Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating selling the house and the kids along with it! We all know that selling your home can be a pretty busy and stressful time, but when you add children to the mix, things can seem even more complicated.

Here are my top tips for a less stressful sales campaign and keeping the family together.

1) Allow loads of time to de-clutter

I recommend that you allow at least 10 days to complete the de-cluttering process. Everyone who has children understands how much ‘stuff’ seems to accumulate. It can be a big, daunting task and it is made all the more difficult when you feel under pressure to get it done in record time. Tackling one room per day, you will keep the stress levels down.

2) Hit the storage shed

By the time you’ve finished de-cluttering, you’ll be a steely pro when it comes to paring back, so put that vibe to good use and hit the storage shed. If you think you can live without it for 6 weeks, pack it up and store it away. You’ll appreciate the pre-packing when moving time comes, but don’t be tempted to store these items in the garage or spare room which will just leave potential buyers feeling like the property is to small.

3) Agree a minimum advance inspection notice time with your agent

It won’t always be possible, but if you can aim to have 2 hours notice of any inspections, getting the house inspection ready is a lot less stressful. Use a list/photo checklist combo, so that nothing gets forgotten when you’re in a hurry to get out the door before the agent arrives.

4) Enlist help from a babysitter

If you can, get someone to look after the children for a couple of hours before each open house so that all preparations can be completed without them being undone as you go!

5) Use washing baskets for a quick clear

A good backup plan is invaluable. Keep the car boot empty and have a few washing baskets on hand so that you can whip around the house, gather up any mess and throw it in the back of the car when an inspection occurs at short notice.

Good luck!

Do you have anything to add to this list? SHARE with us in the comments below.

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  • Thankfully for me the only time I had to worry about selling was when my eldest was 3 and I was pregnant with the middle child. The rest of the time we have either rented or lived in the one house.


  • give yourself more like 3 months or so to go through your stuff and be ruthless! it took me 3 months at my leisure to de-clutter and pack up a small rental home that we had lived in for 3 years.


  • I use the washing basket trick for quick clean ups all the time :-D
    When we sold l had 3 kids, most of our stuff went into storage until we moved, made life so much easier :-)


  • Great ideas to put to good use.


  • This will be us in a few months


  • Thankfully and luckily we missed this phase. Our son is now a teen, so declutterng would still apply but I like to think we could showcase our home as being lived in with child!

    • Hi rovermum, Your experience of teenagers must be a little different to mine, congratulations & well done on raising a neat & tidy one!


  • So pleased I don’t have to add the kids clutter as well – just my own is sufficient these days. Now I need to have very steadfast rules on how to de-clutter.

    • Hi mom101628,
      Decluttering certainly can be a challenge for all of us. Stay tuned to this website for my next guest blog post which I hope you might find helpful. If you feel you need specific assistance, you could also look to a declutter service to provide the guidance and support you might need. Please feel free to check out 3 Pea’s Property Styling website for further information that you might find useful.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  • When we sold with 3 young children we hired a storage shed for 2 months best thing I could have ever done

    • Hi Pakeko,
      That sounds like a great strategy. So many of the things we have and keep these days we don’t use everyday. Packing all these things up and storing them away not only clears the property of all the ‘excess’ belongings, it also gives us a jump start on the moving process and can also serve as a little test as to whether we really need all those items in the first place. Thanks for sharing!


  • I can’t imagine ever having to go through this with my two little messpots getting about. I hope we won’t be in this position until they are older and less messy (or more lilkely to pick up after themselves).

    • Hi Rachelvk,
      Thanks for taking the trouble to leave a comment. I agree with you, going through this process which little ones can definitely be a challenge, but with a bit strategy and persistence, it is possible. One idea is to try to confine the ‘mess factor’ to one specific area or room, in that way, it will hopefully be easier to tackle when clean up time comes. There is light at the end of the tunnel, children do get less messy eventually (I hope!).


  • I would need a lot longer then 10 days to de clutter! And I just know hubby would go thru my ‘chuck out’ pile and pull bits and bobs out :/ It’s not even on the cards,mouth I dread the thought of moving

    • Hi mom81879,
      Thanks for commenting! I think it’s fair to say that the longer we have lived in one house, the longer the process will take and if you happen to live with someone who likes to hang onto things ‘just in case’, there is likely to be quite a bit of stuff to go through ;-) There is a great book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever)” by Marie Kondo, which is a great read & might be useful. All the best.


  • I haven’t had to do this before. I love your tips though. I think I would need a month to declutter

    • Thanks for your comment mum4107. I’m pleased you thought the tips were helpful. Allowing plenty of time is one of the keys to success here, so a month is not unreasonable! If you would like some more tips, specifically on de-cluttering, watch out for my next article which will be published here in the next couple of weeks.


  • When you are packing surplus for storage and de-cluttering is a great time to dispose of no longer wanted items. I gave away some items I knew other family members would appreciate, and donated some to a church college which has a list of items charities need, then sorts and distributes them accordingly. I donated old animal blankets and other bedding to the Animal Welfare League where we had adopted pets from in the past.

    • Hi june11, you’re absolutely right, that is a great strategy. It is a terrific opportunity to assess what we really need and what we want to keep and if we can re-purpose the items that are no longer useful to us, everybody wins! Thanks for sharing.


  • I have never sold a house, but I moved out different times in my life. And having the house ready for inspection was always a lot of work. I always tried to keep it neat and tidy. And the bed was always made. I went so many times to open houses where they didn’t even make the bed! I had immediately no interest in that house!

    • Hi mom90758, thanks for your comment, I think you are absolutely right. As soon as you see that basic housekeeping hasn’t been attended to, it immediately makes you wonder what else has been neglected!

      • Indeed. A big mistake by the owners because this way they lose potential clients.


  • Great tips. The thought of moving or sell our house give me anxiety. We have so much stuff that i would need a long time to go through everything/room.

    • Hi Nas01, I’m happy we shared some tips you find useful. I think we all find the thought of moving/selling our home pretty stressful! The key to minimising the anxiety lies in breaking it all down into smaller, more manageable tasks and just focusing on one thing at a time. Thanks for commenting!


  • Having sold 2 houses with kids under 4 and various pets, cannot agree more with the comments about decluttering and using storage of kids stuff in shed (or with help of kind neighbours). We also had all washing of little bodies done night before and fresh white (display only) towels hung in bathrooms. Having kids out of house in advance for last minute tiding also really helps.

    Also, don’t do what I did and has some messy play inside day before a home open – too stressful – try to keep all kids occupied away from the house as much as possible in days prior to inspections.

    Views appreciate a tidy house, but don’t expect perfection. We always removed all kids art, fridge magnets etc from walls, windows, fridge and wherever else they may be on display around the house.

    We also washed glass doors and windows inside and out – kids like to touch glass, but this needs to be clean.

    • Hi mom16508,
      Thanks for your comments on the article, you’ve shared some great advice here too. It’s a juggle, especially with little ones, but it can be done!


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