Decluttering, House for sale, kids, Organizing

Prepping your kids room before listing your house for sale

Prepping your kids room before listing your house for sale:

One of the many challenges with listing a home for sale when you have small children at home is “what do I do with all the toys?”  A related challenge is “how do I show my house when there are toys everywhere?”

As part of prepping your house for listing for sale, you will need to tackle the somewhat daunting task of toys – deciding which toys can be donated or sold and which toys can be discarded.

For toys that you want to hang on to and keep for DURING your house listing, the rule of thumb is to have toys in only one room – your child’s bedroom. This can be impossible if more than one child shares a bedroom and that bedroom is small. When this occurs, I recommend you designate a room elsewhere in the house (and preferably not on the main level where your entrance is located) as a “play room”. This might be just an area for the toys to reside in as part of a family room or guest room.

For toys you are going to sell, be prepared to take pictures and list immediately on either Craigslist or FB yard sale groups while you are sorting through them. Set a deadline for when the toy will be sold – for example, list the toy and give it 5 days. If it hasn’t sold, donate it. Otherwise you will not be clearing out space but instead will be in a holding pattern to make a sale…forward movement is what you want to maintain so you don’t get stuck.

After sorting and purging of toys, then come up with storage solutions for the toys remaining in the house. Don’t purchase any organizing containers until after the sorting and purging is finished. If there are more toys that you want to hold on to for AFTER the sale, but need to “hide” while your house is on the market, consider using plastic storage tubs (with labels on outside) and either storing the tubs in the attic or renting a storage unit while your home is listed. (Personal tip: I have utilized storage units while showing my home for sale. I rented an interior unit in a temperature maintained facility and rented the smallest unit/closet. If I had too many things to fit in there, then I had to do more purging. I also utilized plastic shelving units that I assembled and put into the storage unit so that I could stack tubs/items higher within the unit.)

Remember, potential buyers are going to know you have kids – that’s okay. What you don’t want to do is distract them with too many things or with a mess. When a potential buyer walks into your home, the first thing they notice will set the tone – if this is a pile of toys in the main entrance area; it will off put the buyer. This is why the toys should be removed from the main level if at all possible. You want a buyer to get a good feel for your home on the main level so that when they do see your child’s toys and room, it’s not the first room/sight they see.

Laundry, Uncategorized

Teaching Kids To Do Laundry

At what age can you start teaching kids to do their own laundry? If you children are tall enough (or can safely use a stepstool) and can read, then I believe you can teach them to do laundry. I would say 6-8 years old would be a good age to start.

Because we didn’t have a washer/dryer in our home when my daughter was that age, she didn’t learn until she was 10.

Here are the steps I took to teach my own daughter:

1 – I wrote down on a piece of paper three categories of laundry: darks, lights, and reds. I gave her examples of her own pieces of clothing for each category.

2 – I added the wash/rinse water temperature and set it to COLD/COLD (no worries about reds running)

3 – I added how much detergent to use and took a sharpie marker and indicated the amount on the detergent lid

4 – I taped this chart to the front of the washing machine.

5 – I supervised her doing her wash the first few times until I felt she had the hang of it.

Note: the hardest part is explaining just how many clothes will fit in the washing machine. Since nowadays most machines are free of an agitator in the center, more clothes can fit. Just be sure to explain that the clothes need to create friction amongst themselves in order for the detergent to get the clothes clean…too many clothes means not enough movement or friction.

6 – For drying clothes, I wrote down on a piece of paper the settings and kept it to just one setting (she learned as she got older how to use the different settings).

7 – I added instruction to use one dryer sheet (this was back in the 90s before I switched to non-toxic drying methods)

8 – I taped this piece of paper to the front of the dryer.

9 – I supervised her doing her drying the first few times.

Finally, reward your child for learning this valuable lesson that will help him/her the rest of their lives. Seriously. Imagine them in their 20s and dating and finding out that Joe/Jane doesn’t know how to do laundry and still takes their clothes to their mom’s to get washed/dried? Um, that is not a healthy sign of a potential relationship partner, IMHO.

Enjoy teaching and empowering your children to do their own laundry!