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Our house is on the market- we purchased our home here in the Washington DC area when we thought we would be here a long time. I hadn’t planned on needing to sell it so soon, but if military life has taught me anything, it’s that I really need to stop making plans. This move has come on fast, which means we really don’t have a lot of time to make sure this house is show ready. We also have eight people living here right now (and two cats and a dog) . . . I need all the help I can get.
Cleaning has never been something I enjoyed. It’s also not one of my strengths. When the house was first listed, we would get a call for a showing and my heart would race, and I would panic as I ran around the house trying to get it ready for a potential buyer.
Luckily for me, everyone here pitches in to make the house sparkle. We’ve finally come up with a routine that works for us, so we can go from the call to show-ready within about an hour (which I think is amazing when you consider how many people live under this roof).
Helpful Tips to Get Started
Our home isn’t perfect- and yours probably isn’t either. It’s easy to get wrapped up into feeling like you have to have a perfect, shiny, new, upgraded home when it’s on the market, but that isn’t the case. When you get ready for a showing do pour your heart and soul into making your home shine. Do your best to clean and de-clutter- but don’t let yourself feel defeated if it isn’t Pinterest perfect. You bought your home for a reason, and eventually, someone else will come along who will love it as much as you do. Don’t let yourself feel let down when house hunters don’t buy your home- just tell yourself that they aren’t the right buyer, and keep on doing your best.
That being said, it’s understandable if you are feeling stressed. I’ve been using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products around the house- but especially on days when we have a showing. I don’t know how I didn’t discover these cleaners sooner… they have the most wonderful scents and make me feel happy and peaceful as I clean with them. My favorite scent is Lavender- it leaves each room smelling fresh. It makes a world of difference to use products and cleaners that make you happy- after all, selling your home is stressful, and if wearing a pretty apron, or using a cleaner with essential oils makes you feel a little better, do it!
Grab Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products at Whole Foods Market!
When all else fails, declutter. I don’t believe in having a storage unit, or using the garage as a dumping ground… but we do both of these things when the house is on the market. It’s so much easier to keep your home clean when there is less stuff to be left on the floor or on the counters. Right now, half of our kitchen is in boxes, and almost all of the kids’ toys are also packed up. All of these things are either in the garage or in a small storage unit across town until we get to our new home. Ironically, I don’t miss anything that I packed (maybe these things would have been better off being donated or sold rather than stored?). Take a look at what you have around your house and pack it up!
How to get your home show ready in less than an hour
Rule #1: (and the only rule) Everyone chips in. You cannot sell a house if you are the only one working. Every adult and child in your home should be working. Our kids understand what a clean room looks like, and know how to get their bedrooms (and mine) ready to go. While I get started on the below list, I send them off to clean up the floors, wipe down surfaces with water, or clean next to me. With proper training and adult supervision, kids absolutely can help clean. Put them to work!
- Start with the basics. The very first thing I do when I hear we have a house showing is to unload, reload and run the dishwasher, and put any dirty laundry in the washing machine. Hand wash any remaining dishes with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Dish Soap in Lavender scent. These two tasks get the house smelling nice and clean, and take care of the two biggest messes in my home (dishes and laundry piles).
- Go around to all the bathrooms, place Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Toilet Bowl Cleaner in Lemon Verbena scent in the toilet bowl, and spray down the floors around the toilet with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray. I do not actually scrub and wipe at this point- I just put the cleaner down and walk away. With Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products smelling as good as they do, this gives the cleaners a chance to start working without much effort from me, and the small bathrooms smell fabulous. I do lock the doors behind me because we have small kids- even though these cleaners are made from plant-derived ingredients; you still want to be careful.
- Make all the beds in the house.
- Start tossing. We keep large baskets and boxes around the house just for when we have showings. I would love to tell you that we are always tidy… but we aren’t. Sometimes the call comes when we are in the middle of a craft or when the kids have been building forts. No big deal- everything goes into the baskets, and I can sort their contents after the showing is over. For now, toss, toss, toss.
- Vacuum, Sweep, Mop.
- Clean the bathrooms- go back in, and wipe down all the surfaces, wipe up the floor, and swish the toilet bowl.
- Clean all the mirrors and fingerprints off doors and windows.
- Hide any leftover messes in laundry baskets (take them in the car with you) or place a folded blanket on top of any dirty laundry baskets, or other random messes. (No, don’t leave blankets all over the house, but one closet with a folded blanket on a basket shouldn’t be a deal breaker).
- Get out and do something fun during the showing! We like to hit the drive through for ice cream or go to the park while the showing is happening. We have to take our dog with us so she doesn’t bark, so whatever we choose to do, we keep it low key.
And that’s that!
If you haven’t tried Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products, now is a great time to check them out. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® will donate $1 to Whole Kids Foundation for each of the first 25,000 cleaning products purchased at Whole Foods Market between 8/24/16 and 9/13/16 to help kids learn to grow and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. This offer is valid on all scents of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Dish Soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Concentrate, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Toilet Bowl Cleaner, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Auto Dish Soap.