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How to Stage a House for Sale While Living There with Kids

How can you stage a house for sale while living there with kids?! Check out these pro tips  on how to stage a home sale with kids from a mom of 4.

How can you stage a house for sale while living there with kids?! Check out these pro tips  on how to stage a home sale with kids from a mom of 4.

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Last month, I sold our condo. It’s the second time I’ve sold a house while living there with young children, and a friend suggested I share my top tips and tricks. Hopefully they’ll help other parents looking to sell a home while living in it with children.

Note: for those of you who follow on instagram, if you’re confused as to why my house looks the same, that’s because we still live there, and will for at least two more months. Our new place is delayed, delayed and, delayed again. Thankfully we have the world’s nicest buyers, and they are happy to delay our closing date until the new place is ready. We weren’t nearly this lucky when we sold in Massachusetts! 

How to Stage a House for Sale While Living There with Kids

#1 Pack As Much As Possible

Pack the things you can live without in boxes. In Massachusetts, we packed almost everything, filling our garage and a small storage pod. This time, I kept more out because I had a (sadly correct) suspicion that our move would be delayed. We don’t currently have a nice attached garage to throw things in, or I would have packed more things into temporary storage.

#2 Plan Lots of Away from Home Activities

The less you’re home, the less your kids can undo all of your hard work staging the home! We spent a lot of time at the library in Massachusetts. This time we were lucky enough to be gone most of the time the house was showing – because I planned a road trip to coincide with the home sale.

#3 Choose the Toys You Keep Out Carefully

I LOVE toys with tons of little pieces like LEGO bricks and Spielgaben, but those toys get packed up and hidden away when we’re showing a house! I keep out Magna-Tiles and small cars with car tape and foam blocks are two favorite house showing toys that clean up easily. Play-Doh gets put away, but Thinking Putty gets to stay – because it doesn’t leave crumbs.

#4 Books Are Your Friends!

It’s okay to let your kids have some extra screen time while you’re staging and showing a house. It won’t hurt them in the long run at all. Unfortunately, screen time tends to make my kids cranky, so we go for books as much as possible. Audiobooks, picture books, and activity books are all great options. Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pads are fabulous, because their vinyl stickers won’t stick to the tables or walls in your pristine home.

#5 If Possible, Stage Your Home While You’re GONE

This may feel like cheating, but it’s the best advice I can offer. If you can get away at all while staging your home, do so! Get the house cleaned up, packed up, and leave! We went camping for part of the time while selling our home in Massachusetts. this year, I took my kids on a road trip for part of the time. It’s so much easier if you can simply be gone.

Home selling tips for parents.

Have you staged a house for sale while living there with kids? What tips and tricks do you have to share? Share your tips in the comments below, or  on my Facebook page. You can always tag me on Instagram, too. 

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

3 thoughts on “How to Stage a House for Sale While Living There with Kids”

  1. I can’t even imagine staging my house right now, every now and then Jeff and I talk about moving into a smaller house or a house with land, but then we think about moving and it doesn’t happen.

  2. It’s so hard to keep the house clean when you are trying to show it! Great tips! Also, purge, purge, purge!! We rented a huge dumpster six months before selling in order to clean out the house. It still wasn’t enough. We moved, and then found we had about the same amount of stuff we still got rid off that we should have dumped before moving!

  3. Terrific tips! Yes, I have staged a home while living there with six kids recently. My best advice is to use magic eraser sponges, get a really enthusiastic agent, follow her decluttering/decorating advice to the letter, get the kids to help with cleaning (so they are more mindful of the work involved and less likely to want to undo it all), and sell/get rid of everything possible. My 900-square-foot home sold with all the stuff our family of eight owned still in it! Clearly I own less stuff than ever, and I am so much happier. We threw things people touring the home don’t want to see, like toilet brushes and the baby’s diapering essentials, in the van, along with all the kids, and went to a nearby park while the home was being shown. We were so thankful it sold in just one weekend!!!

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