Wednesday, July 24, 2019 / by Suyapa Sauceda
When you’re trying to move, there are a ton of reasons why having fewer things in your house will help you along the way. First, you’ll save money since you won’t have to pay to transport items you don’t need. You’ll also make your home look better overall, and that will have a positive impression on buyers and agents alike. But when you have kids, trying to purge your possessions feels like an uphill battle. Keep reading for tips on how to do it and keep your home clean in the process without putting your entire family on lock down.
Offsite storage is your friend
If it’s seasonal, it can live elsewhere for a while. Keep this in mind as you start looking for ways to clear each room, including the garage and closets. Make sure to have a stockpile of heavy-duty cardboard boxes on-hand (don’t forget to label the boxes), and then fill them with winter coats, holiday decorations, and toys the kids won’t use until the weather changes (sleds in the summer, pool floats and bikes in the winter). Pack these items well and look for a reasonably sized local storage unit. Your storage unit can also hold excess furniture and small appliances that you don’t really need. Depending on the location, the costs of storage can be steep, so make sure to research special offers and promotions in your area.
Keep in mind that your buyers will probably open the closets so shoving your extra stuff there won’t make a great impression. They’ll see that storage space is low and will be more open to continuing their home search.
Tackle the emotions before you tackle the chores
One of the most difficult aspects of keeping your home clean and clear of clutter is doing so without upsetting the tiniest members of your family. Children are almost instinctively hoarders and will happily stockpile everything from broken LEGOs to pants that are two sizes too small. Have a sit-down conversation and explain to them why it’s important to keep the house clean. If possible, allow them to visit their new home or show them pictures of where their stuff will go once you’ve moved. In the meantime, reassure them they can still pick out their own clothes and keep their favorite toys close with them. This will help provide them some control during a time when emotions are likely high.
Moving is a traumatic experience, and one that family education Amy Deutsch explains essentially means starting over. Your children will be faced with establishing a new life in a new home, possibly in a new town, and this means leaving the relative security of your current home. Putting a little effort into easing the transition and the day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning and decluttering, will be less of a physical and emotional burden on your entire family.
Establish a routine
Once the clutter is gone and the kids are on board, it’s time to establish daily habits to help keep your home clean so you can be ready for a showing when the time comes. Your daily cleaning routine should include wiping down hard surfaces in the bathroom, making the beds, and clearing books, papers, magazines, and toys from the main living spaces. You should also make a point to keep dishes off the counter and clothes in the laundry room where they belong instead of on the bedroom floor.
Bankrate explains that a dirty house is a huge turnoff to buyers. Tackle the stuff strangers are likely to notice first, such as pet odors, food left in the living room, and unmade beds. Don’t be afraid to put the kids to work wiping down baseboards and folding laundry while you do the heavy-duty cleaning.
Contributed by: Kristin Louis