“No one touch a thing until this house sells!”
If that doesn’t sound practical, don’t worry. When you are living in your home, it’s impossible to not live in your home. It will get dirty. But when your home is for sale, you always want to keep it looking great for potential home buyers. Here are some practical tips we’ve seen work well for homeowners.
1. Declutter. Homes with less clutter show better, and the less stuff, the less you have to clean. Go ahead and pack up what you don’t really need before you even put your house on the market.
2. Go room-by-room, top-to-bottom, left-to-right. The key here is that you don’t want to get overwhelmed because you don’t even know where to start. Pick a room and follow the same sequence each time. It will keep you focused and on task.
3. Use mobile storage. Things like toys and pet supplies may be essential to everyday life but can get in the way during a showing. Use boxes and totes that can be quickly packed up and put into the car on your way out.
4. Find a hidden place for “junk”. Maybe it’s a deep closet where you can store a small box or some extra suitcases. You may have items like mail, newspapers, magazines, extra blankets, hard to stow toys, etc. that you use frequently, but don’t want sitting around during a showing. Having a place you can toss items in a pinch can be helpful for a quick cleanup.
5. Use grocery bags for trash. Most homeowners have small trash baskets all over their homes. Utilize small grocery bags instead of trash bags and you can quickly grab and toss your trash before a showing.
6. Utilize good habits. If making your bed and immediately cleaning up dishes aren’t already habits of yours, now is a good time to start. Spending a few minutes each day making sure the little things are tidy will help you avoid panicking when someone wants to see your home.
7. Create daily chores. For the items that need done every few days or weekly, create a system where you are doing just a few of these things a day. If you have kids, be sure to get them involved too.
8. Do laundry more often. Maybe you typically do laundry on Sundays and have quite a pile going by the time the weekend comes around. While your house is on the market, do smaller, more manageable loads of laundry every couple of days.
9. Focus on the rooms that matter most. If you don’t have time to clean every room, focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These rooms are the rooms that potential homeowners will focus on most. Things like countertops, floors, and tubs should be sparkling clean. Clean white towels can be quickly switched out for a clean, classic look.
10. Share a bathroom. This might not work for everyone, but especially if you have kids, sharing a bathroom temporarily can help tremendously. Bathrooms take a lot of time to clean, so keeping the mess to one bathroom while keeping the others nice and neat can be a huge time saver.
11. Consider a weekend away. If you have a few days with multiple showings, it can be a big stress reducer to plan some time away. Clean once, enjoy your time away, and avoid the multiple clean-ups all together!
Do you have any tips for getting your home ready? We’d love to hear them!