Budget-Friendly Tips for Busy Parents Trying to Clean and Prep Home to Sale

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Putting your home up for sale is an act that comes with a lot of moving pieces. Aside from the packing, you’ll be spending a great deal of time cleaning, prepping, and staging your home for potential buyers who drop in for a showing or open house. What’s more, having kids around means making the most of any and all free time to prep.

Living in a multicultural area like California, you have a variety of families from all different backgrounds who may be coming to view your home. Each has different beliefs, cultures, and traditions, but remember that you all want the same thing: A happy home. So, as you get in the right mindset to prep your home for a brand new family, keep these parent and budget-friendly tips in mind to make it shine without spending too many dimes.

Use DIY Cleaning Products

You’ll frequently clean your home for planned and last-minute showings and open houses. As a parent, cleaning is already in your vocabulary. So, rather than spend money on pricey cleaners, create your own cleaners using household items such as baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, and essential oils. 

If you’re pressed for time and would rather stock up on supplies at the store, you can still save by using coupons, buying in bulk, and most importantly, using the very last drop. Now, chances are you’d prefer your kids aren’t using cleaning products, so have them use kid-friendly cleaning tools instead so that they can still help out such as a microfiber cloth, duster, magic eraser, or the classic broom and dustpan.

Make a Cleaning Plan

A good deep clean of your home sets the stage, but a quick clean is also necessary before prospective buyers arrive. According to Redfin, it’s crucial to create an open house checklist with items such as deodorizing, decluttering, securing valuables, and removing/securing pets. To avoid that last-minute cleaning frenzy or having to fork over cash for a house cleaner, stick to a weekly cleaning schedule. Spending just 30 minutes a day focusing on a particular room will save you tons of time later. 

In addition, create a list of everyday tasks that need to be completed. This is where you can involve the kids in age-appropriate daily chores to make cleaning a breeze. Rewards help speed the process along, but buying ice cream every time your child cleans is expensive. Opt for meaningful and low-cost rewards such as praise, a later bedtime, or social activities such as a sleepover with a friend.

Staging Is a Must

After you’ve got the cleaning routine down, you need to stage your home to appeal to buyers. You’ve likely seen the photos in magazines of staged homes, and it looks expensive. Keep it budget-friendly by adding small touches that make a big statement. A fresh coat of paint can completely change the look and feel of a room, while decorative throw pillows, fresh bathroom towels, and a new rug add a pop of color and style. 

You can pick up these and other items through popular retailers, and keep costs extra low by seeking out coupons and promo codes online for your favorite stores. The best part? These new pieces come with you to your new home.

Plan to Be Out of the House

The general rule is that you, the kids, and any pets should be out of the home during showings and open houses, so come up with a fun outing to keep everyone occupied. There are plenty of free activities nearby such as parks, libraries, museums, and dog parks. 

Use this time to run errands, visit grandparents, or meet up with a friend. The best-case scenario is that buyers will view your home while the children are in school, but in case it happens after hours or on the weekend, have a back-up plan in place.

Preparing your home for sale takes hard work and planning. Add kids to the mix and you need an added layer of planning. However, once it’s done, the memories and laughter can begin.

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