This week marks around the eighth month we’ve had our house on the market. Luckily we’ve been averaging 1-2 showings a weekend for the past three weekends, so I am hopeful things are picking up with Spring right around the corner. We had a showing last Saturday and I was picking up and cleaning up and I was thinking how easy it has become to have the house “show ready” in under an hour. When we first started it was a mad rush and we did the best we could, now it is quick and easy.
I thought I would share with you the things that we’ve done to make things easier because if you have ever had a house on the market you know how hard it is to live in one you are showing. I like having a clean house on a normal basis but having one “show ready” is a lot more difficult.
Baskets to Hide Things
Having a few basket placed around the house is a great way to hide everyday things. Just try to make sure they are placed neatly and decoratively.
We have one in the bedroom that hides books, magazines, and remote controls. We also have some in closets to keep items orderly.
This photo shows the ones in our office closet. They contain printer paper, office supplies, and misc office needs.
The best example is seen here. This counter top in our kitchen is right where you walk in from our garage.
This is the spot where we sit everything down when we come in the house. It is a collection spot for all things random. Now when we have a showing, whatever is sitting there goes here…
Use Your Morning Wisely
I wake up 20-30 minutes earlier than I normally did in the past just to clean up in the morning. The two major things I do is empty and refill the dishwasher and clean up the bedroom each morning.
Here was this mornings bedroom before (sorry for the crap pictures)
And 5 minutes later…
Use Cleaning Products that Help You
I have found throughout this process a few things that have made my life much easier when preparing for a showing on short notice and for everyday upkeep.
Clorox Cleaning wipes for the kitchen and bathroom are super easy. Wasteful, but easy. Wipes clean and then you throw out. Keeps things smelling nicer and looking clean quickly
Fresh Wave is an awesome air freshener. I needed something to use in guest bathroom where I keep the litter boxes and this stuff really helps absorb bad odors. I have another near the cat food as well.
Having a dust buster near is very helpful in our house to suck up the pet hair that lingers in corners and window sills.
Clean Closets Out
We cleaned all of our closets out to make them look more spacious, we have removed all unnecessary stuff. For our clothes closet and coat closet we packed up everything out of season to keep the racks and hanging clothes spacious. We are lucky to have some storage space we’ve used and have some things in the garage but I recommend renting a storage unit. I am shocked by how much I’ve been able to live without during these last months.
This photo is our Bonus room closet, I use it as my craft and Holiday storage. This is a walk in closet and before you could not walk in.
Our Laundry room is actually a laundry closet and we added a shelf to store all the detergents so not to have these sitting on dryer like before.
In our downstairs hall closet, we use it to store coats, brooms, paper towels, and toilet paper. I moved all the brooms and mops to the far right so they are not the first thing you see when you open the door. We also moved out several coats to keep the rack from looking stuffed.
Keep Countertops Clean and Void of Personal Items
In our bathroom on the left you see my basket full of daily cosmetics. When we have a showing they are moved under the cabinet. The only thing left on the counter is what you see in the picture on the right.
Our toaster oven comes out only when in use and now lives in the cabinet below instead of on the countertop.
I hope you found this helpful…It has made life a lot easier for us to take these steps while showing our house. I feel a little silly posting this when our house has continued to stay on the market this long but the realtors that have showed it have complimented us on the cleanliness so I think we are on the right path.
You want to keep things very impersonal. People need to envision living there the way they live. I encourage you to go check out some local model homes for ideas on staging and you will also get a good look at the impersonal feel, because no one lives there! :)
Have any of you got other tips to share?