When we put our house on the market in late June, one of my major concerns was how we’d be able to keep it spotless for showings. While it would never qualify for an episode of Hoarders, it almost always had that “lived-in” quality with a toddler, a baby, and a dog running amok.
Our realtor tried to give us a two hour warning before a showing so we’d have time to tidy up, to wake the kids up from their naps (if necessary), and to get everybody out of the house. Well, except the dog. Briscoe stayed locked in his crate.
To make the process more efficient, especially for when I was alone with the kids during the weekdays, we created a checklist to follow when we needed to prepare the house for a showing.
1. Sweep floors. Swiffer sent us a Big Green Box at the perfect time. The Swiffer Sweeper was ideal for touch-ups, quickly cleaning up dust, hair, and crumbs. It was especially handy during nap time when the vacuum might have woken up the boys. Bonus: Levi thinks it’s fun to push around “his” Sweeper and got a kick helping me clean up messes.
2. Dust furniture. We were also grateful to receive Swiffer Dusters in our Big Green Box. As they can be used virtually everywhere, I was able to sweep it across any dusty surface around the house– or hand it over to Levi for him to help. Plus, the ones scented with Gain added a fresh, clean smell to the room.
3. Declutter. Before we even put our house on the market, we began removing objects from every room. Our realtor advised us to keep our shelves and bookcases sparse because when they’re overflowing it appears as if you’re lacking adequate storage. Also, an abundance of personal mementos like photos makes it harder for the potential buyer to imagine their things in the space.
4. Clean counters and faucets. Since we already decluttered, quickly tidying up kitchen and bathroom counters was easy. We’d finish with a quick spritz of all-purpose cleaner for a smudge-free shine.
5. Put toilet seats down. Bathrooms look nicer when the inside of the toilet bowl isn’t the first thing you see. Of course, we made sure to swish around some cleaner before closing the lid in case potential buyers took a peek inside.
6. Empty garbage cans. The easiest way to collect garbage from around the house was to go from room-to-room with a large trash bag. Every couple of days (or when necessary), I’d spray the kitchen bin with disinfectant to remove any lingering odors.
7. Hide dirty dishes. Mom confession: Mealtime gets hectic with a toddler and a baby, and sometimes dishes sit on the kitchen counter for longer than I would like. If I couldn’t wash and dry them or load them into the dishwasher before a showing, I’d stash them in a large plastic bin that fit in the trunk of my car — another trick we learned from our realtor.
8. Turn on lights and open curtains. Our electric bill was slightly higher during the month our house was on the market, but a bright and airy home is more appealing to buyers. If you’re lucky, real estate agents will remember to turn off the lights as they leave each room.
9. Make beds. A no-brainer, right? But it was on our list because we don’t always make our bed or Levi’s bed every morning. #lazy
10. Hide laundry. Any clean clothing still hanging on the drying rack would quickly get put away — or neatly tossed into an empty laundry basket. Any overflow dirty laundry would be hidden inside the washer or dryer.
11. Keep valuables out of sight. You hope that potential buyers are interested in your house, not in your stuff. Just in case, we were advised to put fine jewelry and other valuables in a safe. I’d conceal the jewelry still in my dresser drawer, and we’d bring our laptops with us when we left the house for the showing.
The Swiffer products inside the #BigGreenBox made cleaning our house before a showing so much less of a hassle. We were asked to surprise somebody with a second Big Green Box, and if I knew of another family trying to sell their house, I’d quickly deliver it to them. Instead, I plan to give it to my parents — their house is about to get messier with the five of us moving in next week!
PS – How Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet keeps his house clean when his mom comes to visit.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.