I can remember when I was a kid and my mom screaming at us to pick up after ourselves. The home was on the market and, when I look back on it now, my heart goes out to my mother. It was a constant battle to urge three young kids, predictably distracted by the next shiny object, to finish one distraction (by cleaning up) before moving on to the next.
Today, parents are a lot busier, especially if they both work, so the battle may seem never-ending. If you’re about to put your Spokane home up for sale and you have children, read on for a few ways to save your sanity during the process.
Get rid of it
As a parent, I know how easy it is to let old, neglected toys pile up among the newer, more-fun playthings. Before listing the home, go through the children’s toys (preferably not in their presence) and purge anything that is no longer a part of their playtime. Give the toys away or throw them away, but get them out of the house. Trust me, despite what we saw in “Toy Story,” Junior’s cowboy doll won’t come to life to haunt you if you give it away.
Similarly, keep out only the most-used toys while the home is on the market. The rest can be packed and put into storage.
Give them a home
The easier part of this second step is figuring out where all of the kids’ “stuff” should be when they aren’t playing with it. Whether that’s a basket in the closet or a toy box, having them return their items to the designated spot will be far more challenging.
But before we tackle that, let’s talk storage solutions. Not only do they need to be functional for short people (meaning, kids), they also need to be attractive to homebuyers. There are a ton of of attractive storage solutions for kids’ toys and you’ll find many online, such as this one at Babble.com.
Teach kids to be tidy
Luckily, even the smallest of humans is capable of learning a new habit. In fact, a study released in 2014 claims that children form their basic habits by age 9, and their habits are “unlikely to vary” after that, according to Rebecca Jackson on Psychology Today.
So, instilling the tidiness habit in them now (provided they’re younger than 9), will actually help them in their adulthood, so get cracking, Mom and Dad. Decide on a routine, communicate it with the kids and then instill the habit. For instance, make it a rule that everyone make their beds as soon as they’re out of them. You may need to supervise the bed-making or the picking up of toys, not allowing the child to do anything else until the job is complete. After one or two times of intense supervision, however, the child should begin doing the job unsupervised at your request, according to mental health counselor Peter Allman.
This, too, will pass, Mom and Dad. The house will sell and you will maintain your sanity.