How to Sell Your House with a Toddler

It sucks. It’s not easy. I don’t suggest it.

But moving on…

  1. Pair down, EVERYTHING:  The first thing your realtor will tell you to do is to get your house show ready. That means clearing out personal items and scaling down clutter and decor. You want your stuff to showcase the house, not hide it. Store things away that you don’t really need, or that could cause clutter and messes that take too long to clean up on a whim.
    • Minimize toys: Put away a majority of the toys. This may or may not frustrate them at first, but it helps SO MUCH when a showing comes up last minute and you can just toss some toys in a bin instead of an entire room of toys.
    • Minimize dishes: I actually paired our dishes down to 4 of everything. Everything else I put away in bins. This limited the number of dishes I could dirty…and therefore helped minimize the possible sink pileups. I’ve really enjoyed this and might not bring out the others after we move!
  2. Get help: If possible, get help. My MIL thankfully lives less than a mile away. For those of you with MIL nightmares, I get along really well with my MIL, so I’m super thankful of her proximity! We have full access to her house, so if there’s a showing I can pop Little Man into the car and camp out at Grandma’s, even if she isn’t home. It’s super helpful having a place to go. Also, if the house has gotten out of hand, or Little Man is SUPER clingy, I can have Grandma watch him for even an hour and get the house prepped. It’s amazing how quickly house chores get done with there isn’t a tyrant kiddo around!
  3. Block out nap time: We had conditions on showings. They had to give AT LEAST an hour notice, and could not be between 11-1. Thats nap time people. This mama DOES NOT mess with nap time. Call me too rigid or strict, but as a mama to a kid who woke up MULTIPLE times a night until around 15 months, and didn’t use to be a good napper…I’m not messing with that schedule. (And you don’t want to be around me if YOU mess with that schedule).
  4. Don’t over stress: Easier said than done, I know. This just means, your house doesn’t have to be spotless. I’ve left rinsed dishes in the sink. I’ve left not recently swept floors. I’ve tossed a throw blanket on a chair without folding it (Eek!). So you can sometimes draw things in the dust on our night stands, so what. They aren’t buying my furniture, and they aren’t buying my housekeeping skills. Personally, I don’t even notice those things when LOOKING at a house, so why should someone else? Again, you just want it in good enough condition that they can see the house. Also, I have a kid. They should respect that selling a house with kiddos adds a whole new level of stress to the process.
  5. You can stay during showings:  My realtor told me up front. “You’re a mom, I don’t expect you to leave for showings.” What!?!? That’s a thing? I guess so. It completely weirds me out and makes me uncomfortable, but there were a couple of showings where Little Man hadn’t woken up (see note on messing with naps), so I simply told them the nursery was off limits and that I would be on the front porch and out of their way. Not my preferred method, but it worked in those instances, and it was nice not having to rip my kiddo out of bed and deal with the aftermath.

These are just some of the things that have helped me. And that is with one toddler. Selling a home is rough and stressful. No one wants to have to get up and leave their house at a drop of the hat, they want to relax and enjoy their time. Find the things that make it more difficult for you and discover ways to lessen or eliminate those variables (such as minimizing dishes, or maybe even using disposable for eating out if that is an option for your family. )

Just breathe and you will get through it. Once your house is sold you can look forward to the joys of house hunting with a kiddo, and then moving out/moving in with a kiddo! Fun times!