We’re selling our home with small children. By which I don’t mean I’m selling my kids too, obviously. Get a 10 percent discount if you take one kid, twenty percent off if you take two. Hmm….?!
For those who have already been through all this, you will know what a killer it is simply firefighting the usual kiddie grub every day, let alone trying to bring the house up to a respectable 8 out of 10 before someone comes round to view it. I’ve kind of fumbled my way around and tried out loads of stuff. This is what I’ve found works for me.
We all have our own routines, but my daily firefight consists of “bare minimum” housework, plus whatever I’m not too shattered to tackle that day (depending on whether I’ve slept the night before)
Clean down breakfast carnage off the dining table
Empty/fill dishwasher at least once a day
Empty/fill washing machine at least once a day
Vacuum floors when you can’t bear it anymore
Then tackle whatever is glaringly bad and you can’t hide it from your husband.
I did try to learn from the best; one website called Flylady comes highly recommended. But when she stated that you should throw away 27 things a day, I was confused. Why 27? Is this some ritual, perhaps to the god of OCD? Who knows.
You just have to find what works for you. Look around, see where clutter gathers, and work with it, not against it. What’s the point of busting a gut clearing it up if it’ll be there again tomorrow? For instance, I have one child who is such a clutterbug (cutting up pieces of paper to play confetti, leaving plasticine and blu tac where it gets ground into the carpet; I could go on) so I bought a load of pretty gift boxes and we make it a game to sort things out, like a post office or a shop.
We have rustic-looking toy boxes dotted around in places where toys just seem to gather. And when we finally get round to sorting them out, it’s Christmas all over again! Never underestimate the novelty of finding a toy they haven’t seen for a few months.
Motivate your kids into tidying up after themselves. You may think it’s quicker to do it yourself but it’s worth it in the long run. You have to choose your battles too, because constant nagging DOES NOT WORK and only exhausts you both. Then when you do finally explode, your child will think ‘uh oh, this time it’s serious.’
You have to step up your game another level when you’re selling your house.
A couple of things I learned:
Everything will get shoved into cupboards. Open with care to avoid avalanches. And you’ll forget where you’ve put stuff. Major drag. Happens to me every time I clear my office/spare room when the in-laws come to stay.
Dulux Matchpots will become your best friend as you find yourself dabbing more magnolia over mysterious stains, than a drag queen uses concealer to hide her five o clock shadow.
After seeing so many properties online, thinking ‘that place is immaculate, but where’s all their STUFF?’ I was given the answer when the estate agent came round to photograph our house. I had spent two days beyond ‘bare minimum,’ cleaning, scrubbing, and shoving into cupboards. Our estate agent practically emptied each room as she went along, moving all our ‘stuff’ into the previous room before moving on. Taking away things like loo rolls (people obviously don’t use loo rolls in that world) and taking pictures from ridiculous angles that made the house look, well…beautiful.
The only problem now is when people come round, I’m scared they’ll be hugely disappointed, like seeing a massively airbrushed glamour photo of someone, before going out on a date with them.
We had our dream viewers the other day; a family with a toddler who want to move to a larger property. They know what it’s like with a little one, and might as well put up with the grub for a few more years before changing the kitchen, or putting down new carpets. It’ll only get covered in crayons, plasticine or mysterious stains. They’ve booked a second viewing when they come back from holiday. I’m keeping my fingers, eyes and legs crossed till then.