You’ve downsized, cleaned, and de-cluttered. You’ve re-arranged furniture and replaced your 1980s plaid couch with a chic, modern sectional. With the family pictures removed and much of the “you” stripped from the rest of your home, you ultimately now find yourself living in a museum. Wonderful. While this may not be ideal or easy, there are ways to develop a routine in keeping your home looking great, without feeling like you can never move or touch anything. Much like the revitalized feeling you have after the “extra thorough” clean you’ve done for your Friday night dinner guests over the years, it’s important that this round of cleaning stays top-notch, and that the clutter of day-to-day life does not slip back into your on-call, show home. Here are a few tips that can help make that process easier:
Stay on Top of It
Like anything, it’s easier to complete tasks in small, regular chunks, rather than letting work pile up into larger, more time-consuming jobs.
- Wash and dry your dishes immediately after you’ve used them. Sure, the easy thing to do is pop them in the dishwasher, which is certainly better than placing them in the sink, but wouldn’t you rather your prospective buyer see a clean and empty dishwasher rather than your dirty dishes?
- Vacuum carpets and area rugs on a daily basis. If you have pets, be sure to lint brush fabric surfaces as well.
- Make the bed every day as soon as you start your day.
- Keep your valuables (like jewellery, electronics, and personal information) in a secure, locked space. If you need to show your home on short notice, you’ll need the peace of mind that these items are already in a secure location.
- Store important mail in a drawer and get rid of junk mail immediately.
Develop a Routine in Your Kitchen, Bedroom, and Bathroom
The kitchen and bathrooms are two of the most used areas of your home. They’re the areas that are most prone to becoming messy, and they’re also the areas your prospective buyers want to see in tip-top shape.
- Keep your toiletries off the counter and neatly put away, in a bathroom cupboard. While this may not be what you’re used to, or how most people live, a large clean surface is far more appealing than even a tidy arrangement of toothbrushes, hand lotions, and hair brushes.
- Keep clothes neatly in the closet; however, remember that buyers will also be looking in closets to determine the amount of storage space. So keep these areas as roomy and uncluttered as possible, demonstrating the amount of space they have. Closets should not be a hiding place for your miscellaneous clutter. If you have too much clutter, and/or your closets have more clothes than you actually wear regularly, consider renting a storage locker while you are staging your home.
Keep the House Fresh
- Open the doors for a few minutes every day to get the fresh air flowing.
- Use smaller bags for garbage and remove them from the house every day.
- If you have cats, clean the litter box regularly.
- If the smell of your last meal lingers in your kitchen, take the steps to neutralize the odour. A few ways to do this are by:
- Simmering a pot of vinegar and water.
- Simmering a pot of water with sliced lemons and orange peels.
- Leaving a cup of vinegar on the counter overnight.
The key to a successful home staging is keeping as much of “you” out of the house as possible so that someone else can truly see themselves living there. Developing these routines, although not always easy or convenient, will make for a more neutral and attractive viewing for your prospective buyers, and ultimately keep your staging period as short as possible.