How to survive selling your home when you have young kids.

How to survive selling your home when you have young kids.

After years of living in a home, things start piling up. Even the most organized homeowners grow into their houses and begin filling in every little crack and crevice with everything from furniture, games, memorabilia, or children’s toys. While filling a home over time is a normal occurrence, especially when children come into the picture, it often makes for an overwhelming project when they are ready to move.

A few years ago, I was going through a big move with my family that included my then-toddler and a number of pets. Through this not-so-simple task, I have learned some decluttering tips for getting ready to put the house up on the market and ways to effectively clean up and pack up with children that have made a huge difference in the lives of my clients and their families.

First, it is important to realize that when you are selling your home, it is likely also time to get rid of some of your past, not only to make the move easier but to limit what you plan to transfer to your new residence.

Now is the time to make the house clean and appealing to prospective owners, and also finally toss that sweater you haven’t worn for 8 years but promise you’ll wear someday.

Here are 5 tips for when you are getting your home ready to hit the market:

  1. Limit yourself to keeping a 30-60 day supply of clothes in the house, and do the same for the children. Depending on how long you plan to stay in the home before selling, begin cleaning out closets and leaving only a small amount of clothes in the home. If children are old enough, ask them to limit what they keep in the house to a minimum so the house can stay clutter-free when buyers visit.
  2. Limit kids’ toys in the house to one box or container. Kids are known for leaving a clear sign of playtime in their tracks, but you want to avoid this prior to house showings. Limit children’s toys to one box or basket to keep in the house, or if the child is old enough, ask them to choose their favorite toys to keep in the box during the move. That way, when visitors or inspectors come, the box is easily kept out of the way or ready to bring to the new home.
  3. Move unnecessary clutter off-site. If you don’t plan on throwing away old toys or donating clothes, be sure to remove any other items you plan to take with you. Not only will you have less to move when you are ready to go, but this makes the house appear cleaner and neater to a buyer.
  4. Clean the fridge of stray knick-knacks. As mentioned in a previous article, the best way to attract a buyer is to allow them the creative space to envision their life in your home. This means keeping minimal signs of you and your family on the refrigerator door, including children’s artwork, report cards, or your grocery list. If you want to keep a few favourites up before the move, make sure they are easily removable, so when you have a showing, you can put them away quickly and mess-free.
  5. Don’t stress over the floor. Skipping the extra step of mopping floors before a showing will save you time that you could be using elsewhere in the home. Sweeping the floors and keeping them generally clean will suffice, and buyers will not notice the difference.

So while the initial task of decluttering the home may seem like a daunting task, remember that all members of the family must be responsible for helping out. Just repeat the mantra “simplify, simplify, simplify,” and you will make your own move easier, and perhaps make a sale quickly, too.

For more tips on how to get your home ready for sale and to download the Ultimate Pre Sale Checklist please click here

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5 Tips on how to survive selling your home when you have young kids.