It happens to every seller at least once: your agent calls about some interested buyers, but they want to see the house right now. You don’t have time to do a full clean up, but you want your home to look presentable for a showing, and maybe even a successful sale. How and where do you stash your things? How do you clean up in time?
- To quickly spruce up your couch, flip the cushions to the clean side and fluff the throw pillows. Strategically placed blankets and pillows can be used to disguise or hide stains or discoloration on the sofa.
- Clear your coffee table of books, magazines, and papers. Stack magazines and books neatly in a pile and place under the coffee table or side table. Stash important papers and mail in a desk drawer to be sorted through later.
- Have a few decorative baskets on hand to toss random items into. Baskets are wonderful at making ordinary messes look orderly by containing them neatly.
- Quickly vacuum the carpet. The sight of vacuum track marks on the carpet immediately evokes the idea of cleanliness. Sweep up any dirt or dust on wood floors. Feel free to deposit the dust pile beneath the rug if you’re pressed for time – we guarantee buyers won’t look under there!
- Move dirty dishes from the sink into the dishwasher, even if they’re not dishwasher safe. You can remove them after the showing. If your dishwasher is overflowing, you can hide smaller items in a big pot with a lid for the time being.
- To make your kitchen smell delicious without actually baking cookies, put two caps full of vanilla extract in an oven-proof dish and place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. The scent will make your whole home smell fantastic.
- Take all of the notes, pictures, and magnets off your fridge. Place them in a re-sealable bag and toss them in a drawer. You can hang them back up when the buyers are gone.
- Make your bed. Nothing makes a room look instantly cleaner like a made bed.
- Clear the clutter off the tops of your dresser and side table and stash the items in the drawers for the moment.
- Rather than jamming extra items into the closet, where curious buyers are sure to look, hide those things beneath your bed. Stow out-of-season clothes in skinny storage boxes, or simply push everything under the bed and rely on the bed skirt to earn its keep.
- Much like with your bedroom, make the bed and hide clutter in drawers if possible. Stuff plush toys into pillow cases to create a cleaner-looking bed.
- Store toys in a toy chest, decorative baskets (seriously, these are worth their weight in gold!), or even in a pop-up play house.
- Spritz dirty diaper areas with air freshener.
- Gather up books in neat piles and place on a chair or desk.
- Quickly wipe down the sink, mirrors, and toilet. If you don’t have time to wipe down the bathtub, pull the shower curtain closed and hope for the best. Gather the toiletries you keep in the bath or shower into one specific cluster, rather than leaving them scattered throughout the shower or tub.
- Light a candle to give your visitors a more intimate and relaxing (and better-scented) bathroom experience.
- Keep a decorative basket on top of the toilet or beneath the sink where you can toss stray toiletry items.
- Hang clean towels from the towel rack, or roll them neatly for a spa-inspired look.
Trunk of your car
- If you truly have no time to waste, or you have some unusual items, like cat litter boxes or dog beds, you can keep them in the trunk of your car until your visitors are gone.