Saturday, April 21, 2007


To anyone who has sold a house while there were young children living in it---help!

I feel like I turn into some mean house-cleaning witch before a showing. My poor kids. They're going to hate me by the time this house sells.

How did you do it? How did you keep your sanity? Please share any secrets for how I can keep the house clean without getting so frustrated with my kids. This morning I felt like they were walking around behind me unintentionally messing up whatever I had just finished cleaning. It was rough.


Sandy said...

Sounds like my house all the time! Just today I have cleaned the kitchen and living room twice, and its only 2pm. I don't know about the house selling stuff -- but here's a couple ideas people have shared with me that have helped with my sanity in our overly small home with underly helpful small people.

Try sticking empty laundry baskets around the house in strategic spots to drop things that don't belong in that room as you come across them. When its full, then put it all away at once (and the kids can help - everyone chooses a basket to put away for 15 minutes or something...), rather than constantly picking up small items and running around the house putting them away all day. After a few days they may get sick of putting away the piles in the baskets and MAY just start picking up after themselves...

Also, I'm all about the Clorox wipes -- just keep some in the bathroom cupboard, under the kitchen sink etc. and you can wipe up the sink (or toilet, floor, whatever) in 2 seconds. You know, "excuse me while I use the restroom...", run in, wipe up everything, flush, run water, come out smiling:)

One I learned on the Discovery channel (you know that show with the family with like 16 kids? who are always smiling and their house is always clean?) - give each member of the family a "jurisdiction" that they are in charge of keeping clean, age appropriate (like the bathroom, or laundry area or something). Their area has to be clean before they can do things like video games or ride bikes...and I bet they'd all turn into little cleaning nazis themselves if someone else messed up their area:)

Anyway...those are a couple of my ideas that have worked for various lengths of time over here. let me know if you come up with anything else, I'm always up for new ideas, too:)

My master plan at finally keeping the house cleaner is to move to a bigger house....with a garage to keep stuff in and a fenced yard for the kids to play in all day instead of messing up the house:)

Ang said...

Hey Andi--my sympathies! That's one of the worst things about selling a house. I remember when we were trying to sell our 11th street house and Jonas was a baby and the other two were little I thought I might just lose my ever loving mind. I don't have many helpful hints like your friend above, other than just being super vigilant. I would make sure everything was put away at night before going to bed. Then, instead of waking up and having breakfast and reading a bit of the paper (or whatever), I would wake up, make all the beds and get the kids dressed IMMEDATELY (that way if anyone called for a short notice showing I'd be more ready). Then, usually, I'd leave. Get out of the house. Then it can't be messed up! :-) Good luck, though . . . and I hope you get a good offer soon so you don't have to keep this up for long. It's no fun!

Ang said...

Oh, and you're friend is right about having a bigger house. Although it seems counterintuitive, I have an easier time keeping a clean house now that my house is bigger. More places for everything. I can keep the main level pretty clean almost always . . . and then I only venture into the basement every once in a while (and now the kids are old enough to clean that anyway!). Other than the increase in toilets to clean, which is a pain, and vacuuming and whatnot, I think you'll find it easier instead of harder to keep a bigger house clean.

Laurie said...

These are good ideas. Clayton was 18 months when we were on the market for 3 months, and it was rough. I was constantly wiping fingerprints. My best bet was getting out of the house once breakfast was cleaned up.

I really like the idea of everyone having an assigned job - having a family council about how this all works and giving them things to check when you let them know it's time to leave the house. Maybe there can be a Chuck E Cheese date planned for every week or so that they are good about helping or keeping their messes confined.

Hang in there. I know - it's a huge pain. Especially that so many people want to come see the house on Sundays!

Patrick said...

do you have any large closets that could fit two children? Just kidding. No advice from the childless, but good luck!