My husband and I recently got the opportunity to buy my grandparent’s house from them, which is located in the neighborhood I grew up in. Of course, we jumped on the opportunity, because it is a great location with amazing schools and I just love the nostalgia of it. But before we can move into the cute little house of our dreams, we have to sell our current house. Which means we had to figure out how to keep the house clean. All.The.Time. With a baby.
After having our house on the market for a couple weeks, we learned some invaluable practices for keeping our home ready for a showing at a moment’s notice.
We discovered that you can keep your house looking market ready in just 20 minutes a day.
Yes, you read that right. 20 minutes. Maybe even 5 of those minutes you have just one hand since the forementioned baby is crying because you wouldn’t let her pull your hair like she wanted to.
To start, my husband and I did take some time (a weekend) to clean out and declutter our house so we had a little less to manage on a day to day basis. For example, I live in Houston, Texas and we only have winter for about 3 days. So my winter coats and our Christmas decorations went to a storage unit.
Your first action item is to set aside some time to go through your closets and storage spaces and clear out things that you won’t likely need while your house is on the market. You will want to use that space to store things that you will use frequently, but don’t need to be sitting on the counter and distracting buyers from your home (ex: your KitchenAid Mixer. Yes, it’s cute, but buyers are more interested in your counter space).
You may actually find quite a few things that you can donate or make money off of in a garage sale. That is a win-win right there!
Once you are done decluttering, you get to move on to day to day maintenance! This process really can be accomplished in 20 minutes every day with some focus and organization.
Our process for keeping the house clean in 20 minutes a day
- Make your bed every morning. – 2 minutes
- Put all dirty laundry in a pretty hamper with a lid. Don’t turn buyers off by showing them how long it has been since you did laundry. – 30 seconds
- Put away all makeup and hair products after you use them. Keep those countertops clear! – 30 seconds
- Make sure all dresser drawers are shut tight. – 15 seconds
- Put away clean dishes and load all dirty dishes. With our 5-month-old baby, we are washing bottles every night. – 7 minutes
- Wipe down counters. Buyers don’t want to see crumb covert countertops! – 45 seconds
- Rinse out your sink and dry it out with a paper towel. Getting rid of any water droplets in your sink makes a huge difference in how clean your kitchen looks. – 30 seconds
- Fold blankets and straighten up couch pillows. 1 minute 30 seconds
- Walk around your house with a basket and toss in everything that needs to be put away (toys, burp cloths, shoes, remotes). You can either put those things away immediately or store the basket somewhere and put those items away later. – 7 minutes
With just 20 minutes a day, your house is spotless and ready for a showing! Be sure to add fresh flowers and light a scented candle (my favorites are the Capri Blue candles they sell at Anthropologie) just before potential buyers walk in. Your house will be off the market in no time!
Even if you aren’t listing your home at the moment, it is so nice to have a clean house to come home to every day. Work on building these cleaning tips into your daily routine, and you will never have to wonder how to keep your home clean again!
What are your cleaning tips and tricks to keep your house looking spotless? Share in the comments below or email Mattie: Mattie@growingthegivens.com!
Guest Post Bio:
Mattie Givens lives with her husband, daughter and blog assistant (dog) Sadie in Houston, Texas. She is on a mission to encourage women to live joyfully even through life’s imperfections. She shares tips, sarcasm, and stories about marriage, goal setting, and positive living at Growing the Givens. Take her free e-course to learn simple decluttering steps you can make this week!