Kids and Selling Your Home: 5 Tips For Keeping It Tidy

The prospect of trying to keep it tidy for showings around the clock when you list your home can be overwhelming. Here are 5 tips to help you manage.

Kids and Selling Your Home: 5 Tips For Keeping It Tidy

keeping a tidy home with kids

If you have children at home then you understand how hard it is to keep your house clean for longer than 10 minutes. The prospect of trying to keep it tidy for showings around the clock when you list your home can be overwhelming.

Anyone who has survived the 'diapers, wipes, and burp rags in every room at all times' stage, the 'I have exceptional quads and balance because it's easier to step over the 14 baby gates in our home than to take them down every time I need to enter or exit a room' stage, the 'we are just house guests to the multitude of toys and stuffed animals who live here' stage, or the 'lego boobie-trapped family room, homework lives on the kitchen table, ear-buds live on ... well... every surface, dirty clothes live on the bathroom floor' stage is feeling your pain right now. How do you keep our house "show ready" with children home all day, every day?? Here's what one of our team members did when she and her family listed their own home.

The first thing we did was pack up EVERYTHING we could live without and put it in off-site storage. We were blessed with a free storage service called 'Mom and Dad's Garage'. Next, we recruited family members to help us spend one day doing nothing but deep cleaning. I'm talking about every single nook and cranny; basement corners and rafters, walls, windows, the attic crawl space... EVERYTHING. Starting with a clean slate made it much easier to keep it clean on a daily basis. After every shower, the bathroom got a quick swipe. After preparing every meal the dishes were done and counters wiped down. And at the end of every day we spent about 30 minutes picking up the entire house so it was "show ready" if someone happened to call first thing the next morning. We were over the moon when we received an offer within a week of listing, from the first person who looked at it! I recognize, however, that's not always how it happens. So, if you're facing the daunting prospect of having to keep your home clean while trying to sell it, here are a few other tips you might find useful.

1. Pack It Up

declutter your home

Fewer items in the home make it easier to keep it de-cluttered and clean. If possible, store off-site. If not, packing up items in tidy containers and storing them in your garage, basement, or attic is still a great option. And just think! You'll be that much ahead when it's time to pack up the entire house for your move! Let kids help with this. As with everything else, this concept will be much easier for older kids to understand. Where younger children are involved, it's important for them to understand that the items being packed up are not disappearing forever. They're simply taking a little "vacation". Some kids are particularly attached to toys like stuffed animals and dolls, personifying them in their little minds. This makes the process quite emotional for them. Let them decide which items they are willing to "send on vacation". You could even take it a step farther by allowing your child to decorate the box (whether it's cardboard or plastic) with markers to make it feel "homier" to their toys. They can write little notes to their favorite toys and leave them in the box so their toys have "something to remind them" of your child.

2. Jump & Dump Stations

Everything Has A Place & Everything IN It's Place. This is not a new concept. It's the most

keep your home tidy

fundamental basis for keeping a space tidy. Your goal for the time being is to simplify this for the sake of quick cleaning. You've already packed up un-needed items so you should have plenty of space to appoint a place for EVERYTHING. The hard part now, is to keep everything in it's place, right? There will be times when you are short on time, or don't want to tell a potential buyer "no, you can't come look right now". For these occasions, I suggest using what I refer to as 'Jump & Dump Stations'. Get some stylish containers, like large baskets, and place them strategically in high traffic rooms. These will be designated as your 'Jump & Dump Stations'. You know, someone calls and says "Can we come look at the house in 30 minutes?" so you jump up from what you are doing, gather everything that doesn't belong in that room, and dump them into these containers. Later in the day, when you have more time, you can put all these items in their proper, designated places. If you're going to implement the 'Jump & Dump Stations', it's very important that they are emptied every day. Otherwise, they defeat the purpose.

3. Designated Play Spaces

This tip will help make the afore-mentioned tip easier. If your children are young enough they still play with toys, of any kind, designate a space (or spaces) for playing with toys. Toys do not leave these areas, period. Establish a rule that when kids are finished playing with toys they are to pick them all up and put them away. If you struggle with getting kids to pick up when asked, here's a really effective solution which works for ages about 4 and up: Tell them, "If I have to pick it up you lose it forever/it will go in the trash/I will donate it." When they do not comply you MUST FOLLOW THROUGH. (For this reason, maybe you want to eyeball what's on the floor before using this approach. It's a lot easier to follow through when there's a $5 toy on the floor rather than a $50 one.) This strategy has worked quite well for us over the years. We now only have to say, "Are you going to take care of this? Or would you like me to take care of this?" I will never forget the first time I had to take a box full toys to Goodwill.... and neither will our kids.

4. 10 Minute Pickup Party

At the end of every day throw a 10 Minute Pickup Party with your kids. Set a timer, put on some music, and blow a whistle. Make it fun and young children will look forward to it!

5. Reward Them

The best way to keep kids enthusiastic about keeping your home "show ready" is to reward them when they do a good job. For younger kids, keep a sticker chart. After they receive a certain number of stickers on their chart, reward them with something they'll enjoy; have a one-on-one date with them, let them have a sleep-over, let them choose a craft, CASH! For older kids, a sticker chart may not be very appealing. Maybe a points system would work better. Once they reach so many points, they get a reward.

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I recently listed and sold my home with Ramseier Realty Group. We received multiple offers and had it under contract within a month. Lorrie and her team are attentive and truly care about their clients' best interests. I would recommend this realty team to anyone!

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Thank you to the Ramseier team for all you did to make our house purchase effortless. This house will be an amazing addition to the Pivotal Point ministry.

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We met Lorrie for the first time at a property she was listing and new right away she was a person of integrity and someone we could trust to sell our home and lead us to a great new place. She did not disappoint. Throughout the process she continued to show us that she was always on top of things. Thanks Lorrie for all you did and for helping us to enjoy the process.

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Lorrie and her team were outstanding and I am so glad that we selected her agency to list our home. Everything Lorrie did was 5-star worthy. She presented a compelling analysis and recommendation on our listing price, she and her team were very accessible, very professional and it was a true joy to work with them. Lorrie went above and beyond on many occasions, she has excellent connections and resources which we used from closing agents, to electricians and plumbers. As the seller, she excelled in the "selling" process especially the negotiation and working to get multiple offers. She never took the easy road, always the road that provided the best outcome. Anyone can list and sell a home, but few can make the process seamless and get the absolute best price for the seller....If you are listing, you can't go wrong with Lorrie.

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Lorrie Ramseier has been helping me find a home from August 2017 to May 2018. I can not recommend her and her staff high enough. She went above and beyond for us. I told her the street and several homes that I would like to own, but were not for sale. She made inquiries to those homeowners to find out if they might sell. Although, they did not, I appreciated the effort. Sometimes we worked with Emily and she was great. They were prompt with email and phone call responses and always upbeat and pleasant. What we appreciated the most was her knowledge and professionalism. I would use them again in a heartbeat, if necessary.

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Sold our house in 4 days! Ramseier realty is passionate, prompt and ready to do business.

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Lorrie is one of the kindest and most personable people I’ve met. She was easily accessible when we needed her and always made sure our needs were met. We had the best experience selling our home thanks to Lorrie and her group.

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5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Loved working with Lorrie and Emily! Professional, friendly and efficient. The photos Lorrie had done for the sale of my home were amazing, sold my house less than 48 hours after being listed!

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Lorrie Ramseier has been helping me find a home from August 2017 to May 2018. I can not recommend her and her staff high enough. She went above and beyond for us. I told her the street and several homes that I would like to own, but were not for sale. She made inquiries to those homeowners to find out if they might sell. Although, they did not, I appreciated the effort. Sometimes we worked with Emily and she was great. They were prompt with email and phone call responses and always upbeat and pleasant. What we appreciated the most was her knowledge and professionalism. I would use them again in a heartbeat, if necessary.

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I recently listed and sold my home with Ramseier Realty Group. We received multiple offers and had it under contract within a month. Lorrie and her team are attentive and truly care about their clients' best interests. I would recommend this realty team to anyone!

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2 years ago

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Words cannot describe how well we were guided through the entire process of selling our home and purchasing a new one. Every detail was attended to and negotiations were professionally carried out. We were always confident that we were well taken care of.

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4 years ago

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We met Lorrie for the first time at a property she was listing and new right away she was a person of integrity and someone we could trust to sell our home and lead us to a great new place. She did not disappoint. Throughout the process she continued to show us that she was always on top of things. Thanks Lorrie for all you did and for helping us to enjoy the process.

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4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is by far the best realtor I have ever worked with. Her staff and herself are easy to get a hold of and promptly answer any questions. She has been a blessing to myself and my parents that also just bought a home with her help.

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3 years ago

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Lorrie and I are working on finding me a house in St Joseph. She went out on Superbowl Sunday in 3 degree weather to show me a house. I am an out of state buyer. Unbelieveable. Can't ask for a better realtor.

Debbie V

11 months ago

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Lorrie was absolutely essential to our purchase of our dream home. We were at a stand still and Lorrie represented us perfectly. We have and will continue to recommend her to anyone who wants an awesome advocate in the business of real estate. We love her and cannot thank her enough for all she did for our family. Call her! You will not regret it!

Thetaverse

4 years ago

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Lorrie and her team are awesome! They think of everything and are so helpful as you are in the middle of chaos trying to sell, pack, buy and move. Lorrie or someone from her team will walk you through the whole process before you start to give you an idea of how they run things. The pictures they post are great and really show off your home. Couldnt think of going with anyone else!

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a year ago

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Jan was very helpful and professional. She was patient with us as we look at a LOT of homes, and was there for us through the entire process - from putting in the offer all the way to closing!

Andy Arends

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Amazing professional but also personal service. This company has been there for us even after the purchase of our dream home

Rachel Rieger

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Just sold our home very quickly, and with no problems. Lorrie and her team were the best! They kept us up to date, were very professional, and were absolutely great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend these folks to anyone looking for a realtor!

Eudora Guinn

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

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2 years ago

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a week ago

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Mary Wood

3 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Recently purchased a home in record time. Lorrie and her team delivered on finding the best value and listening to my requirments. I strongly recomment Ramseier Realty Team to handle all of your real estate transactrions.

Rob Buehler

a year ago

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William Burnich

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Thank you to the Ramseier team for all you did to make our house purchase effortless. This house will be an amazing addition to the Pivotal Point ministry.

Melissa Frakes

6 days ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The Best realtorty group that I've worked with, responsive, brings us what we asked for and showed us many houses before we finally got what we wanted. Sold our house for what we wanted and made sure the deal went through.

Daniel Hess

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and the team did a great job!

Kelly Adkins

9 months ago

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