Little people are messy. They leave their toys out and leave wrappers on the couch. Even if you’re a strict parent, you know what we are talking about. Moving is hard and it’s even harder when you have kids, especially showing your house with kids at home. They keep eating, playing, changing clothes and making a mess! We know it can be frustrating, even if we love those tiny humans more than anything. If you have kids, keeping your home show-ready at all times when it’s on the market is going to be a challenge. Here are a few tips and tricks to make showing your house with kids easier.
Baskets Are Your Friends
Whether they are hampers, toy baskets in room, or decorative boxes and chests in the living room, give yourself the ability to toss random toys and clothes into something that looks nice when closed. Baskets can be used to store almost anything. It seems simple, but a small investment in ways to hide things can go a long way – and save a lot of time!
Keep a Stash of Clorox Wipes
No matter the brand or if you just use baby wipes, having a handy way to wipe the counters and door handles in a jiffy is a true lifesaver. No one wants to see fingerprints on the refrigerator or toothpaste in the sink. Wipes are amazing tools that are essential for showing a house when you have kids.
Put Together an Extra Bag for the Car
Sometimes a showing comes at an inopportune time and the thought of packing a bag of snacks and activities (and baby items if necessary) can be daunting. Give yourself a break and have non-perishable food and go-to games and books in the car for that day when you don’t know what to do for an hour and you end up at the park.
Okay, we know you’ve already heard this from your agent and every other source of tips and tricks for home showings. But take it from us – it’s never more important than when you have kids. By minimizing what needs to be straightened up, wiped down or hidden, you are saving yourself from last minute clean up, pre-showing stress.
Limit Clothing Options for a While
This either sounds like a cruel punishment or a minimalist’s dream, but everyone in the family can usually pare down their wardrobe, especially kids. When you cut down on the piles of laundry, random socks or coats in every room, it’s that much easier to manage. One coat, two pairs of shoes and a “capsule wardrobe” for kids can be life-changing.
Make Clean-up a Game
This is a tried-and-true method for preschool teachers, but singing a clean-up song or making straightening up a certain area a race, kids are infinitely more interested in engaging in the activity of cleaning. Mary Poppins said it best, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” It is your job to help your children find that fun in your home showings. Trust us, your life will be easier if they help!
Only Allow Food in the Kitchen and/or Dining area
Either you already have this rule in place or you’ve tried and failed. That is what happens to most. You say food only in the kitchen and popcorn sneaks into the family room and goldfish sneak into the basement. But if there is a time to enforce this rule, it’s during selling time. Potential buyers are not fans of hidden rotting fruit or the random Cheerios under the coffee table.
Use Closets and Storage Areas Wisely
Once again, you probably have had advice from an agent or stager that has talked about what to remove and where to hide it. But with kids, it’s that much more important. You or your children may not want to get rid of those old toys or sentimental items, but put them up high and out of sight. Chances are that you can then even sell them once everyone forgets completely about their existence.
Manage Your Stress
On a more emotional level, remember not to allow stress to affect your lives completely. Yes, stress may be heightened during this finite period of time, but find ways that calm your family when chaos seems to take over. There are ways to limit your stress when moving. Breathe, go for a run, listen to calming music in the car, dance, just do whatever works for your family.
Set Family-Oriented Goals
What motivates your family? Movies? Putt-putt? A new book? Don’t think of them as bribes, but incentives to keep the house clean a certain amount of time or for cooperating. Then you can ultimately do something fun as a family, which is a win-win!
Call it cliché, but we all know that having kids is the ultimate joy and the hardest thing on the planet. Hopefully, these tips will help you show your house when you have kids. If you are looking to buy or sell a home? Let Trelora help!
Trelora real estate serves the Colorado Front Range and Seattle Metro Area and our mission is simple: full service real estate for a fraction of the cost. When you hire a traditional agent to help you buy or sell your home, you pay that agent 3-6% of the home’s value.
When you hire Trelora, you pay one flat fee rather than a variable commission on the price of your home. You’ll also get best-in-class customer service, a team of expert agents who close hundreds of deals per year, a proprietary technology platform that puts you in the driver’s seat and an average refund of $13,500 in Colorado and $18,000 in Seattle. (Money that can definitely help with the costs of raising kids, for sure!)
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