No matter how you look at it, selling your home is an inconvenience when you are trying to live in it at the same time. You had the professional home stager in to tell you what needed done and you followed the instructions to the tee. The home looked beautiful. Only one problem; now you have to keep it that way!
Living in a home while trying to sell it is quite different than how most of us are used to living. Now you have to follow the kids around picking up after them; you have to remember to put all those clean clothes away immediately, you can’t leave those dishes in the sink, your husband keeps leaving his shoes in the middle of the bedroom floor along with a few other unmentionables, and you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get ready for that next showing. On top of that you have to stop everything you’re doing and try to figure out where you are going to go and what you are going to do for 2 hours while strangers wander through your home.
To make things even worse, you have those last minute showings. You know the ones, “they’re only in town for half a day and need to get in now; they work really weird days and hours and this evening at 8 p.m. is the only time they can view the home; they just saw your home listed and they’ve already lost out on 2 other homes so they have to get in to see it ASAP”… Wow, really?
In order to save your sanity and to make the whole process easier on you and your family, it’s important to first, get organized and then to stay organized. Being organized will help you find a balance between living in and showing your home and it will help you keep your sanity.
If you’re not already one of those people who live by the “a place for everything and everything in its place” rule, living in and showing a staged home can become challenging. Especially when there are children involved.
The best way to start getting organized is to identify exactly where “everything’s” place is. A good place to start is by having a designated place to hang up coats and backpacks, and a place to put those wet, muddy or dirty shoes. That may mean in the closet at the front door or the mudroom next to the garage. If you don’t have either of those or they are not in an easily accessible place, think about adding some nice coat hooks and wicker baskets by the door (just remember not to block the doorway). Follow through by helping the kids remember to take those items off and put them away as soon as they come in the door. If they don’t remember it, send them right back to do it.
Next, add decorative baskets to put your personal items in (wicker works great and there are some very nice, inexpensive baskets at places like Gordman’s or Tuesday Morning). These can be placed under the sink in each bathroom and used to store the things you need to everyday but don’t really want sitting on your counter or in your tub. For example use these for your toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cream rinse, razors, etc. Then make it a rule/habit to immediately place those in the appropriate basket after each use. If you make the basket nice enough; e.g., add some greenery or flowers, you may be able to leave the basket out. This is especially helpful where there isn’t a lot of storage space under the sink.
To keep your counters and tables free of clutter, identify a drawer in the office or kitchen where all your mail or last minute paperwork is placed. Just remember your buyers will be looking in all the drawers so don’t overload them! Take care of as much as you can when you first open your mail; toss out the junk right away and sort what you need to work on.
If you don’t already have one for each bedroom, add a nice decorative laundry hamper so that dirty clothes can be kept out of site. Make sure everyone uses them as soon as they take the clothes off. This helps keep all your bedrooms looking nice. If there isn’t room in the bedroom, see if one will fit nicely in the bathroom.
Go through and get rid of the toys your children no longer use, or those that they don’t need or that are broken. I know that’s a lot easier said than done and it may mean you need to do some of that while they are in school. It will be worth it. Add a toy box or small dresser for storage of all toys. If there isn’t a lot of room in the bedroom itself, you may be able to place the toy box in the closet.
Make it a priority that everyone makes his or her bed every morning and puts away their pajamas. You may want to give a reward or treat to those kids who make their bed without you having to remind them.
Last, keep a dry mop handy to clean up hard floor surfaces and remember to dust and run the vacuum every couple of days. If you have pets keep a squeegee handy and, every day or two, drag it over the carpet and floors to pick up the pet hair.
They say it only takes doing something twenty times to make it a habit. I don’t know if that is true or not, but its sure worth a try. Getting a routine down will make it easier on you to help you prepare for last minute showings. And who knows, those cleaning habits may hold for your children even after the house is sold!
If you’re getting ready to put your home up for sale, we at Colorado Premier Staging would be pleased and honored to offer you our services. Give us a call today or send us an e-mail.