Our house has been on the market for about seven weeks. I get asked all the time about the stress of trying to keep it clean and ready to show while homeschooling small children in it each day. And you know what? It IS stressful.
I’m typically a “that looks good enough” kind of gal. Not a homemaking perfectionist…at all. But I have to admit that keeping it clean hasn’t been as bad as I expected–partly due to the months of decluttering prior to putting the house on the market–but also because by trying to stay somewhat on top of things, it hasn’t spiraled until an overwhelming mess like it usually does.
But I’m also not holding myself to a ridiculous standard. I mean, people LIVE here. And most of those people are 6 and under. I’m not attempting to keep the floors mopped, windows free of tiny handprints, and bathroom pristine at every moment. Those are things I’ll need to do right before we leave the house for a showing because they’re losing battles. As soon as I mop, someone spills oatmeal. So I just mop every couple of weeks and give the rooms that need it a once over before a showing, wipe down the windows and all the bathroom surfaces right before heading out the door.
What I AM trying to stay on top of at all times is laundry, dishes, meal planning, and general tidyness. If the dirty clothes aren’t overflowing out of the laundry room and everything is promptly folded and put away, I don’t have that pesky problem of finding mystery laundry in every room cluttering things up, getting dirty again, and needing to be rewashed.
I’ve also been trying to make sure that all the dishes are in the dishwasher and all the counters cleaned before I go to sleep. There’s something about starting out with a clean kitchen that motivates me to keep it from becoming a nightmare by the end of the day.
Daniel and I are both involved in meal planning because he cooks at least half the meals around here, probably more. We don’t usually have a written out list, but we discuss the meals we want to have and make sure we have what we need. (It’s slow cooker chicken tonight, tofu stir fry tomorrow, and a gluten-free pasta dish Wednesday. We usually plan 3-4 days out.)
And I’ve been keeping floors and surfaces generally clear of things piling up and getting cluttered so that if need be, I could easily scoop what’s on the counters and other surfaces into a laundry basket or into a drawer so it would be out of sight for a showing.
Do you struggle with keeping the stuff under control? Any expert declutterers out there willing to share tips?