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Prepping and Parenting - Tips for Busy Homeowners Who Have a House to Sell

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If you’re a busy parent struggling to prep a house for sale, you’ve got a big job on your hands. Maintaining a show-ready home when you’re raising kids and holding down a job can be overwhelming. There are no days off for someone who’s trying to balance work, parenthood, and keeping a home in pristine condition. It takes some planning, but you can get it done. Here are a few tips to help you keep pace with what can seem like an impossible and thankless task.


A cluttered house is among the last thing a prospective buyer wants to see. Clutter makes you look careless and leaves the impression that your home is chronically messy. It also makes it harder for people to envision what your space would look like decorated with their own stuff. Make it easier to declutter by setting up containers for items you’ll donate and those that need to be thrown out or recycled. Once you’ve emptied those containers, fill them up again and keep the process going until you’re home is officially clutter-free. Instill a healthy sense of competition by promising a special treat to the child who gets rid of the most “stuff.”


Making your house look spacious means clearing out some of those larger objects, including furniture, holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, and more. If you’re not quite ready to throw it all away, check out storage units near you. They’re a great bargain, and temporary storage can make cleaning a lot easier when you have one of those last-minute, 5:30 showings. Many facilities can be pricey, but some make it affordable with special deals.

Deep Clean It

Get down to the nitty-gritty and make your home look immaculate. Steam clean all the grime and pet dander out of the carpet, and wipe away all those little fingerprints off the windows. Keep the stainless steel gleaming in the kitchen and give those pretty hardwood floors a high shine. Once you’ve got everything the way you want it, keep it that way because you never know when your real estate agent will stop by with a motivated buyer. Keep the “kid factor” under control by limiting the little ones to “must-have” toys and confine play activities to their bedroom or a rumpus room, and give them responsibility for keeping it clean.


The less square footage you have to clean, the easier things will be when you’re rushing to prepare for yet another group of buyers. Make certain parts of the house off-limits until your place sells. For instance, restrict everyone to using just one bathroom so you don’t have to continually clean two or three bathrooms. Keep the kitchen looking clean by limiting stovetop and oven cooking while you’re in “sell” mode. Instead, utilize the gas grill out back, the microwave, and, of course, pizza delivery (the kids will love that).

Having a “family plan” in place can make it easier to keep your home in showplace condition - the trick is sticking with it. That’s important when you’re rushing home from work every day to clean and keep the kids in line. Consider renting storage space to simplify the decluttering process and to avoid throwing out belongings you’re not ready to part with.

Guest post courtesy of Cindy Aldridge

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