Selling a home can be a stressful time for anyone, but trying to sell your house with a gaggle of full-time, live-in children can put even the most patient parents on edge. How do you make the most of your current home, giving it the necessary pizzazz to get it sold? And how do you tidy up, given you have children, when you get a last-minute call for a showing? Here are a few tricks to tidy up your house and get it prepped for a sale.


Make Room for Everyone 


The main focus for showing your home is to sell it, and you can do that if you woo potential home buyers into imagining themselves in your home. To do that, you may need to remove personal items or items that are specifically tailored to your family. While potential homebuyers may have children themselves, it’s worth spending some time staging your home so that it appeals to the widest range of buyers possible. Staging a children’s room with a daybed versus a princess bed with pink streamers may appeal more to a family with growing boys. Consider converting playrooms into multi-purpose rooms — maybe a den or more sophisticated media room. This Old House offers a few ideas for transforming spaces into welcoming, tidy spots.  


Make Cleaning Up a Game 


If you haven’t already, make an afternoon (or weekend) of going through the tedious task of sorting items you and your family may no longer need. There are certain things, such as expired pantry items, broken toys, or outgrown clothes that are a no-brainer. According to Apartment Therapy, there are at least 20 items you can get rid of right now. And it can be as easy as identifying which items to keep, toss, or donate (or sell).  If you get a last-minute request to show your home, getting the kids involved in tidying up will help speed up the process. Try practicing the “Tidying Up Speed Game” or the “Laundry Dash” ahead of time. 


Shine Where You Can 


While readying your home for sale, take note of any minor repairs you can do that may make a big impact. If you aren’t up for patching, caulking, or painting, a melamine foam eraser pad can take scuffs and scratches off well-used walls. Consider patching up other spots with their original paint. A few well-placed plants can add life and freshen up otherwise stale-looking areas. Be sure to clean large surface areas such as your refrigerator (also remove personalized photos and homework for the time being) and mirrors, making them sparkle when potential homebuyers walk through. 


Last-Minute Tips for a Sizzling Sale 


Tidying up, by definition, means to put things in order. Hopefully you’ve moved some things around, have moved some things out, and are ready for your open house. There are some highly impactful last-minute tricks you can use to make your home seem more inviting. Here’s a handy checklist of items your family can tackle 30-min before your open house. Have the kids pay attention to the smell of your home. Anything fishy? Lighting a few candles might help. Open blinds and curtains to let as much light in as possible. Play “I Spy” with the kids, identifying anything that looks out of place. 


Selling your home is a stressful time, especially if there are children in the house. Spending some time prepping your home before your first open house and by encouraging the kids to get involved ensures less stress when it’s go time.  


Image via Pexels

— author, Kristin Louis