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  • Writer's pictureLisa Parker

Tips for Keeping Toys Under Control While Selling Your House

Moving is widely acknowledged to be one of the most stressful events in life. Adding kids to the mix makes it especially stressful for a young family to sell their home. Children’s routines are thrown off when showings coincide with mealtime or bedtime. Cleaning and packing are extremely difficult to do around children, and there are tons of other details that are all harder to take care of with kids involved.

It’s almost a full-time job for anyone to keep a home in “showing ready” condition, but babies, toddlers and preschoolers can’t grasp the concept of keeping their toys put away at all times. Home staging expert Debra Gould shares the following tips for reining in your kids’ toys while selling your home:

• Keep only one box of toys in the house for each child, and put the rest in storage. You can always alternate the toys your child has access to if your home is on the market for longer than a couple of weeks.

• Don’t keep games or building toys with lots of small pieces around, as these are very frustrating to clean up in a hurry for a last-minute showing.

• Limit large items. Kitchen sets, puppet theaters, easels, tents and kid-sized furniture should be put into storage instead of taking up valuable floor space.

• Keep bicycles and other outdoor toys stored neatly and not strewn across the yard. You never know when a potential buyer might drive by.

• Use attractive storage for remaining toys. Consider adding a cubical storage shelf with canvas baskets to the family room or child’s room to store and showcase the toys that are staying while the house is listed. When toys are organized this way, it’s easier to clean them up quickly.

• And here’s a valuable packing tip: Put a toy or two in every box so the kids are excited about unpacking and you’ll have their cooperation while getting the boxes emptied.

The presence of toys probably won’t turn off buyers without children, but keeping things tidy and preventing toys from overwhelming the home will increase the property’s appeal. Keep in mind that a professional home stager can help relieve the burden of preparing your home for sale and make it easier to live in a show home while your house is on the real estate market.

Written by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, © Copyright Six Elements Inc. Used with permission. To learn more, visit

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