Keeping your house clean is the easiest thing in the world to do, right? If you said “yes,” you probably don’t have kids. But if you laughed as you looked around at piles of laundry and crayon-covered walls, you already know it’s a challenge. However, when it’s time to move into a home that’s right for your growing family, clean is a state that you can’t afford for your house to not be in. Here are a few simple (and budget-minded) tips and tricks to make it happen.
Start with a Walkthrough
The best thing you can do for yourself right now is also the one that won’t cost you a dime. Simply take a half-hour or so to look around your house, including your lawn, to see what needs the most attention. You’ll likely find that clutter is your number one problem, followed closely by stained furniture and fingerprints on the windows and appliances.
Clutter-Free and Under Control
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create as blank of a canvas as possible so that buyers can envision your home as their new space. To do this, you’ll have to declutter. As much as your children will protest, this also means purging the toy bin (if they even bother to use it). Here is one mom’s advice on how to accomplish this task without tears: Don’t be shy about padding your moving budget by hosting a yard sale, which will both help you save money on moving costs and expedite the process.
Once you’ve decluttered and cleared the canvas, make sure you put your entire house through a deep clean. This means all the nooks and crannies you might not usually address (think behind the fridge, ceiling fans, corners in the pantry). If time is an issue, go ahead and invest in a one-time cleaning service so you only have to do maintenance cleaning while your house is on the market. It shouldn’t cost too much for a one-time clean; most homeowners in Jersey City only spend between $113-$229.
Staged and Ready to Go
Now that you’re living with the bare minimum, it’s time to go back again with a few touches to make your home look even better. If you’ve got soaked-in juice stains on the sofa, a few decorative throw pillows will add a pop of color to the room while hiding your children’s snack-time mishaps. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these little extras, especially if you live near a Kohl’s. Even if you don’t, you can shop online (save some cash by searching for Kohl's coupons before you begin). While you’re in shopping mode, add a few attractive bath towels and pieces of art to your shopping cart to accentuate your best spaces.
Consider rearranging your home’s furnishings to create an open floor space. Using what you already own can save money when staging. Further, eliminating obstructions on the floor will make it easier to do a visual sweep when it’s time to clean up for an open house or viewing.
Hiding the evidence
Even when your home is staged and ready to go, you and your kids still have to live there. Here are a few ways to cut down on your cleaning time.
Eliminate smudges. Melissa the Happier Homemaker says that one major source of contention in her home is fingerprints on stainless steel appliances. Rest assured, this is something your buyers will notice, but you can easily rectify the issue with things you already own: white vinegar and car wax.
No more messy beds. If you lean toward lax when it comes to pushing your kids to make their beds, you’re not alone. Often, it’s just not worth the battle. Zip-up bedding solves this problem. Check Amazon for the best prices since there are many different brands and styles (for example, this twin set runs $37.99). You can probably save even more by diving into the Warehouse Deals, which features returned and damaged-packaged goods for less.
Embrace the chore chart. For the cost of a few pieces of paper, you can print out a family chore chart to give everyone a specific job that has to be done daily. By spreading out the workload, you make it easier to tackle heavy-duty cleaning and increase your chances of being “show ready” on a moment’s notice.
It will take work, but keeping your home viewer-ready is possible, even when you have kids. The best part is that it doesn’t have to eat into your profits to be effective.
Image via Pixabay
Written by Kristin Louis