When it’s time to sell your home, one of the most stressful things is whipping it into shape for showings. Keeping a clean home is tough enough, but then keeping it “show-ready” is even tougher (especially if you have kids and pets)!
As a real estate agent, I can tell you that I’ve pretty much seen it all-the good, the bad, the ugly-and today, I’m going to give you some of my best tips to keep your house ready to show at a moment’s notice. Luckily, in this market, you probably won’t have showings for too long!
The big stuff
- Purge. Seriously. Hire a dumpster to park out front (if you’re local, I’ll let you know who I used right after Christmas this year). It’s an amazing way to just clear out space and open up so much room. Donate and give away what you can, then trash the rest. The decluttering process is the hardest, but I swear it’s worth it.
- Start packing. If you’re selling in the summer, pack up your winter things. You probably won’t need a parka in July. I suggest packing up everything you don’t use on a daily basis. If you have 2 Instant Pots and 2 Crock Pots, pack all but one of these appliances. It is so worth it when it comes time for a showing.
- Rent a storage unit. All of those boxes that you’ve packed from the step above need a place to live. I always recommend a climate-controlled storage unit. Everything is packed and in one place and will make the moving process so much easier when it’s time to go.
The daily stuff
- Keep some baskets for kids’ toys. If you have shelving in the living room, keep some baskets on the shelf to throw some toys in. They’re easy and look great.
- Keep clear plastic storage totes under beds. Yes, ideally you’ll pick up every night before bed. But I know that I try on an outfit (or 3) some mornings. Shoes end up left in the floor, kids’ clothes, toys, all the things. This will allow you to throw things in a bin and sort it all out when you come home.
- Use a “drop spot” to keep things you need all the time all in one place. Think: a bowl for keys and a wallet, a mail holder to keep papers in order, a phone charging station for all of your electronics. These are great on the kitchen counter, in the mudroom, or on the console table at your front door.
- If you use something, put it back where it belongs. In a perfect world we would always do this…but it’s just not that easy and I get it. At least make this a priority when your home is on the market.
- Put dishes in the dishwasher immediately. I know, I know, but the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to rush out of the house for a showing is the dishes. Stay on top of them throughout the day/week and it’s a much easier task.
- Wipe off counters in the bathroom and kitchen after you’ve done anything in those rooms.
- If you have kids, before bed every night, have a little game of “pick up” with them. Time them, reward them, bribe them 😉 Do what you’ve got to do to get that house cleaned up a bit.
- If you have pets, keep their area as clean as possible and have a plan so they have somewhere to go when you have a showing.
Happy packing and let me know what tips and tricks you’ve learned through the years!