But - that phone call also sets into motion a frenzy like no other. Sometimes, it's scheduling same day - sometimes a few days in advance, and sometimes we have about 30 minutes to get ready for a showing.
I knew that part of selling our home would require a level of clean that is far above our natural operating state. I don't know many people who can avoid a rogue dish in the sink, sock on the floor, or cat litter and toys scattered throughout. For us, we have been living in a weird state of being both in our home, and acting as if it's on display for the past few weeks.
We've survived the first month - barely! But I wanted to share what all we do to prepare for a showing, both in the long term and in the frenetic few minutes before leaving our doors unlocked and fingers crossed.
- Pack up as much as you can. Clean out the cabinets, closets, nooks and crannies. Seriously! Live with the bare minimum. I'm still thinking of things I could have packed and hidden away.
- Organize your closets. I splurged on some velvet slim-line hangers after Christmas and it makes our closet look SO much bigger! It also helps to put all off-season or infrequently worn clothes away. (But don't forget to leave some infrequently worn clothes - like dresses for nice nights out, or ties for special occasions, etc. in the closet. I've been close to needing to dig in the storage building for proper attire.)
- Plan ahead with spaces to stash everything - we have a basket in the living room, drawers in the bedroom, moving boxes in closets to hide things in.
- Keep pet kennels/crates accessible. Ours stay in the living room for a quick kitten exit!
- Remember that buyers will want to look in cabinets or under counters. They will be nosy! Hide the personal, embarrassing items in a spot that would be rude to look (dresser drawers or closed containers).
- Eliminate as many of the personal items from shelves and furniture as possible. This will help streamline dusting and last minute clean-up.
- If appliances are coming with the house, make sure they are as empty as possible (except the fridge.. we all gotta eat!) and try to give them a good deep clean.
- This includes the washer and dryer - our first few showings I just stashed dirty laundry in there. Now, it goes with me when I leave the house. Weird, yes.. but not as weird as potential buyers opening the washer and getting a glimpse of our underthings and whiff of our stinky socks.
- Invest in a swiffer, good vacuum, and cleaning supplies that smell clean or fresh. Nothing floral or overpowering, but you want products on hand that make the house smell as clean as possible.
This turned out to be way more to chat about than I thought. I'll put my short term showing whirlwind in another post. It's a lot to do, but it is worth all the effort - I promise.