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selling house and toy management

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I suppose I'm asking 2 questions. Here goes-
We've just signed the listing papers to put our house on the market. How do we prepare our 3 yr old for this house selling and moving process?

I'm dreading the whole cleaning up and prep process- every time a realtor needs to show the place. I'm thinking of starting a new toy mgmt policy limiting how many toys are out at once. I also feel like we need to do this because dd will be crawling in a few months.
How do I do this? I am not a tidy person by nature. Do I make sure every toy has its place and then insist that he only have one toy out at a time? two toys out at a time? Help me develop a tidy toy policy- for safety's sake and for house selling please!
post #2 of 12
Hi there,

We sold our house when our kids were 3 y.o and 8 mos, and I feel your pain! We put a bunch of stuff neatly in boxes in the basement, and when prospective buyers would come over, I stashed just about every toy that couldn't be neatly "displayed" in a proper place (like my daughter's room), in an out-of-the-way place. You have to think of places where people aren't going to look (like they will look in the closets, so you don't want to clutter them up). We used behind the sofa and under the beds, aside from the basement. We also tend to live with a lot of clutter, but I knew that having our house be super neat could be the difference between more $ and less, so I really knocked myself out. (p.s. It worked--there was a bidding war on our house and we ended up getting enough money to almost totally support ourselves while we went overseas for six months. Of course, then we moved to a much more expensive city, and we are despairing of ever owning again. sigh....).

We read lots of library books, and I would change the wording so that they were more positive than some of them were (I didn't want to really put the thought of "I don't want to move" into dd's head!). I'm sorry I can't remember one specifically. BUT, I will say that we got professional packers and it was one of the best things we've ever done. Seriously, it's like hospice care for your house--it lets you fully live in it until the day you move. In one day, the movers came in (we had packed nothing), packed our four bedroom house, and loaded it on a truck. It was great, esp. for our dd who didn't have to deal with weeks of boxes and her toys being put away.

Good luck with it all!
post #3 of 12
I have no answer, but just want to say that we're about to go through the same things! We just signed the listing paperwork and are now doing the pre-showing preparation (clear all surfaces, all floors, minimize Stuff, depersonalize the rooms). DD is a year old, crawling, trying to walk, just had a birthday... the house is NOT neat and tidy, and she has a TON of toys. *I* have a ton of toys. And clothes. And junk. We can't afford professional packers or movers, and we need to do a ton of packing just to get to the point that people can come through and see the floors and walls! We moved in 3.5 years ago sure that this would be the last time we moved EVER.

I am beginning to panic.
post #4 of 12
I bought my first house last year, and in the proccess of moving from our apt. I had my ds pick toys he wanted, toys he didn't and a pile of I don't knows. He was three when we started this from moving from my mothers to our apt. So when he was 4-1/2 and doing it again it went quickly! Now we do it every six months. I am not a tidey person at all either, so we only keep one box of toys. I have a nice sized book self so we can read a lot, but I get so upset if toys are left around the house. So now at b-day, x-mas, and any other time gifts are given he has to throw something out, or he chooses who the new gift will be given to if it is not something he likes enough to throw something away. (and I never throw if away unless it is broken, they all go to goodwill or to my mothers house)
post #5 of 12
Oh, I can relate~this has been our life for the past couple of weeks.

Before we put the house on the market, I had my ds go visit my sister for the day while I went through his room and got ride of some toys (BTW, he hasn't asked for them once!). Then I explained how we needed to keep his room clean because people were going to be looking at our homes. He had already looked at a few homes w/us, where other kids had lived and how clean their rooms were, so I reminded him of this. We aren't neat freaks either (and my dh works out of the home) and it was tough keeping it sparking, but I would just get up earlier to make sure the dishes were done, beds were made, house picked up ,etc.

But, the good news, our home sold within a week of being listed and we found a home and are due to close Dec. 26th!!!

Best of Luck~

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Deep breath. Is there a smiley for a deep breath? AAACCCKKK!! Ok, after reading your posts, I'll give it my best shot. The realtor is putting up the sign today and taking digital pics. I'll

I'll purge some more toys today. I have to wait until both ds and dh are out of the house. Dh can't stand to see toys leave the house either, but neither one of them miss them when they are gone. Can I get rid of this Sit'n'Spin that ds has not used in months?

Under the bed and couch is a good idea for stashing. It may take me a week to get rid of the spiderwebs in the basement. I wish we could just afford to move out before we sell the place, but that's not gonna happen.
post #7 of 12

i keep most put away in the basement.

i bring about 5 toys upstairs.
each week a switch what toys we use.
i try to pick toys that fit into the things i am "teaching" my baby.

for example: this week i am working on animal sounds, so i got out all his farm animal toys.

next week we might do colors, so i'd get out some colored blocks and maybe crayons.

rotate rotate rotate.
post #8 of 12
We sold our first house when DD was 18 months old. I kept a couple of those big plastic tubs with a lid in the family room. Any time that we needed to show the house, I made a quick sweep and put all the toys in the boxs, put the lids on and stashed them in the garage.

I also gradually packed toys away for the move. DD was pretty young and did'nt really miss any toys, but it was like Christmas morning when we unpacked all those toys in the new house!
post #9 of 12
I hope your house selling goes well to all of you trying to sell. We are in the other end...trying to find a home to buy. We have looked at loads of homes, and altho the neat ones of course have more "curb appeal"......I keep in mind I am not buying the other people's junk/furnishings/clutter if the house is a little messy. The homes are being lived in for goodness sakes! Besides it sure as heck wont look clean after we live there a few weeks! :LOL I would not sweat it. My realtor told us only serious buyers/sellers are in the market in the deep winter months. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
post #10 of 12
When we were looking at houses one family had stored a whole bunch of toys in the bath tub. Didn't bother us a bit - it actually seemed kind of cute.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just found some plastic bins that fit under the sofa in the living room. Great ideas from you all
This way I can toss all of our crafty messes and reading material in the bins and slide them under the sofa before a showing.

Now I just have to figure out how to de-clutter our entryway where all of our shoes are. I was going to add shelves for the shoes, but am not sure if I should now that we'll be moving out. Maybe I'll put one of those shoe hangers on the inside of the door down to the basement.
post #12 of 12
I once heard that a good way to make your home feel attractive and warm is to have a pot of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove. Or bake some yummy cookies.

Best of luck to you in selling your home quickly and getting a great price for it!
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