing tips to your new home, too.

Photo via Pixabay

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