Hey, moms, do you ever get completely exhausted throughout the day? You know the type of day that is so jam packed full of kid stuff like teaching, playing, art, music, snacks, that you just feel like you could collapse?
I’m not one to take naps during the day but this day, not too long ago, I was completely worn out. I was was so tired I could barely walk to my bed. All I could think about was my warm, fuzzy, blanket and buttery soft pillow.
My littles were safely sleeping in their rooms and cribs, and my bigs were off playing board games. I was thrilled that I could steal a few moments to myself and recharge before it was time to make dinner.
Collapsing into my sheets, I felt myself fading into dreamland, only to be awoken by my husband shaking the blankets off my feet just moments later. “Somebody wants to see our house in 30 minutes!” He whispered urgently. “Come on! We have got to get going!” Frantic, I popped out of bed and began to sporadically scan my environment for anything out of place, randomly throwing items in cabinets, lighting candles, wiping down toilets, all while grabbing kids shoes, coats, and making my way downstairs to our van.
That, my friend, is what nightmares are made of. Sadly, this one was real. Trying to sell your house while homeschooling is not an easy process.
We had 6 young kids (12 and under) and were homeschooling all of them. That means we had all of the toys, the zany art projects, the leftover bowls of crackers left on the kitchen table. We had the everything of the day for one kid. Times 6. So, when we got the news that my husband had been laid off and we realized we were selling our home we had to come up with an action plan.
How to Sell Your House While Homeschooling
If I could tell you one thing about my most recent experience with moving with 6 young kids – it’s this: you will make it through. It might not feel like you will, but you will and you will come out stronger. If I could tell you two things, I would add: Don’t Do It! (Just kidding … sort of).
There were days when I wished I didn’t have to clean that day. And it’s not just the cleaning that is an issue, it’s the price I have to pay to make sure that I have the right products to clean. For example, my vacuum cleaner recently broke down so I’ve been looking at currently the UK’s best vacuum cleaner under £100 to help me save some money on that part. But still it’s a lot of money. So spending money is a problem and then spending my time cleaning is a problem. There were days when I decided I NEEDED an afternoon nap after homeschooling my kids all morning. How in the world you sell your house while homeschooling? Can it be done?
The truth is: trying to sell your house while homeschooling or living with young kids means a whole new level of organization needs to be attained so that you can still live your life while dealing with the inconveniences of house showings. Alternatively, you could look to sell quickly, and move on with your new life sooner rather than later. In fact, there are many homebuyers such as We Buy Houses Richmond that aim to provide a smooth selling process.
So, what do I wish I had known when I started this whole crazy process? Hmm, I wish I had a few tips that would make it just a little bit easier. Some of these are common sense – and some are the “been there done that” kind of sense. Some of these tips I just picked up along the way, but these would have helped me dramatically at the beginning of our journey. All of these should help if you are needing to sell your house while homeschooling at the same time.
12 Tips to Sell Your Home while Homeschooling at the Same Time
STAGE YOUR HOME 1: Get rid of what you don’t need
I mean it. If you don’t use it, toss it. You wouldn’t believe all of the “extra stuff” we were holding on to. I think having kids makes it doubly hard. You might be thinking “I might use that” or “they will miss that” but seriously if it isn’t used a lot and enjoyed, kick it to the curb. We had multiples of several things (types of toys that we had received near duplicates of). We donated much of our toys to a local therapy center for special needs kids. What they didn’t need we gave to Goodwill.
STAGE YOUR HOME 2: Sell extra or large furniture
Crowded homes look cluttery – and cluttery homes are harder to sell. Of course, this depends on how much furniture you have and if you are moving cross country or within the same town. It also matters if you are downsizing or not. Bulky furniture that you can rebuy at Ikea or Walmart might not be the best thing to lug halfway across the country in a big moving van. Decide if you love it – if it is a family heirloom, obviously we held on to it – but some stuff we just didn’t need.
STAGE YOUR HOME 3: Store what you don’t use
So, you might have extra stuff that you want to keep but it isn’t necessarily being used daily – store it. We packed up a bunch of boxes and are storing them in closets and in the garage. You could even use a storage unit. This gets things out of the house and allows you to “stage the house” for sale.
STAGE YOUR HOME 4: Clean off flat surfaces
Hopefully, you aren’t like me, and you actually keep your surfaces cleared and cleaned … however, if you do the same thing I do, remember to clear it off so that when people come to look they see a house that shows “like a model home”. I mean, tables, islands, counters, sinks, benches, dressers and nightstands. All these areas are a trap for extra clutter, dust, and other stuff that could distract the buyers.
STAGE YOUR HOME 5: Scrub the Walls
If your children are like my three year old, you might have some crayon marks grazing the walls or some handprints around doorways and stairwells. That is life with young kids. My husband went around and scrubbed all the surfaces of the home, before we put it up for sale. We also did just a little touch up with paint. This just gives the house a fresh feel.
STAGE YOUR HOME 6: Start up a cleaning schedule
If you aren’t already using a tried and true cleaning routine, this may be the time to start. There are a lot of ideas on the web – once such idea would be to do a cleaning day once a week (vacuum, dust, bathrooms, mop) and then keep the kitchen clean, daily. It is also a good idea to do a general tidy every morning before your phone buzzes that you have buyers coming to see it in 45 minutes! Download our printable cleaning chart here!
STAGE YOUR HOME 7: Set up Your Expectations
Talk with your realtor on what is a good amount of time to give you before buyers come to see your house. If you are out of the house all day, you would need very little notice (or maybe no notice) but if you are a stay at home mom, with young children, the more notice the better. What is the shortest amount of time you would need to get things in order and get out of the door? We chose one hour. You would need to decide if that is realistic for you. Some people choose longer time windows (such as 24 hours) – just remember that this might lower your chances of the right buyer seeing your house.
STAGE YOUR HOME 8: Print off a Last Minute Checklist
Use our last minute cleaning checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything before the buyers come to see your sparkling clean home!
STAGE YOUR HOME 9: Leave some cabinets and drawers empty
No matter how much I planned, and how much I cleaned there would be a few items that needed to be put away before the potential buyers came by. I found that hiding a few things under the sink or in an empty drawer helped tremendously!
STAGE YOUR HOME 10: Small Touches
When we were looking through homes, my husband quickly noticed small dishes of candy and other niceties that I actually overlooked. When we placed our home on the market, we made sure to do just that. Include a candy dish with a small note that said, “help yourself”, a soft yummy smelling candle (we picked vanilla or buttercream frosting to not be overbearing), and some other LED type candles for warmth. We also added some soft background music. Small touches can range from anything though to be honest, for example, it might be moving the furniture around a little bit, or leaving those sweets in a bowl for people to have. But it could also mean big changes as well, for example you might decide that you want to change your garden up completely to get people to really say “wow” as they walk up to your house. If this is something that you are in interested then you could check out a website like https://www.legionlandscaping.com/ to get your outside bit of your house looking amazing.
STAGE YOUR HOME 11: Extra Touches
We also noticed that some people prefer to have “extra information”. We decided to make this available to them as they are looking through the home. For instance, that might mean putting little signs around to show special features in your home. It might mean leaving a printed sheet that gives a rough estimate of energy and water usage charges (in a large home or a home with two laundry areas, for instance), a printed floor plan that the potential buyers can take with them are all nice touches. These things might help because most often, it won’t be your realtor showing the home but their realtor (who most likely isn’t familiar with how awesome your home really is!)
STAGE YOUR HOME 12: Have a Plan
Decide ahead of time where you will go with your kids when buyers are looking at your home. Create a plan because the buyers won’t always stick to one, but you can! Most buyers took less than the window need, some took more. Sometimes, we had two buyers back to back which made it that much longer that we needed to entertain the kids.
Just think through a plan – we usually took the kids to the park or the mall. Make sure you have what you need already in the car. We use a double stroller, so made sure that is kept in the trunk for the time we were showing our house. There usually isn’t enough time to pack for the outing.
Keep these things in your car or truck:
- Your Diaper Bag
- Extra Diapers
- Extra Outfits
- A Stroller
- A Blanket
- A Baby Carrier/Sling
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Do you need to sell your house while homeschooling your kids? I hope these tips help you and you are successful in the process! Did you stage your home? What is your best tip?
Leave a note below and let me know what helped you when you were showing and selling your house while homeschooling!