5 Things Busy Parents Can Do to Keep Their Homes Clean Between Real Estate Showings

Image via Pexels

Buying a House and Parenting Is Possible

Once you decide to sell your home, you may wonder how you’re going to juggle parenting, working, and cooking meals with cleaning and decluttering your house for real estate showings—especially when you and your kids continue to eat, sleep, and live in the home. Since buying a new house before selling your current home isn’t always possible, a few simple tips and tricks can help you to keep your home market ready. Read on to learn more!

1. Eliminate Clutter

Decluttering and de-personalizing are two of the best things you can do to prep your home for sale. Not only will a tidy, organized, and depersonalized home appeal to prospective buyers, but a de-cluttered home is easiest to clean and maintain between showings. The biggest bonus is that  it gives you the opportunity to get a jump on packing.

Before listing your home, be sure to thoroughly declutter each room and storage space in your home. Then, get rid of anything you don’t need or move excess furniture, appliances, toys, and family photos into storage. To get the most out of your decluttering efforts, hire a professional organizer through Seattle Organizers. These professionals specialize in decluttering and organizing closets, garages, kitchens, storage spaces—you name it.

2. Clean a Little Bit Each Day

Before listing your home, you’ll also need to deep clean every room in the house—making sure to wipe down and wash any countertops, walls, windows, and floors.

After deep cleaning your home, however, it’s important to devote a few minutes each day to cleaning and maintaining your house to keep it tidy and show-ready. As part of your daily speed cleaning, don’t forget to:

  • Make the beds.
  • Load the dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down bathroom mirrors and countertops.
  • Wash and dry dirty clothes.
  • Fold and put away clean laundry.
  • Pick up loose toys and objects.
  • Sweep and vacuum the floors.

3. Invest in a Robot Vacuum

If you don’t have the time or energy to regularly vacuum and sweep your floors when you’re busy trying to sell a home, a robot vacuum can be the life-saver you need to keep your house clean and tidy. A good robot vacuum will remove dirt, dust, and crumbs from your floors, helping you to keep your home clean and fresh between showings with minimal fuss.

4. Keep Spare Laundry Baskets Handy

When you live in the house you’re trying to sell, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep your floors and countertops free of clutter at all times. However, Apartment Therapy says this is where spare laundry baskets come in. When your real estate agent contacts you about scheduling a last-minute showing, toss any loose objects into the spare basket—whether it’s toys, dirty clothing, or mail—before loading it into your car and driving off before your prospective buyers arrive.

5. Make a Checklist

Even if you eliminate clutter, clean your home every day, and keep empty laundry baskets handy for picking up loose objects, you’ll need to ensure that everything is clean and in its place before a real estate showing or open house.

When you’re busy cooking meals for your family and tired from the work day, it’s easy to forget to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or take out the trash as you prep your home for a showing. However, putting together an open house task-list that includes things like securing your valuables, opening the curtains or blinds, turning on all the lights, eliminating odors, and taking out the trash can help you to ensure that your home will look clean and spotless by the time your prospective buyers arrive.

A Final Note

Selling a home that you continue to live in with your family isn’t easy, but these five tips will save your sanity, alleviate some stress, and keep your house clean and tidy until it sells. You probably won’t be able to keep your kids from leaving their toys and books on the floors or countertops, but these simple tips will make the cleanup process a whole lot easier. And thanks to your efforts, you’ll have the house sold soon!

Is Clutter-Making Genetic?

Order Chaos

I was recently with a client and working with her on her entire home that had been bombarded by her own past and that of her parents. In our first conversation she said, “I don’t want to be like my parents who I believe are “collectors” or maybe even hoarders.”  I can’t tell you how many people say a similar comment in regard to their family. They may blame their parents or a parent for why they can’t let things go and let their “stuff” pile up. Is clutter-making genetic? Therein, leaving their mind cluttered; wasting time looking for things and effecting their self esteem because they are so overwhelmed by all of it that they become stunted. I started researching and found some stunning insight and research based facts regarding inheriting the “clutter gene”. It is still debatable between the professionals. I believe that it is a combination of hereditary and learned behavior.

After doing Residential Professional Organizing for 21 plus years, I do believe that people can change their habits (the 60 day thing) if repetition is consistent and daily. However, it is quite a challenge for many of us in this land of fast-paced living and the “Distraction Crisis” with social media sucking up so much of people’s time where they could be purging ancient relics from their homes. I have some of my own personal habits that seem impossible to conquer. The first step is being aware. My client with her fear of becoming like her parents and many other clients with the same dread, have taken the first step – getting professional help. So, I will leave theory or fact of inheriting a “clutter gene” open for discussion. Here are a few professional views on this.

“Exactly what triggers hoarding compulsions
and desires is still under investigation. Like OCD, it may be related, at least in part, to genetics and upbringing.”
Mayo Clinic

“But biology is not destiny. Just because somebody has a genetic
predisposition to develop a certain behavioral condition, that doesn’t
mean they are doomed.”

-David F. Tolin, Ph.D., founder of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living in Hartford, CT

“People who have a compulsive urge to collect and clutter their homes with junk can partly attribute their problem to genes, according to a British study.”

Researchers from King’s College London used a twin study to find that genetic predisposition explained a large amount of the risk for compulsive hoarding – a mental health problem in which people have an overwhelming desire to accumulate items normally considered useless, like old newspapers or junk mail.

Of the more than 5000 twins in the study, roughly two percent showed symptoms of compulsive hoarding and genes appeared to account for half of the variance in risk.

Researcher Dr. David Mataix-Cols said it has long been known that compulsive hoarding tends to run in families.

But he told Reuters Health that what has not been clear is whether that pattern is due to genes or to something in the home environment, like parenting practices.

“Twin studies allow us to separate these two sources,” Mataix-Cols said.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, included both identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins share all of their DNA while fraternal twins share roughly half of their genes, making them no more genetically similar than non-twin siblings.

If genes are a more important factor than shared environment in a given disorder, then identical twins would be more similar in their risk of the problem than fraternal twins would be.

Mataix-Cols and his colleagues found that among female identical twins, when one twin showed compulsive hoarding symptoms, the other twin also did 52 percent of the time. Among fraternal twins, that figure was 27 percent.

There was no evidence, however, that environmental factors shared by twins contributed to compulsive hoarding. Instead, “non-shared” environmental factors – those unique to individuals – seemed to be at work.

Past research has shown that many people with hoarding problems have a history of traumatic events, according to Mataix-Cols. In particular, they have elevated rates of sexual abuse and “loss” – of a loved one or a home, for instance.

“What the study suggests is that genes are important, but probably some environmental stressors are needed to cause or trigger the hoarding problem,” said Mataix-Cols, adding more research is needed into this topic.

He said the hope was to find better therapies for compulsive hoarding as behavioral therapy and antidepressants are now the main forms of treatment, but they have met with limited success.

– Reuters