Written by Mary Beth Tice
Staging Your Home: How to Keep it Perfectly Staged
It’s finally happened- you have decided to sell your house. You paid for a professional stage or staged it yourself and now you are not quite sure how to live in your house until it sells. Learning how to keep your house show-ready and staged 24/7 can be hard, but with a little work, your house will be picture perfect around the clock.
Keeping Kiddie Clutter at Bay
If you have kids, regardless of their age, chances are you have kid clutter. Toys, video games, book bags, games, etc. are most likely in every room of your house. This can make staging your house difficult and keeping it staged even more difficult. What should you do? Statistically speaking, the average child will play with only 5 toys in one location within a 30 day period. These means that everything else can be packed up. However, as the parent, you should do the toy picking and toy packing while your child is away and/or sleeping. Asking them what they want to keep will most likely result in tears and I hate seeing kids cry. You probably already have a good idea what your kid plays with the most, but if you need help, put up all their toys every night and see what appears back on the floor each night for a week.
Keeping the kitchen show ready and perfectly staged is difficult, especially if you are like me and have a fear of doing the dishes (OK, it’s not a fear so much as laziness). But you can easily keep the kitchen perfect with minimal effort.
First of all, pack up all the dishes except for one complete set per person (if you have 5 people in your household, keep out 5 plates, cups, bowls, forks, etc). After each meal you will be forced to wash, dry and put away the dishes or be forced to eat your next meal with your bare hands over the sink. Same goes with pots and pans. Chances are you can get away with a 4-piece pot set and one baking sheet. If you eat a lot of pasta (like me) keep out a colander. This can also double as a steamer basket and will eliminate one more piece of cabinet clutter.
Be sure to wipe down your counters and stove, damp mop and take out the trash each night as part of your clean the kitchen routine or just before heading out the door each morning.
Banish Bedroom Blues
If you found that most of your de-cluttering took place in your bedroom, then keeping it picture perfect can seem overwhelming. Instead of stressing, simply spend a few minutes each day to keep it clean. Put any laundry in the hamper and then do a load each night or every other night to keep it to a minimum. When you take off your jewelry or shoes, put them back up right away. In the morning, make the bed and straighten up the nightstand (no one wants to see your half drank glass of water and copy of Fifty Shades of Grey next to your bed).
Pretty Up the Powder Room
Bathrooms are easily cleaned in less than 5 minutes if you do it daily. Spray the curtain liner and shower walls with daily shower mist, wipe down the counter, sink, mirror and toilet seat & lid with a multi-purpose wipe, straighten towels, and empty the trash. Depending on the level of traffic in your house, you may need to damp mop daily or mop once a week.
Fix the Furniture
Even though people are there to look at your house and not your furniture, it is still a focal point that can be distracting to some. Take a second before heading out in the morning to fluff the pillows and straighten the throws on the couch. Tidy up any mess on the coffee/end tables and vacuum high traffic areas daily. Low traffic areas can be vacuumed every few days or once a week depending on your household (I have two dogs, once a week would never cut it for my home). If you do have kids and their school stuff/toys have found their way into living areas, put them away prior to bed each night.
Once a Week
Once a week you will have to put in a tiny bit more effort in keeping things picture perfect. Sorry, but it’s true. One day a week you need to vacuum the stairs, vacuum all rooms, actually clean the bathroom (yes, you still need to scrub the toilet), mop the kitchen and bathrooms with cleaner, and dust the furniture, ceiling fans and baseboards. This still won’t take much longer than 1-2 hours depending on the size of your house.
Opt for Convenience
The cleaning industry has made millions on lazy people like me. If you find yourself wasting more time trying to track down your cleaning supplies then it takes to clean something, please opt for one of the dozen convenience products designed to help you save time. There is daily shower mist that eliminates the need for elbow grease, window cleaner wipes & multi-surface wipes clean without streaking and we all know how awesome Swifter can be when it comes to dusting and mopping your floors. I even have a Roomba, a lovely little “vacuuming” machine that keeps surface dirt and fur off my carpet. All these things will save you time and help keep your house staged & show ready.
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