8 Ways to Keep Your Home Show-Ready with Kids

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If you have kids then you also probably have a mess on your hands. Constantly picking up after them can be especially exhausting when your house is on the market. A bit of organization and a few essential tips will help you manage any messes and keep your home show-ready for interested house hunters.

1. Keep Your Home Free of Clutter
Having a garage sale, selling items online or donating them to a local charity can help you get rid of the clutter, but then you’ll need to keep it that way. That means designating a home for all of your children’s items and communicating where you expect these things to live at the end of the day. Make sure the backpack goes to the hanger in their closet, dirty dishes go in the dishwasher and toys are put away in their room.

2. Have a Designated Kid Area
Part of properly staging a home is providing every room with a purpose. Leaving office supplies in the dining room or exercise equipment in the bedroom can signal to buyers that your home will be too small for their needs. Keep the toys in the bedroom and toy room to avoid sending the wrong message to house hunters.

3. Clear Up Unused Toys
Younger kids tend to collect a lot of toys, but they can grow out of them as quickly as they get them. To reduce the potential for piles of toys to lie on the floor and trip buyers, just keep out their favorite toys. The rest you should donate or pack away for moving day!

4. Create Clever Storage Solutions
Whatever toys you decide to keep will need a designated space to call home. Hat boxes, baskets or storage ottomans are great places to conceal toys in a creative way and are easy to pick up before buyers check out your space.

5. Stay Consistent with Daily Chores
Consider making a game out of cleaning or set up a reward system to engage your kids to help with the daily chores. Most kids should be able to help make their beds, put away their toys and clothes. Kids can also clear the table, dust and help clean the dishes to maintain a show-ready space while on the market.

6. Prevent Laundry Pile Up
If you have a lot of laundry that piles up in your home, don’t wait for laundry day! Get into the routine of washing your kids clothes as soon as you have a full load. Doing so will not only reduce the laundry pile up it will also help prevent any unwanted odor.

7. Make Some Grab & Go Bags
Sometimes you need to get your kids out of the house to provide the best showing. Have a bag already packed for them to spend an hour or so away from home with all their favorites including toys, treats, or diapers.

8. Plan Some Activities
It may be a good idea to plan some activities for your kids while your home is on the market. Heading to museums, parks, swimming pools, grandparents house will give your kids – and the lucky parent or family member – time away so that you can show your home without interruption.

Remember to keep your kids involved in the process. Tell them what’s happening and get them excited about your move. This way they’ll be more eager to pitch-in and do their part. Remind them this situation isn’t permanent. Following these tips will not only help you keep your home show-ready, but it can also be good practice for when you move into your new home.

Tori Toth is a Certified Home Staging Expert, Regional Vice President for Real Estate Staging Association, owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc and the creator of the Stage 2 Sell Strategy home staging course. She has been interviewed on CNN Money and was named a Professional Stager of the Year Finalist in 2012. For more tips on how to maintain a staged home read Feel At Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell.