How to stay sale ready without losing your sanity

Houses are taking longer to sell in this market but life continues. So how do you keep your house looking sale ready without losing your sanity or your temper in the process?

Firstly, if you have cleaned and de-cluttered properly there will be less to tidy up and less to clean on a daily basis. That’s the good news.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay on top of things. See which ones work for you:

  • Enlist help from the family.  Chances are there is more than 1 person living in your house. Make keeping the house ‘show ready’ a shared responsibility not just a chore for 1 person (probably you!)  Give an incentive if that’s your style.
  • Have a roster of  pre open house tasks by person that need to be done each week and set aside a time for them to be done
  • Have a 10 minute tidy every day. Start the clock and get everyone to pull together to tidy for 10 minutes. It’s amazing what can get done in 10 minutes when everyone pulls together
  • Add in a 5 minute  daily clean. Invest in a couple of packets of those expensive cleaning wipes. Keep a packet hidden away in each bathroom and the kitchen and get wiping
  • Have a lidded box in each bathroom cabinet for daily bathroom items – toothbrushes, shampoo, razor etc.
  • For fast bedrooms, put a toybox with lid in each bedroom and get your kids to scoop up their toys as fast as they can.
  • For  last minute viewings give each family member a pillow case or laundry bag for them to scoop up their everyday items such as Nintendo, homework, library books or swimmers. This can be taken with them in the car when you leave and brought back into the house after the viewing. Plus this will save it getting lost by making it their responsibility
  • Got bulky items lying round such as strollers or school bags or violins?  Pile them into the boot of your car
  • Keep on top of the laundry. If you have a dryer, don’t feel guilty about using it. The process is quicker, there will be less ironing and you’ll never be caught out with clothes on the line
  • Make sure your laundry basket has a lid (no one will look inside) or throw your dirty clothes into the washing machine and close the door.
  • Empty all bins and recycling on a daily basis
  • Keep a junk drawer in the kitchen for all those little items. Buyers expect you to have a junk drawer
  • If you haven’t already done so, start running down your pantry. It will look better with less inside and be easier to keep tidy.
  • Don’t cook fatty or heavily spiced foods as the smell can linger. Use your BBQ for cooking and aim for easily prepared foods such as salads. Now is not the time to be auditioning for Masterchef.
  • Get outside help whilst you’re on the market. Either for garden maintenance or for cleaning.  This is not an endurance competition
  • If you work from home buy a lidded box for papers that you are currently working on.  Use a notebook not post its.
  • If you have kids still in nappies stop using the nappy bucket. Take each nappy straight outside and put it in the bin.
  • Keep flowers fresh and topped up with water. Consider buying flowering house plants instead (e.g. orchid) for lower overall cost and maintenance
  • Keep your new towels on hand just for show to save on washing.
  • Open your doors and windows once a day to give the house an air. Fresh air is a better smell than any cookies or candles or air fresheners
  • Keep on top of your pet litter tray etc.
I hope that’s given you some ideas to get you started. I’m always looking for new and creative solutions to keeping a house show ready. I’d love to hear your ideas.
Imogen Brown is a home stager and owner of Home Staging Brisbane based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you’d like a consultation that gets you into action and provides strategies for keeping your house sale ready then please get in touch 0432 994 056 or

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