Let me begin by saying that I am wholly unqualified to even write this post, as my house has only been on the market 12 days, but write it I shall.
You guys. Selling a house sucks. Add two tasmanian devils, er, I mean little girls under the age of four and it’s out-and-out bullshit. I don’t know what we’re thinking. Oh, yes I do. We have outgrown our space and would like to move on to our “forever” home. It makes sense. IN THEORY.
In practice, it’s a whole lot of cleaning on a pretty much constant basis. It’s a whole lot of patience, something I already have in short supply. Lest you think this post is completely about complaining, let me offer you some tips for keeping your house show ready with two teeny terrors in tow…
- Get them involved. Olivia is almost four and wants to help with everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. By allowing her to feel like keeping the house in great shape is a team effort, she’s actually been a huge help. “Remember, baby, we have to keep our house TIDY for the PEOPLE to SEE.” Every morning she goes on a final room check with me, announcing after each light is clicked off, “Tidy? Check!”
- Pack up as many toys as possible. But, be realistic. They need something to play with. Luckily, we went on the market a few days after Audrey’s second birthday so all of her new toys were hot items. Everything else got boxed up and hidden neatly in the basement. There is never an overwhelming amount of anything to clean up and everything that is out has a home. (I KNOW, CRAZY!)
- Keep cleaning supplies in high traffic areas. I keep a roll of paper towels and multi-purpose cleaner in each bathroom, the kitchen and dining rooms. It makes cleaning up after the daily thousand messes easy… ok, easier. I also keep a Swiffer Vac in the dining room at all times. Those kids are CRUMBY. Crumbs everywhere. Crumbs all day. ALL THE LIVELONG DAY WITH THE CRUMBS.
- Food and drink only in designated areas. OK, so probably most of you already do this. We, um, didn’t. Now the girls are only allowed to have food or drinks in the dining room. The end.
- Empty the garbage nightly. Or morningly. Sometimes bothly.
- Takeout, baby. I try not to dirty more dishes than necessary. We’ve also just bitten the bullet and started taking the girls OUT IN PUBLIC to eat (Laugh it up. You don’t know ’bout Audrey.) since many showings take place at dinner time.
- Be flexible. Because many weekend showings take place during NAP TIME. So we load up a cooler, bring extra blankies and binkies, the ipad and go on adventures. It’s actually been a lot of fun.
- Keep your wine fridge stocked. Trust me on this one.
- Do NOT try to transition your toddler to a big girl bed during this time. Like it’s not enough that she doesn’t sleep, now Audrey has denounced her crib. Audrey, I am the grown up. I AM TALLER.
- Don’t let your preschooler be present when the realtor takes photos. “Do you like that rug? We just got it at Target today!” “See those lemons? They aren’t real. They’re just for show and tell.” “Sometimes we get crumbs and that’s why bugs come.” ONE ANT, OLIVIA. IT WAS ONE FREAKING ANT.
I’ve learned a lot in the last two weeks. That my kids are freaking messy. That they’re pretty good at being a team. That I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning. That it really IS so much easier to keep the house clean when it’s decluttered. That my house is actually pretty cute. That I love it and I will miss it, but that we’re ready for the next chapter.
I hope it gets here soon.