Selling your home? One of the first pieces of advice you might hear is to stage your house. But after you’ve staged your home, how do you maintain “showing-ready” space while living there? If you have children and/or pets in the house, it can be an even greater challenge to keep areas de-cluttered, tidy and smelling great.

To manage the upkeep of your beautiful living space, try to:

  • Imagine yourself as the buyer
  • Establish a strict maintenance routine
  • Invest in some smart storage solutions
  • Involve the entire family

Imagine Yourself as the Buyer

Before you leave your house each day, imagine yourself as a buyer and ask, “Would I buy this home?” Look around. Is the mail collecting on the counter again? Are there dishes in the sink? If you don’t like what you see, your buyers won’t like what they see! When you are finished staging, invite a trusted friend over for honest feedback.

Also, double check that your personal items are out of view, from family photos, religious writings and political materials, to sports team paraphernalia and framed degrees from your alma mater. You don’t want to turn away buyers just because you happen to root for their biggest rival team!

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Click to Enlarge: 10 Minute Spruce-Up Checklist

Establish a Strict Maintenance Routine

Commit to spending 10 extra minutes each morning and evening to keep your home showing ready. Use PrimeLending’s 10-Minute Spruce Up Checklist to help get you started.

As you run through the checklist, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind:

  • Shake out the welcome mat and sweep off your porch – first impressions really do matter.
  • Don’t shove items in closets or cabinetry. Buyers will open everything, including closets, drawers, cabinets, pantries – basically, anything that has a door!
  • The garage matters, too! It’s okay to neatly stack a couple of storage bins, but don’t use the garage to keep everything you stowed away during staging.
  • Designate hand and bath towels, and soaps that are for display only.
  • Consider using paper goods to keep dish washing to a minimum.
  • Keep your home odor free by taking the trash out, checking your kitchen drain and removing well-used athletic gear and apparel.

Invest in Smart Storage Solutions

Depending on your lifestyle, family size and existing house rules, it may be fairly easy for you to manage the day-to-day upkeep necessary to ensure everything looks fresh. But let’s face it; it’s highly likely that you’re going to get that unexpected phone call that some potential buyers are on their way to see your home … LIKE NOW! Be prepared with some smart storage solutions.

  • Purchase a small storage bin with a lid for each room in the house to quickly stash loose clothing, toys, mail, papers, etc.
  • Choose a solid color for containers that will blend with your home, while concealing your personal items.
  • Make sure each bedroom has a nice clothes hamper with a lid.
  • Don’t forget to stow “Fido’s” toys, blankets and chews out of view in a closed-lid container.
  • No one wants to store dirty dishes, but in a pinch you might have to! Purchase a storage bin, with a lid, large enough to fit a few plates, glasses and utensils.
  • Purchase a bathroom caddy for each member of the family to store toothbrushes, shower products, washcloths, etc. under bathroom sinks or in closed-door cabinets.

Involve the Entire Family

If you have children and/or pets living in the home, it can be especially hard to keep your spaces free of clutter. Set a plan for each family member to adhere to, including your fur babies! Consider boarding your pets or using play-care during the day. And get the kids involved in daily chores and upkeep of the home, by assigning each family member specific areas to straighten before leaving the house. Set a timer for five minutes, and make a game out of everyone finishing his/her areas before the buzzer.

Staging a home is stressful enough! And, maintaining upkeep of the home for showings can become overwhelming. With the above practices in place, you can easily maintain a staged home, as well as develop some great day-to-day routines to take with you to your next home. And when you’re ready to purchase that next home, remember that PrimeLending is here to assist!

Want to learn more about staging your home? Check out these helpful articles on Zillow.

From the PrimeLending Blog, written by