Editor’s note: In an effort to foster an environment of creative inclusivity within our industry, we encourage writers to submit their articles so that we can continue to live out our mission of educating the community on industry related topics. Here is a guest article written by Kristin Louis at parentingwithkris.com about cleaning and selling your home. Enjoy!
If you’re a parent, you already know how difficult it can be to keep your house clean when you have one or more tiny forces working against you. But a clean house is exactly what you need if you plan to sell. If the thought of putting your home on the market with little kids in the house is intimidating, stop, take a breath, and read on. We’ve got some practical advice on how to make it happen without the expense of a live-in maid.
Redesign your space
Your first task is to rearrange your living space so that its most attractive and easier to clean. Remove unnecessary pieces of furniture and don’t be shy about boxing up your coffee table trinkets. Once you have a fairly clean slate, you can go back in with accent pieces that highlight the best features of each room. Stick with the same theme throughout the main living spaces in an effort to cater to as many buyers possible.
Clean from top to bottom
A clean home equates to a sold home, so you’ll need to thoroughly attack your house in an effort to get it totally spic and span. This includes tending to often-neglected areas like ceiling fans, light fixtures, baseboards, etc. While maintenance cleaning is easy, a deep clean can be quite an undertaking. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of tackling this, go ahead and hire a cleaning service to take off some of the pressure. The average most Houston homeowners spend for a cleaning services ranges from $116 to $222. If that price tag makes you anxious, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and enlist the rest of the household.
Start the chore challenge
No matter how old – or young – your kids are, they can pitch in around the house. Call a family meeting and assign everyone a few daily jobs. This can be something as quick as wiping down the kitchen cabinets to vacuuming the floor. You can find ideas on this house cleaning checklist by Molly Maid. Plan to reward a job well done, which will motivate your children to continue lending a hand. You don’t have to spend money to do this, and your kids may even be happier with no-cost rewards such as baking with you, hosting a family picnic, or spending an afternoon visiting your local parks. If the kids are little, make sure to use chemical-free cleaners.
Keep an eye on the kids’ stuff
Chances are, your clutter conundrum isn’t so much you but your kids’ obsession for Nerf guns, LEGOs, Barbie dolls, and other toys with tiny bits and pieces. Spend some time in their bedroom looking for ways you can cut down on the excess without interfering with their quality of life. For example, if their toys are currently scattered on the floor, a small toy organizer can stow away things like blocks and doll clothes. Many also have a reading bench and bookshelf built in so you can get the most out of your money.
Kids’ bedrooms are another source of stress for busy parents trying to keep their home clean and make it presentable for its potential new owner. Consider hanging a stuffed animal hammock and challenging your child to fit as many of their beloved plushies into it as possible without them spilling all over the place. Most of these hammocks are similar and are simply a piece of reinforced mesh with grommets on three corners, but pricing varies wildly so do your research.
You may encounter some protests, but remind everyone that this upheaval is only temporary. The cleaner you – and they – keep things, the faster you’ll sell. Everyone can return to their old habits once you’re settled into your new house, but chances are they won’t want to.