Insider Tips: How to Live In Your House and Keep it Staged During Showings

You walk into an open house and everything is perfect.  How on earth did they get it (and keep it!) looking so neat?!  How can you do this with your own listing, while you are living there?

1) Move out everything you don't absolutely need.  Most of the time, our houses look unkept because we have more stuff than storage.  Eliminate anything unnecessary, and you'll find that there is room in closets and drawers for everything left in the house, and it will be easier to keep tidy. 

2) Washrooms are key.  No one wants to see your personal hygiene products when they are shopping for a house.  Put the shower items you need in a plastic tupperware bin, and store under your bed or under the vanity (out of site) for easy access. 

3) Keep the Entry Way Clear.  Put away your shoes and coats.  That way, there is plenty of room for groups of people to enter your home at the same time. 

4) Invest in a Roomba or automated vacuum.  This little vacuum can zip around daily, on a schedule, and keeps the floors clean and tidy.  

5) Order Flowers.  Put in a standing order with a florist, to have them drop off a new arrangement every 4-5 days.  And ask them to pick up the old arrangement when they leave!  Fresh flowers smell great, and, providing you up keep, are a nice addition to any listing. 

6) Kennel the Pooch.  Seriously.  I have a dog, and I love him.  But many buyers don't.  You don't want potential buyers to be scared off the front porch because the dog is barking at the door.  So much for a good first impression!

8) Easy Meals.  Pick up a couple frozen meals from Today's Menu or Supperworks.  Good healthy food without the mess that comes with food prep.  It will be easier to dash out for last minute showings if your kitchen is clean. 

9) Glass Cleaner.  There are some spray n leave glass cleaners that don't require wiping.  Spray down your shower glass after each use, and it will look like-new, with minimal effort.

10) Pick Up After Yourself.  It sounds simple, and it really is.  If you bring something out, put it back when you are done.  If you clean up task one before moving on to task two, you will never have an accumulated mess to tidy.   This is particularly key in the mornings, when you leave for work.  It is safe to assume buyers will be coming through the house after you leave for the day.