Keeping the house tidy anytime is a challenge, but when your home is for sale, it can be particularly tough to maintain that ready-to-show look! You’ve already done the more involved work, like shampooing the carpets, washing cabinets and cleaning the oven. Now, stay ready for last-minute showings with a little planning.

Have a family meeting.

Everyone in the household should understand how important it is to pull their weight, and be considerate (that is, don’t let the dog get muddy footprints all over the house). If you have children, assign daily tasks. If another adult lives in the house, agree to share duties.


A clean bedroom, ready to show! Image by flickr Kristen Wheatley.
A clean bedroom, ready to show! Image by flickr Kristen Wheatley.


Use your storage space.

Show your house in its best (and biggest) light! Remove anything that makes the closets look too full, and make the living space appear bigger by storing furniture you can live without. Not sure where to start? Read 5 Tips for Packing Your Stuff for Storage. If you have a garage, remember to consider how it will look to fresh eyes. Store holiday decorations, sports equipment or anything else taking up space. Also, consider storing a car you don’t drive often.

Make a schedule.

To stay organized and keep from feeling overwhelmed, create a schedule for the more time-consuming cleaning tasks like mopping hard floors, vacuuming carpets, cleaning the shower, or dusting the entire house.

Tackle the daily duties.

While you don’t need to clean everything each day, there are certain tasks that need your daily attention. Follow these steps, and you could be saved from panic when a real estate agent asks to show your house!

  • In the kitchen: Clean the sink, keeping it shining and free of dirty dishes. Hint: A Magic Eraser is great for quickly removing sink stains! Wipe down all countertops and appliances. Sweep the floor. Empty the trash.
  • In the bathroom: Wipe down the sink and faucets. Clean the mirror and shower door. Go over the toilet bowl with a brush. Remove used towels.
  • In the living room: Fold throws and fluff pillows. Remove excess clutter on the coffee table or elsewhere in the room. Dust surfaces.
  • In the bedrooms: Put away clothes. Make the bed.
  • Elsewhere: Scoop the kitty’s litter box. Do a load (or two) of laundry each day.

Are you feeling better yet? Don’t forget to reward yourself for having a clean, ready-to-show home. My recommendation: Unwind with a bit of window shopping!