The holidays are over and now it’s back to the reality of work and shuttling your kids from place to place — plus selling your home? Before you settle into full panic-mode, take a deep breath, and remember that it can all get done with a few strategic actions and organizational tools. We’ve outlined a few tips to help you manage your life while selling your home with kids in the winter.
Your first line of attack to keep everyone’s blood pressure in check is to declutter. Spend a weekend, or more, depending on what you’re dealing with, tackling this job, moving from room to room. You can follow Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of keeping items that “spark joy” and donating the rest. Decluttering will give everyone more space to breathe and potential buyers will appreciate walking into an orderly home. The extra advantage of decluttering in the winter is that you will make space for potential buyers’ coats and shoes when they visit your house.
Involve the little ones
Organizing your home can become a family affair, to help your kids feel involved and view moving as fun. Put your kids in charge of decluttering their rooms, and remind them that they can give unwanted toys to charity, or friends. Consider a rewards system for items that they put in their donation bin.
Once you’ve streamlined what’s in your home, it’s time to deep clean. Keeping your home clean while showing it to potential buyers might seem daunting, but a deep clean will create a baseline from which to start, meaning less daily upkeep. Start with the basics like mopping and vacuuming floors, and then go deeper with curtains, blinds, ceilings, and under furniture. Don’t only focus on the inside of your home. In winter, cleaning gutters will create necessary drainage and prevent a potential issue when buyers are touring your property.
Get ready for the stage
One of the key seasonal home selling tips to keep in mind in winter is to create a cozy interior, which potential buyers will want to linger in. This might seem like a challenge with kids’ toys and activities taking over your home, but it doesn’t have to be. Part of staging includes creating a “home” for everything. Toys can be put in storage under your child’s bed. Decorations can be streamlined and packed up to get ready for your move, with only the essentials like a few pieces of art on the walls, or live plants added to create a neutral decor. Keep the heat on high and light a few candles to enhance that feeling of calm.
Modify your schedule
Kids, especially in winter, will be more help to you in showing your home if they are occupied elsewhere. Children who have been cooped up all day at school in bad weather are not who potential buyers want to meet — as cute as they might be under other circumstances. Create a home showing schedule with your realtor and be sure that your kids have activities planned for that day so that they are gone when it’s showtime. Enlist the help of friends or neighbors if your schedule includes evening showings, and pitch these afternoons or nights away to your kids as special events, instead of negative changes.
With these tactics ready, you’ll have that home sold in no time, ready for a fresh spring start.