We are moving soon, (next month!!) which means we had to get our current house sold. I was so nervous about keeping the house “show ready” with a toddler! Kids are messy and generally have a few dozen toys. Of course it is recommended to make your house look like “no one lives there” or like a model home…so I knew I was in for some hard work. Our house was on the market for a week and after about 10 showings, we are now under contract! I am crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly and we can close without any hiccups.
Keeping your house “show ready” with a toddler is definitely not the easiest thing to do…but it’s possible! Here’s how I did it.
1. Purge, clean and pack before you list!
Seems like a no brainer, right? Our realtor told us that we would be surprised at the amount of people that don’t get their houses ready prior to listing! Of course everything needs to be deep cleaned but you also need to purge. Before you list is a great time to get this done and it also helps you take less “stuff” to your new place. If you get rid of unnecessary items in your drawers and cupboards, you’ll be able to have a place for the items sitting on your counter tops. Also, if you have things sitting around that you need to keep but won’t necessarily use in the next couple of weeks, go ahead and pack it! This could be board games, special occasion dishes, scrapbooks, movies, etc. You can put those boxes in the garage and then your house will look a little bit emptier! Also, we had a ton of toys in our living room and I decided to only keep his favorites in there and then put the rest upstairs. Turns out, he didn’t even notice they were missing. So guess what, I’m gettin rid of em!!! Oh and one more thing, clear the front of your fridge! If you have a ton of magnets or papers on it, clear it off. It will make your kitchen look much less cluttered!
2. Have a daily cleaning routine.
We should all have one of these anyways, right? I sure didn’t prior to listing our house! I’m not sure how it works everywhere but for us we would get about two hours of notice before a showing. I found that if I kept my house clean, it was much easier to get it ready quickly for a showing. It’s already difficult to clean when you have a toddler so a daily routine will really help! Mine looks like this:
- Make beds
- Clear counters and wipe them down after every meal
- Spot vacuum where needed
- Pick up toys periodically
3. Make a “master list” of what to do right before a showing.
Figure out exactly what you need to do before each showing and write it down! I kept a list so that I could refer back to it each time and make sure I didn’t forget anything. Here is how my list looked:
- Open curtains and blinds
- Wipe down all counters
- Close toilet lids and shower curtains
- Hang bath rugs
- Quickly vacuum main traffic areas
- Make beds and fold throw blankets
- Put toys away
- Clear front of fridge
- Empty the sink
This probably took me around 10 minutes each time but only because I was sticking to my daily cleaning routine!
Those are my top tips! I hope this helps if any of you are looking to sell your house. Let me know in the comments below if I forgot anything!
*All photos are by Texas Home Photo.*