Selling your home is a big and stressful life event. Among the many details to figure out, such as whether to use a real estate agent, pricing and negotiating, title and mortgage transfer, it can frequently feel very overwhelming. One of the most difficult aspects, however, may be simply cleaning your home and keeping it showroom ready all day, every day. With children, it isn’t easy, but it can be done with a few little tips and tricks.
Deep Initial Clean
The first step is to deep clean every space in your home. This can feel daunting, especially for a busy parent with a full daily to-do list. Taste of Home has a great master checklist to help you get started. Tackle one room a day, taking care to clean from top to bottom. The more thorough you clean initially, the less time it will take to maintain in the future. Notice the details like the tile grout, sink fixtures, and bathroom cabinet doors. Especially if you have children, these areas are likely to accumulate residue like old toothpaste or random playdough. It’s important to note that you don’t need to spend a lot of money purchasing specialty cleaners for each area. Instead, you can use supplies you likely already have on hand to make your own cleaners.
Time to Purge
Once it’s clean, decluttering your home is an important aspect when getting it ready to show. Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home and not be distracted by all your belongings. This is a great time to tackle the cluttered areas in your home. Designate the items you wish to keep, trash, and donate as you go. Your children can help participate in this activity by turning it into a fun game. According to Vogue, one mom confesses to paying her daughter 50 cents for every toy she gets rid of, and as a result, her daughter eagerly and happily cleared out boxes of toys. After getting rid of extra belongings, you may need to store additional items in bins to ensure that countertops remain clear and tidy.
Keeping it Clean
Once you have achieved a beautifully clean and tidy home, you now have the challenge to maintain that state of perfection in the coming weeks prior to a sale. While it’s not fun, it’s helpful to get in the habit of cleaning as you go. Instead of stepping over the discarded toys or walking by the mail pile thrown onto the counter, stop and put away the toys or take a few minutes to go through the mail and properly sort it. To help keep the bathrooms clean, encourage all members of the family to use the same bathroom. It will be easier to stay on top of one bathroom rather than running around checking each one. Also, enlist the whole family in the cycle of laundry to ensure that dirty laundry doesn’t start to pile up. Remember, this is only temporary!
Despite your best efforts to keep your house as clean as possible, there is always the dreaded phone call from your realtor with a last-minute, no-notice showing. Don’t panic, as there are several quick things you can do to get your house ready. Keep an empty bin in each room. When you have to tidy up quickly, you can put all stray items into each bin and store them in the garage out of sight. Give each surface, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, a quick wipe down. Grab all the trashcan liners from each room to carry out with you and toss in the dumpster. Lastly, make sure your home smells great by either turning on essential oil diffusers or simmering some cinnamon sticks and orange slices on the stovetop.
Getting your home ready to sell is a lot of work, and keeping it clean can often seem daunting and time-consuming. But if you have a plan in place, you will have your home sold in no time.
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