When you list your home for sale, your top priority is to make a memorable first impression, which means a little preparation is necessary. As a busy parent, with little ones at home and the messes that come along with them, this can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re also on a tight budget. Fortunately, these time- and money-saving strategies help make your whole house shine and keep it in viewer-ready condition.
Declutter and Deep Clean
Clutter is a fact of life, as families with kids know all too well. Even though we all know that, prospective buyers might have trouble picturing themselves in your home if they see vibrant wall colors or personalized family photos. Start decluttering by going room by room and deciding what items you still use and what could be sold or donated. The good news is it doesn’t cost a thing to clear surfaces and remove large furniture pieces, and these simple steps make your home feel bigger and more open. Next, pack away family photos and any accessories or artwork that are especially personal.
In a home with kids, toys can be the biggest hurdle to staging. To keep the peace and still make your home to appeal to buyers, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate recommends designating one room for kids rather than trying to remove toys entirely. The toy room should still be neat and organized, and if you need extra storage, search for cashback offers at retailers like Lowe’s or online discounts at stores like Target.
Focus on High Impact Projects
While you may not be able to remodel your entire home, small projects can be low cost and make a big impact. Painting walls, for example, is an inexpensive way to give your home a quick facelift, and with online sales, you can paint at a fraction of the cost. If painting your whole house is too big to tackle, prioritize high-traffic areas that are more likely to show some wear.
Painting is also a great way to make bathrooms and kitchens look current. Choose a light color or white to paint cabinets, making them look more modern at a fraction of the cost to replace them. Replace outdated brass fixtures with inexpensive brushed nickel for an updated look.
Set the Stage
You can’t leave walls bare after packing away personal items, so you need to bring in some key pieces that give a modern and homey feel. Pick just one or two simple things you can do in each room to create that impression. Home improvement stores like Home Depot are a great source for inexpensive paintings that give a pop of color. In the kitchen, make sure countertops are cleared except for simple but nice-looking everyday items, such as a wooden cutting board. Purchase new towels to give bathrooms a spa look, and color-coordinating linens for bedrooms.
Keep It Clean
After doing all the work to get your home clean and staged, the reality is that your family still has to live there. Give your home a thorough deep clean before staging so that it’s sparkling. Then, get the whole family to do small cleanup tasks daily so it stays that way. Everyone should make beds first thing in the morning, and designate one family member to wipe surfaces each day. Make everyday clutter easier to manage by purchasing small bins for each family member to clear away their stuff at the end of the day. You can also decrease the amount of dirt that comes inside by using only one door and setting up a spot for shoes just inside the house.
There’s no doubt that keeping a home sparkling clean isn’t easy with kids around, but with vigilance and a plan of action, it’s absolutely doable. Start with decluttering and deep cleaning, and don’t hesitate to invest in storage to keep toys in their place. The small investment of time and money will be well worth the effort.
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