Okay so I've alluded to the fact that I'm lazy in the past, and, of course, by "allude" I mean I have been brutally honest about it. I'm sure this will come as a surprise to...someone out there, that laziness is probably the number one contributing factor of sloppiness. Probably. I'm basing that purely on logic, but I'm not really great at logic so let's just say I made that up (but it sounds legit right?)
So to most of the population all of these will just make a ton of sense, but to a sloppy girl such as myself (or my children) sometimes we need things spelled out for us. The number two contributing factor to overall sloppiness is...wait for it...the suspense is killing me...CHILDREN! Boom! That my friends was the sound of a huge truth bomb! My kids are the worse...at cleaning. They are pretty much the finest and brightest in every other respect, and I love them dearly which is why I'm still harboring their filthy selves up under my roof. That and because I'm required to, by law, but mostly the love thing.
So, anybody else find half eaten bowls of mac and cheese hidden under the couch because when I told them to take care of their dish that was what made sense. Don't even get me started with what I find in the couch. This Studio C skit is what I think of every time I have to put my hand into the cushions. That is a scary, gross territory and I am afraid to venture into it. The couch stuff is just the tip of the grossness iceberg that is my children. They seem baffled that I would flip over trash on the floor...let me be clear here, ITS ON THE FLOOR! They can't imagine why potential buyers wouldn't be ok with them leaving panties on the floor, and don't even get me started on the bathroom. They also can't imagine WHY I would demand that all the dishes are washed before we go to bed.
Long story short my kids aren't loving my new pro-active keeping the house near a constant state of readiness. I love it. I mean holy beautiful house batman! Why were we living like slobs before? I want for our house to be ready to be shown at any given time with-in an hour. Although, my awesome realtor wrote it into my listing that we need 24 hours notice because we flipping live here. So here it is ladies and gents my guide to be a sloppy housekeeper selling a house.
1. Take out the trash. One of the last things I do before I walk out of our house about to show is take ALL the trash out. Nobody wants to smell your funky junk, or see what kind of garbage you have. So take care of it prior to a showing. I'm usually an advocate of leaving it until the trash can is full so as not to waste a perfectly good bag, but for this I take a large lawn and garden bag and just dump all the trash can contents into one bag. Bam, waste problem solved!
2. Turn on the lights, and I mean ALL of them. You only get one chance at a first impression. You need to wow them from the time they walk in the door, and keep them interested the whole way through. I always thought lighting wasn't that big of a deal. Which is sad since Señor Hotness has worked in the world of lighting for most of our marriage. When we redid our Texas house we really put a ton of attention into our lighting. That was the upside to living with a lighting professional. He knew what we needed, and where we needed it. It was heavenly. It was then that I became a fan or proper lighting. Your home will never look as good as it does when it is well lit. Light bright spaces are far more appealing than dark areas. So deal with the energy impact and turn on those lights.
3. Make sure your window coverings are open. I know that those window coverings are really wonderful for privacy, but if you've got views use them. Show them what they have the potential of looking at if they decide to buy your pad. This is also one of the last things I do before I have a viewing. Natural light is also an incredible plus. It brings some of the outdoors, indoors, and helps all the rooms with windows feel bigger.
4. Give everything a last minute shine. I have begun to utilize the full power of the horde in home staging. It is my tween's job to clean all three bathrooms, and it is the moody seven year olds job to get out the furniture spray and give all the tables in the house a good wipe down. I personally like the Pledge multi-surface for this. Remember you aren't trying to do a deep cleaning. Ideally that would have already taken place, and you are just maintaining the cleanliness. The multi-surface spray is awesome because it also works with leather, and I have her give the family room sofa and love seat a quick wipe down as well. The teen or I usually give the kitchen that last bit of sparkle.
5. Make your beds when you wake up. If you are making your bed when you roll out of it then that is one thing you aren't having to address when you get the call that someone wants to come take a look. Its easier to straighten up an already made bed then it is having to feverishly make 5 beds.
6. Make sure your house smells good. Here is where things get tricky. What you think smells good maybe super gross smelling to someone else. So I have a scentsy warmer in the kitchen with a mild smelling wax in it. The rest of the house gets spritzed with Febreeze fabric refresher. I have the teen or the tween go through the house after we have finished. Starting at the top, and coming down and give the sofa's, curtains, rugs, beds and closets a quick spritz. I'm not talking about them drenching them down. That would hit potential buyers with a wall of smell so strong their toes would curl. It takes a practiced hand, but a gentle few spritzes to each room makes a room smell fresh and not at all over powering. Make sure that you pick a more neutral scent. For example I personally prefer a fruitier tropical scent, but I know that doesn't appeal to everyone so my Febreeze scent is fresh linen. It is a gentle scent that smells of fresh laundry which as everyone one can attest is pretty much the best smell on the planet earth. For the closets that tend to smell like a nasty foot I did get odor eaters because nobody wants to smell someone else's gross foot smell.
I'm pretty sure any and all of these can be found in the Fly Lady manifesto of home cleanliness, but for us mere mortals these are learned behaviors. I will say I am in love with our clean house, and much to my children's horror have declared that this will be a new way a living for our family going forward whether we're selling our house or not. These are all great ideas that will help elevate your home when it is shown to buyers. You want to grab, and keep their attention from the first time they walk in the door. You want potential buyers thinking about how great their furniture would look in your home, and how they would use all the spaces themselves. You want them to be thinking about living happily ever after in their home so that you can move on, and create your own happily ever after in your new home.