Selling a Home as a Family | How to Prep Your House and Make It Shine

Selling a home comes with plenty of tasks and responsibilities. When you are a busy parent, it can feel like there isn't enough time to prepare your home and keep it spotless for showings. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be time-consuming.


We all have some clutter. That comes naturally with a well-lived home. However, clutter makes a house less spacious and may deter prospective buyers. Large furniture pieces can make rooms feel compact, while a kitchen full of appliances can have the same effect. Wardrobes full of clothes, garages full of boxes, all can undermine one of the biggest draws for buyers: storage. To help, categorize your belongings into “keep,” “dispose,” or “storage.” Look at clothes that have not been worn in a while, or tech that is no longer used.

Make decluttering a family process. Ask your children what they feel comfortable parting with. Don't force the issue, however, as moving to a new home may already be causing some anxiety. Once you have organized your belongings, the next step will be deciding what to do with anything you’re not keeping. You might organize a yard sale, donate to charity, or give away things to loved ones.

Clean As You Go

An efficient strategy to keeping a home clean is through habit. Make it a routine for everyone to deal with issues as they happen. Mess on the floor? Clean it up in the moment. Done with the dishes? Place them straight in the dishwasher instead of the sink. Make your bed when you wake up. Put clothes away when you get home. When it comes to the debris that comes with a family, set up spaces, like baskets, for your little ones to store items after use. It may help habituate them to putting things away instinctively. These baskets could serve a double purpose, too, as they can be easily moved for showings. Cleaning as you go can make the process of keeping a spotless home less onerous and give you more time to focus elsewhere.

Set Up A Cleaning Schedule

Of course, no matter how quick you react to a mess, there are still going to be things you need to clean. A regular schedule where chores are delegated to the whole family can help keep a home spotless. Give your children responsibilities that are appropriate to their age, like dusting or putting dishes away. Make cleaning fun for them, as the process might go more smoothly if the television or music is playing in the background. Your vacuum will be your most invaluable asset in achieving a clean home. It's perfect for quickly getting rid of debris, dirt, animal hair and crumbs, pretty much anything that might accumulate with kids or pets. If your old vacuum isn’t doing the trick, more than ever, now is the time to pad your cleaning arsenal with a new model. Look for a quality appliance that’s versatile enough to easily work on carpet and hardwood. Keep in mind this investment will serve you well when you move into your new home too.


With a decluttered, clean home, all that is left is staging an open house. This may sound daunting, especially for busy parents, but staging doesn't have to be intense. Put away any personal effects including fridge drawings or photographs, and replace anything that is overly distinctive to give your home a neutral appearance. A depersonalized property acts as a blank canvas for buyers, and can potentially be the clincher for any sale. Don't overlook minor details, either. Make sure bedding and towels are fresh; all lights are working perfectly, and add flowers as lovely accents. Look around your home and see what could benefit from a quick sprucing, whether it's cupboards in need of polishing or a trim that could do with a new coat of paint. It also helps to have the entire family (pets included!) leave when it’s time for an open house. You don’t want to be looming while potential buyers are sizing up your home.

Give yourself the best chance of a successful sale by keeping your home uncluttered and spotless. Spread out the responsibility to the whole family and watch as your home becomes cleaner each day. It may take effort, but the end result can be a meaningful contribution.

Janet Campbell -

Janet Campbell is the writer of this article and creator of ElderSpark. Her mission is to encourage people of all ages to live their healthiest and happiest lives ever. She strives to provide information on senior wellness and safety as well as ideas for how to make the most of this beautiful chapter of our lives.


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