Moving and kids are probably two of the most stressful words in the English language. Put the two together and you may have World War III on your hands. I know because I had to endure that stress. You would think the world was coming to an end because we were moving the family out of state. And while it may feel that way to them at first, kids are very trusting and will look to you for comfort.
After breaking the bad news to the kids that we were moving, I knew I had to keep the trauma to a minimum. As a home stager, I knew a lot of things had to be put away into storage and that included the toys. But how do you do it without stressing them and you out? Take it one room at a time and follow these 5 steps to get your house staged with kids underfoot.
Get the kids involved with toy selection
My kids knew that I was a home stager and did this to other clients’ houses. They have seen the before and after pictures and knew that it makes a difference. Once I told them we needed to make their rooms’ picture perfect, they were a bit weary at first. I told them that we would make their rooms look really nice and I needed their help.
If your kids are young enough to care that their toys are being packed away, let them be part of the process. Tell them that the less stuff they have out, the less likely it will make a mess that they (or you) would have to clean up. For example, if they have 30 stuffed animals, let them choose 3-5 favorite ones that they can put on their bed, dresser or floor.
There should not be any other toys in their bedroom such as Legos, dolls, trucks, cars etc. If they cannot live without their cars or trucks, let them pick out a few that can fit in something like a shoebox with a lid. They can transport those easier and take them with them in the car on the way to the new home too.
Certain toys, like the 4 foot dollhouse or 10×10 play tent, had to go into storage. They did get to keep 3 Barbie dolls each and some clothes but they had to fit into a storage box with a lid. All the Legos were packed up (for now) because I knew the small pieces would just come apart and cause more trouble when it came time to clean up for a last minute potential client or an open house.
Remove excess drawings in the kids bedroom
My kids LOVE to draw and have lots of paintings and artwork on the walls in their bedroom. If you have the same issue, those all need to come down when it comes time to stage your home. Whether you have these drawings in their bedroom, fridge or basement, all kids drawings need to come down. It’s just clutter and makes the room feel small.
If you want to keep those wonderful drawings, you can purchase a small treasure chest and store them in there for the move and future drawings. Plus when you pick the treasure chest, you and your child can go through it once in a while to determine what stays what goes so that it doesn’t overflow the box.
Declutter the dresser
Dressers tend to collect a lot of clutter! It seems to be a magnet to collect trash, toys, clothes, jewelry and more in my house. Remove everything off the dresser or chest of drawers and limit it to maybe a lamp, a statue and a decorative box or snow globe. No more than 3 items total. The rest of the items should be packed away. Items like piggy banks are a quick way to get your money stolen by the movers or anyone looking at the house so remove the temptation. Same thing goes for jewelry boxes. Remove them from the room and pack it away so the jewelry doesn’t get stolen.
Remove trophies in the kids bedroom
If your kids collect trophies like mine do, that is another item to remove and pack away. Most trophies have names on them so for security sake, remove them when staging your home to sell. No one needs to know your kids’ names anyway. Plus, trophies are just another collection of clutter which is what we are trying to remove. At this point you are probably thinking we are removing all traces of your kid and yes, that is correct. Home staging is not decorating for personality. We are actually removing the personality so that your home can appeal to a broader audience. Buyers just need to see that the kids bedroom is big enough to hold a bed, dresser and a nightstand. With all the clutter gone, the room will feel bigger.
Bedding can make a difference when it comes to staging a home. Whether it’s your kids bedroom or master bedroom, we used the best and color appropriate bedding for each room. My kids even got to choose some new sheets to make their room look even better! Plus, their new bed sheets moved with them into the new house. The only furniture we allowed in the room was a bed, dresser, nightstand and possibly a bookcase if the room was big enough. The curtains were dressed up with some pretty pullbacks and any books were corralled into a nice storage bin.
Overall, it didn’t take much work to stage the house with the kids especially in their bedrooms. A lot of stuff got packed away which made it more real that we were moving but they knew their stuff would show up on the other end. My kids know that open houses and guests means that the house has to look spotless and they were starting to stress out. Less stuff in their rooms’ means they had less to clean up which made it easier on them as well. Get them involved early on and let them know their toys will meet them at the new house. It will be like Christmas all over again when they open up all those toy boxes.