Staged with Young Kids: Mission Impossible?


We’re often asked how much needs to be done or how little can the owners get away with when staging an apartment for sale when they have young kids.  The answer is it depends.  You want your apartment to show at its best, yet you still have to live there.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Declutter – Take a hard look at the kids’ toys and determine what their absolute favorite toys are, then cut that number in half, and store the rest in a storage room or rented storage.  That way you can tidy up quickly, and give the appearance of having more space.  When the kids get bored with those toys, let them choose something to come out of storage, but something has to go in storage.
  • Re-paint the apartment – The walls take a beating with toys and little hand-prints.  Painting is the least expensive thing you can do before putting the apartment on the market.
  • Before showings begin – Take a good look at your entrance hall.  Large strollers and sports equipment should be stowed elsewhere – perhaps a neighbor or the super will allow you to store those bulky items for an hour or so at a time.  A buyer’s first impression is right inside your door.  Put your best foot forward.
  • Storage – Multi-purpose storage such as benches or ottomans with storage can help hide the toys out of sight but still accessible to the kids.  Pretty baskets and bins also work on bookshelves, and allow for the quick pick-up before a showing.
  • Keeping the floors clear is essential – enlist the kids’ help in picking up before showing.  If you make it fun, they might actually want to help with the clean-up.
  • Make sure the linens are crisp and clean before showing.

You don’t have to live like you’re in a museum while you’re trying to sell, but you do need to keep everything as tidy as possible.  Your home needs to be as ready as possible for a showing so you don’t need to rush around like crazy to get ready at the last moment.


Inspired by New York Times article by Tim McKeough

Categories : Properties, Selling, Staging

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