You need your house to look its best when its on the market, but you still have to live there. Use these tools and tips to make your home show-worthy at a moment’s notice (without losing your mind). Cut down on clutter and on the time it takes to make your home shine—from the entryway to the powder room.
Tips to Keep the Entryway Neat and Tidy
Your home makes a first impression the moment you open the door, so follow these cleaning hacks to make sure that the impression you make is the right one.
- A place for everything. If your crew dumps coats, shoes, backpacks, keys, and mail in the entryway, give each of those items a home. Add hooks for coats, purses, and backpacks, set up a landing spot for shoes, and add a mail organizer to corral letters, bills, and other important documents.
- Catch dirt early. Place a floor mat on the outside and the inside of your front door and get the whole family into the habit of wiping shoes on both before they set foot in the rest of your home.
Tricks that Keep Your Living Room Warm and Welcoming
When someone looks in on your living room you want them to be able to imagine themselves sitting back and relaxing. Don’t let dust and clutter interrupt that peaceful vision—use these tricks to keep your living space serene and inviting.
- Don’t skip the commercials. Use this time to tidy up knickknacks, wipe down tables, and dust the blinds. You can make a family game out of it, with the prize going to the one who gets their commercial break chore done fastest.
- Fluff pillows every night. You always turn off the TV before bed, so why not add fluffing pillows and cushions to your nightly habit? If you use blankets, fold them up and put them away in an attractive basket or ottoman that doubles as storage.
- Catch clutter. Place baskets or bins in strategic places where toys, remotes, and other odds and ends tend to gather. Whoever leaves the living room last is in charge of scooping up those items and getting them out of sight in the designated container. If things belong in other rooms, make sure you assign someone to put things back in their proper place at least once a day.
Hacks that Make Your Kitchen Shine
We all know the kitchen is where everyone tends to gather. Make sure yours looks the part with these daily habits and cleaning hacks that will make it sparkle.
- Wipe it down. Every night after dinner take a few extra minutes to wipe down the counters and table. Make it even easier with disposable wipes that you can grab, use, and toss with no extra maintenance.
- Keep the table set. If your brood tends to use the kitchen table as a catch-all for things like bags, homework, and magazines, deter them with a beautifully-set table. The effort it takes to put plates in place (and occasionally dust them off) is far less than the time needed to sort through a week’s worth of discarded items.
- Do the dishes. The last thing any of us wants to do after a long day is take care of the dishes. But loading the dishwasher and hand washing those few delicate items really only takes a few minutes—and you’ll feel so happy you took the time when you wake up to a nice, clean kitchen the next morning.
- Clean the sink. After your nightly round of dishes, go ahead and wipe down the kitchen sink. Daily maintenance will keep your sink from staining and will eliminate any potential unpleasant smells that sitting gunk can cause.
Shortcuts to Keep Your Bathroom Nice and Rosy
Bathrooms can be the dirtiest spot in the home, but there’s no reason yours should be. Start using these shortcuts and your bathroom will smell like a rose every day.
- Hang it up. Make sure you have enough rods and hooks for towels and robes—and get everyone in the habit of hanging both up immediately after use.
- Clean as you go. Mornings are hectic, but you’ll feel better if you leave for the day knowing that every bottle, tube, and brush is in its rightful place. Make it a habit to clear up everything you use in the morning so you don’t have to worry about rushing home to take care of it if your home gets scheduled for a showing.
- Wipe counters nightly. After washing your face and brushing your teeth, end your evening routine with a quick wipedown of the bathroom counters. And just like in the kitchen, use disposable wipes if it makes this task easier.
Habits that Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary Every Day
If you’re like me, the bedroom is often the place where discipline goes by the wayside, but you can’t afford that luxury when your house is on the market. These small habits can make a big difference in keeping your bedroom a place of rest instead of a catch-all for the castoffs of the day.
- Make your bed. Turns out Mom was right—making your bed each morning helps you set the tone for the day. This is one simple task that only takes a few minutes and sets the tone for the entire room.
- Put clothes away. It’s too tempting to throw discarded clothing on a nearby chair or other handy spot, but those throwaways tend to turn into unwieldy piles fast. Stop the madness and take a few seconds to either hang or fold clothes, or throw them in the hamper instead.
- Hide under the bed. There is likely unused storage space under your bed. Use this extra spot to keep seasonal clothes, overflowing shoes, or other household schreck out of sight.
Showing your home is stressful enough without the constant worry of keeping it spic and span at all times. Use these helpful cleaning hacks so you’ll be ready to impress potential buyers, even at a moment’s notice.