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Staging a House With Kids: 10 Essential Tips for a Better Staging


cleaning house for staging

Staging a house with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s easy to look around at the piles of laundry and toys and feel overwhelmed. However, with a few easy tricks, your home will be open house ready no matter how many little people live there.

When you’re staging a house to sell quickly, it’s important to streamline. You’ll want your home decluttered and organized so you’re always ready for a last-minute showing. To help you out, we’ve rounded up ten essential tips for staging a house with kids.

1. Staging a House for Sale Starts With Purging

Selling a home is stressful enough without little children. With babies or kids, it’s even more chaotic. At any given point, the floor of your home could be covered in toys and laundry.

Kids come with a lot of stuff. If you have a baby you probably have jumpers, bouncers, and swings all-around your house. If your baby isn’t a baby anymore, it’s time to purge. Donate these items to someone in need.

The same goes for toys and clothes. If you’re selling your home, you want your closets to be as clean as possible. Kids grow out of clothes quickly, instead of keeping them in your closet, donate them.

Now is the time to get rid of extra toys and baby items. You don’t need these collecting dust any longer. Purge anything you won’t be taking with you when you move.

The more you can purge, the less you’ll have to pack later. The same goes for adult items and clothes. Downsize as much as possible to keep your home looking clean and fresh. If potential buyers see too much stuff around your house, they won’t be able to focus on the selling features.

For potential buyers, you also never know if they have kids. In a kid-friendly neighborhood, they won’t expect no toys to be in your home, but you can do away with a few. Purging helps to keep your home looking neutral.

2. Declutter

Clutter adds up quickly with kids. When your home is on the market, you want to remove as much clutter as possible. One of the best ways to make your home appear less cluttered is by cleaning off the surfaces.

Remove any clutter and decorations from your counters, tables, and dressers. Keep your surfaces clutter-free to help your home show better.

When you’re staging your house, you should also remove all your kids’ artwork from the fridge. As adorable as it is, it can also be distracting. Move drying racks, bottles, and kids’ cups from your counters.

Keep the bare minimum on your counters at all times. Mail and paperwork should also be kept neat and tidy inside a drawer. For schoolwork and computers, designate a storage area for everyone in the family. Clean up cords, supplies, and papers before every showing.

You’ll also want to declutter toys and personal items from your home. Remove a few photos and pack them up for your move. While you can keep a few up around the house, you don’t need all of them up during staging.

Pack extra toys for your new house as well. The kids won’t miss a handful of toys while you’re staging. When you open them at your new home, the toys will be like new again.

3. Get a Storage Unit

If you need to remove a lot of furniture, toys, and personal items from your home, consider getting a temporary storage unit. You can rent or buy a pod that fits in your driveway or use a storage unit at a facility.

Storage units are great for getting rid of extra stuff. You can move holiday decorations, extra furniture, or things you’re not using every day. Storing them will help your home appear larger and less cluttered.

Another bonus to using a storage unit is that you’ll get a jump on packing. Anything you pack or wrap will be ready to move when the time comes.

When you’re selling your home, you don’t want all your stuff to distract buyers. Buyers want to see how large your bedrooms are and your closets. If they are filled with stuff, buyers will pass you by.

4. Make Kids Part of the Process

When you’re selling your house, make your kids part of the process. The more involved they are, the more invested they’ll feel. Older children especially should have some responsibility when it comes to keeping the house clean.

Give your kids tasks each weekend to get ready for showings. Have them help with decluttering and cleaning. Give each child a designated area to store their stuff as well.

You can also use this as an opportunity to teach them about donating and purging. Have each child fill a bag of clothes and toys to donate. This will help speed up the process and keep them accountable.

5. Use Kid-Friendly Organization

When it comes to storage and organization you want to make things as kid-friendly as possible. Use toy storage bins or organization systems to keep toys off the floor. Even toddlers can help put toys away in their designated bins.

Use coat racks and mudroom storage to keep backpacks and jackets off the floor as well. Kids can put away their own shoes, sports equipment, and jackets at the end of the day.

To keep your storage areas from becoming too full, make sure to frequently bring shoes and jackets up to kids’ rooms. When you’re staging your home, you don’t want jackets cluttering the mudroom and potential buyers tripping over boots.

To make your toy storage more neutral, consider buying new baskets. Wicker baskets that don’t scream kids’ toys, will help your home look more modern and less like a pre-school.

Potential buyers won’t expect your home to be completely kid-less. If they are looking at your home, they probably have a family as well. This is where clever storage and organization helps to keep your toys and kids’ items looking clean and streamlined during showings.

6. Create a Checklist

Before a showing, create a cleaning checklist for the whole family. You can assign everyone a duty, so they know what to do. Showings and selling your home should be everyone’s responsibility.

Create a checklist to do before each showing. This will help eliminate the stress and anxiety that builds up when you’re selling your home.

A checklist will also help alleviate the last-minute scramble. Everyone in the family will know what the plan is before a showing. With your house decluttered and organized, clean up becomes a breeze.

You can assign someone trash duty, another dishes, and someone else pick-up. Blast some music and get everyone going on their to-do lists.

7. Remove Personal Items

When you’re staging your home, you’ll want to remove some personal items. While it’s OK that your house looks cozy and lived-in, you don’t need it to look too personalized.

Potential buyers want to picture themselves in your home. If they can only see your photos and décor, they won’t feel themselves living in your home. Your home will look too much like your home instead of theirs.

Pack and store your personal belongings. The more you can get done, the less you’ll have to do when you go to pack. Remove some of your family photos and consider putting away anything with names on it.

There will be strangers in your home. Keep kids’ names and the name of your school private during showings. The more personal items you can put away, the more neutral your home will look.

8. Keep Your Décor Simple

If you have kids, your décor could look a little too kid-oriented. While it’s OK to show that kids live there, you’ll want to simplify your staging. Keep your décor neutral and simple.

Consider simplifying themed kids’ rooms and bathrooms. Replace your bedding and shower curtains with something new and fresh. Anything you buy can be used for your new home.

This is a great time to update the kids’ rooms. If your 13-year old still has teddy bear wallpaper, it’s time to neutralize and give them an upgrade. Choose a paint color both kids and adults will like.

In the bathroom, try keeping your shower and bath supplies in a caddy. This can be stored under the sink when you have showings. The same goes for art supplies and homework. Use caddy’s to easily put things away when it’s time to show your home.

In terms of playroom and bedroom walls, remove some of the kid’s clutter. Posters, artwork, and kids’ collections are fine if they are well thought out. Simplify your décor so an adult can picture a bedroom or playroom as a guest room or an office.

9. Give Each Room a Purpose

One of the most important rules for staging a house for sale is to give each room a purpose. Your dining room is often used as an office, a homework station, and a craft room. Store these items and stage your dining room as a dining room.

The same goes for guest rooms and family rooms. Create a space potential buyers can picture themselves in. If you have a den or basement, give each section a zone. Arrange your furniture so buyers can picture kids and adults living there.

The more purpose you give each room, the more buyers can envision themselves in the space. If they walk into your home and see empty rooms filled with clutter and toys they won’t know what to do with the room.

Give buyers ideas for each space in your home. If you have an office, stage it as one. If you have a guest bedroom, remove all the clutter and stage it as a beautiful guest room.

Don’t forget outdoor spaces here as well. As cute as little kids sand buckets and jump ropes are, you don’t need them all over your front yard. Clean up your outdoor spaces so both adults and kids can enjoy them.

Create different outdoor zones for dining, playing, and relaxing. Clean up outdoor clutter and give your yard a multi-purpose appeal. Great outdoor spaces can boost the value of your home and help your home sell faster. 

While you’re at it, get your garage and shed in order as well. These spaces should also have a purpose other than collecting clutter.

10. Deep Clean

Staging your home to sell is the perfect time for a deep clean. While you’re purging and organizing, bust out your cleaning supplies. Before an open house, consider getting your home professionally cleaned the day before or the morning of.

When you have kids, it’s important to watch your walls, appliances, and windows, These surfaces tend to collect sticky fingerprints. Wash your walls before you list your home. In some places, you’ll need to repaint or touch up.

Use a stainless-steel cleaner or window spray on your windows and appliances. Don’t forget fingerprints and smudges on cabinets, chrome, faucets, and handles.

On your floors, consider getting a professional carpet shampoo. Clean carpets make your home look updated. Invest in a wood marker to touch up scratches from kids and pets on your hardwood.

Staging a House With Kids 101

Staging a house with kids is completely doable with the right plan. But is staging a house worth it? The answer is a definite yes.

Staging helps buyers picture themselves in your home. It also makes your home look larger and more updated. Even with small kids, with a little work, your home can look staged and show ready.

Listing your home with iBuyer can take the hassle out of staging. We make the home selling process easy. If you’re ready to list your home, submit your address on our website.

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