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12 Tips When Preparing to Show a Home with Kids

Our home has been on the market for only two short weeks.  Yet in that time we've had an open house and five showings.  Needless to say we're exhausted and our kiddos are losing their minds.  With each showing we get better at being prepared.  Here are our 12 tips when preparing to show a home with kids.

12 Tips When Preparing to Show a Home with Kids
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Realtors often give the following advice when you're showing a home.

  • Make sure your home is clean.
  • Get rid of clutter.
  • Hide personal belongings and hygiene items.

As we've worked hard to do these three things, we've come up with the following solutions to make the process easier. We want to sell our home as quickly as possible.

12 Tips When Preparing to Show a Home with Kids

1.  Use toiletry bags meant for travel to store all of your family's personal hygiene items. When you receive a call to show your home, you can just pack the bags away under your bed or in another hidden place.

2.  Simplify bed making to one blanket and sheets.  In some cases depending on the person you can eliminate the flat sheet.  This makes for easy bed making as you're rushing around trying to make sure everything is perfect.

3. Minimize wardrobes.  The fewer outfits each person has to wear the less laundry you will need to do at any given time. The less laundry there is to do, the less time you'll have to spend last minute folding it and putting it away.  Pack clothing items you won't be using so there's no chance they can be used to make another mess.

4.  Use paper plates and bowls.  You never know when you're going to get a call to show your home.  If your counter is full of dirty dishes or it's just after meal time and you only have an hour to get things ready, the last thing you want to do is spend your time washing dishes.

5.  Keep a bin filled with quick accessories to display when showing your home. This bin may include clean dish towels, a throw rug, table cloth with napkins etc.  Basically this is the bin you use for things you want to keep clean at all times.  Pack up these items the minute you return to your home to ensure they stay clean and ready.

6.  Create a daily pick up schedule for kids' bedrooms and play areas.  This may include picking up toys as part of morning and bedtime routines.  Picking up toys at least once daily will help you and your kids stay on top of the mess.

7.  Minimize toys.  Keep your child's favorite toys out and pack all others away.  This way daily messes won't get out of hand and you'll have the time you need to pick things up as quickly as possible.

8.  Have kids help with daily chores to keep the house in order, if they don't already.  These daily chores will help you stay on top of housework and ensure that the house is ready to show at any time.

9.  Choose a day each week to do deep cleaning tasks.  If these tasks are done on a weekly basis, there will be no need to do them just before showings when called last minute.  Kids can participate in this as well.  Just be sure to be flexible with your schedule in case you get a call to show your home on your designated cleaning day.

10.  Prepare quick and easy meals that don't involve the use of an oven (just in case you get a call to show the house while something is baking). Make sure avoid prepping foods with strong odors.  It seems every time we show our home it's close to mealtime.

11.  Create a hidden space to keep the family calendar, permission slips, chore charts and other important paperwork.  Keep things in a place where you can access them when needed, but hidden enough out of site for showings.

12.  Plan something for your kids to do while you're getting your home ready.  They will need to be able to do something that requires minimal adult supervision.  The worst thing to have happen is finish preparing one area of your home only to find another completely trashed.  If you have infants and toddlers, arrange for a babysitter ahead of time if possible.

Preparing a home to sell can be extremely stressful and exhausting.  The stress of needing to have your home ready to show at any moment is enough to drive anyone crazy.  These tips have been lifesavers for us. We hope they help you as well.

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12 Tips When Preparing to Show a Home with Kids

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