So, you’ve joined the bandwagon. Welcome! You finally made the decision to sell. You’ve gone through deep cleaning, de-cluttering and home staging to make your home attractive and move-in ready. And just like what we always tell you, it’s often like living in a hotel suite.
But, there’s always a ‘but’. Suddenly, you realized that don’t have hotel maid service or a personal chef, instead you have 1 husband, 2 pets, and 3 kids who always run around, jump on the sofa and love to play follow-the-trail-of-random-stuff-to-find-me game. How do you live your newly staged home?
Do Not Panic.
You are now faced with a frightening realization that you need to be able to keep your house just the way it looks after its been staged… because people will be visiting anytime, and sometimes with short notice.
We repeat: Do. Not. Panic.
All your preparation is going to pay off if you maintain your home just the way it is and the inconvenience you are experiencing will be over soon.. when there is a SOLD sign on your front lawn!
So, the question is: how will you be able to live comfortably in a staged home if you have a small home, pets or kids?
Here’s what to do first and foremost: Document the Evidence!
The first reveal of your newly-stage home is an exciting moment! Frankly, it’s my favorite part of the job for sure. Take it all in. Appreciate the airiness and expansiveness that home staging has given the house — now get out your camera. Take pictures of each room, of each table set up, and each intricate pillow arrangement so that in times of doubt you can always refer back to it. You can’t possibly remember every tiny detail, but you can trust that your professional home stager put it there for a reason. Using pictures will help you live in you staged home without feeling like you’ve messed it up.
So how do we eat, sleep and live in your home without leaving any evidence?
Here are some simple tricks:
- Remove all of your kitchen appliances from the counters. Do not use them; keep clean and hidden.
- Have one set of cups, plates and utensils for each family member neatly stored in a cabinet. Use only these dishes and wash after every use. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or out in a dish rack.
- Use recycled paper plates and cups to limit dishwashing.
- Keep only the essentials in the refrigerator and pantry (potential buyers are known to look inside).Unused pantry items can be donated to your local food bank.
- No personal care products (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, etc.) should be left out. Give each family member a bathroom tote to hold their daily-used products, to be put away into a closed cabinet after each use.
- Keep antibacterial wipes under the sink for quick and easy cleanup after each sink and shower use.
- Use stick-on toilet cleaners inside the bowls to keep toilets clean and smelling fresh.
- Only guest towels should be displayed in the bathrooms. Each family member should have his or her own set of towels, to be washed regularly and kept out of sight.
- Keep all nightstands and dresser tops clear of personal items. Purchase plastic containers with lids that can easily slide under beds to store reading glasses, books, journals, medications, tissue boxes, etc.
- Be sure to make the beds each morning; that way there is one less thing to do when a showing is scheduled.
- Keep all clothing items neatly put away and laundry baskets hidden in closets.
- Wash, dry, fold and put away laundry on a daily basis if necessary.
- To maintain a tidy living room, keep daily-used items (remote controls, DVDs, video games, children’s toys, etc.) hidden away in closed drawers, cabinets or storage ottomans.
• Do not let newspapers, magazines or mail stack up; file away or recycle immediately. Perhaps keep the latest newspaper in your car; it may come in handy when showings are scheduled and you need to head out to a coffee shop or other fun destination.
- Unfortunately, Fido and your feline are not staged-home friendly; it may be best to find another place for them to stay while your home is staged. Perhaps a family member, friend or neighbor can take care of your beloved four-legged family members. Another option would be to send them to a kennel-free boarding “resort” for their own vacation.
• If they must stay in your staged home, designate 1-2 rooms for your pets to live in. This will keep the fur cleanup to a minimum.
Living in a staged home may not come naturally, but if you and your family can adjust your daily routine, it can be a lot of fun. Take the opportunity to go out, explore and do things you all had always hoped to do. Motivate every family member to get in on the challenge and it can turn out to be a memorable time spent together!