You've put in a lot of work to get your home clean, decluttered, and looking its “Show-Ready” best. All that's left is for potential buyers to come in and admire their future living space!
Of course, it's never quite that easy. Sometimes buyers will make appointments well ahead of time, so you'll have time to pick up and put away any toys and games your kids may have spread out all over your carefully decluttered rooms. But often, buyers want to see your home with very little notice. And since the kids aren't likely to stop playing with toys or, you know, being kids while your home is up for sale, we've put together a few tips to help you stay “Show-Ready”.
Tip 1: Pare Down the Toys
Chances are good your kids have accumulated far more toys and games than they actually use on a regular basis. Rather than trying to keep ALL of your kids' toys in the house at all times — which just means more for you to keep track of clean up — put the toys into several smaller boxes. Let each child have one box in the house at a time. Keep the other boxes shelved, or in storage, and swap them out from time to time. You'll have fewer toys to keep picking up, and the kids will feel like they keep “discovering” toys they'd forgotten about as different boxes get swapped in.
Tip 2: Confine the Toys
Ever notice how toys have a tendency to… roam? While your house is staged for sale, prevent that from happening by confining toys to the kids' playroom and/or bedrooms. It will be much faster and easier for you and the kids to pick up and put away toys that are all in one place than to run through the house looking for stray toys and game pieces that have roamed to various locations.
Tip 3: Put Away the Outdoor Toys, Too
Just because they “live” outside doesn't mean the outdoor toys don't need to be decluttered and put away too! Skateboards, scooters, bikes, and sporting equipment should be put away as soon as your kids are done using them. Make sure that wherever they're being stored isn't obstructing any doors or walkways. (Even if you've gotten used to walking around them, you don't want to ask a prospective buyer to do the same!)
Tip 4: Banish Tiny Pieces
As much as possible without inciting family drama (we know some kids are really attached to their Legos!), try to put the toys and games with the multitude of tiny pieces in storage for now. It might not seem like a big deal to have a few games with lots of little pieces left out… until you get a call that a very interested buyer wants to view your house right away, and you're scrambling to pick all those tiny pieces up while simultaneously making sure kids are dressed, counters are wiped down, bathrooms are freshened up, and wait, is that another tiny piece that you see after you just put the box away… ?
Tip 5: Show Your Floorspace
It isn't just the tiny pieces you need to remove during this time. You also want to make sure that you're not keeping so many large play items in the kids' areas that your floorspace is eaten up. Remember that buyers want to see the potential of your space, not just what you're doing with it. That means that instead of keeping the large doll house, kitchen play set, indoor jungle gym, and race track, you're probably better off choosing just one, and putting the rest in storage.
Tip 6: Get the Kids Involved
Kids who are old enough to help out can get involved in the staging maintenance. It can become a part of the family chore chart, or it can be a way for them to earn special privileges or incentives. Good tasks for involving children include making their beds, vacuuming, dusting, putting away books and magazines, and putting their own rooms in order each day.
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