8 House Staging Tips for Busy Parents

The realization that you need to stage your home can be a tough one for parents. It is a challenge keeping a house pristine and clutter-free for a few hours, let alone several weeks. However, staging a house with kids does not have to be a logistical nightmare. All it takes is some patience and organization.

Hire A Pro

This is not in everyone’s budget, but if you are willing to spend the money and you really do not have any idea where to start with staging, you can hire a professional. This does not come cheap – the national average cost is $959 – but it does remove a lot of the pressure and guarantees that your home is picture-perfect for buyers.

Embrace Minimalism

You are going to have to clear out a lot of clutter to stage your home, but do not be tempted to just pack it all up without going through it. This is an opportunity for you to declutter and simplify your life, so embrace this part of the staging process.

Adults may be more onboard with the idea of “purging” stuff than kids, so you might need a strategy to get them to embrace toy minimalism. Zen Habits has a great list of tips for doing this.

Compromise With Your Children

Moving can be hard for kids, so it is important for parents to learn to compromise. Is your child upset that you want to repaint their bedroom walls a neutral white? Agree to let them choose whatever color they want in the next room. You may also want to take some steps to make the move easier on them, like making a memory scrapbook of the house or visiting their favorite neighborhood spots.

Take The Kids Out

An easy way to minimize the amount of mess the children make is to keep them outside of the house. Organize fun family activities on weekends, or if it is summer, just encourage them to play in the yard. Your family outings do not have to be expensive or exhausting.  There are plenty of fun and free activities that can keep the kids out of the house, such as going to a library or finding a new playpark.

Give Out Chores

Include your kids in the maintenance process. Keeping the house clean during the weeks when it is being viewed is going to be a big undertaking, and it should not be up to you alone. Create a chore chart and assign responsibilities to each child, even if it is just keeping their room tidy. If you are not sure about what jobs you can give them, this age-appropriate chore chart by Molly Maid can help.

Become A Stain Expert

Kids make messes. As a parent, you have probably come to accept this. However, buyers may not feel the same way, and you need to be able to tackle that grape juice stain on the carpet or the crayon marks on the sofa. Learn to get rid of any stain, from baby food to permanent marker, using a small selection of basic household cleaners.   

Master The Art Of The Quick Clean

Last-minute viewings do happen, so have a strategy in place for getting the house ready in a moment’s notice. Your last-minute cleaning list should include picking up everything off the floor, sweeping and vacuuming highly visible areas, making the bed, wiping down the kitchen, and taking out the trash.

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal

Don’t underestimate the value of a nice-looking front yard. Good landscaping can add anywhere between 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent to your sale price, so it literally pays not to neglect it. Parents can start by clearing the front yard of any children’s toys, old bikes, and other outdoor clutter. Then, rope in your kids for a gardening session, planting a couple of flower beds for a touch of color.

Remember that the more you commit to home staging, the more likely you are to sell your home quickly. It is a bit of effort, but ultimately you are better off working to keep a staged home for a few weeks than to keep waiting for a buyer for several months. Besides, there are worse things than living in a clean and clutter-free home.

Move like a Pro

Moving to a new home, no matter how close or far, is always a stressful experience, regardless of how many times you’ve been through it. There’s so much planning to do that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Then there’s the unknown, the fear that something will go wrong, belongings will be lost or broken, or you won’t have enough help to get through it all. In most cases, it’s probably best to go with a professional mover unless you happen to have your own moving truck and lots of sturdy moving equipment. There are just too many advantages to letting the pros handle it. You’ll have more than enough to contend with, given all the cleaning, packing, decluttering, and final logistical arrangements to be made.


Some people prefer to box everything up themselves, either because they feel safer handling their own belongings or because they’re trying to save money. In general, when amateurs pack their own stuff, they wind up overspending and making inefficient use of boxes and packing material. Movers have both the training and experience to pack quickly and make the most efficient use of space. Movers can handle a packing job in a few days, while you could end up taking weeks to get it all packed up and ready to go.

In Good Hands

Professional movers are also well-practiced at safeguarding customers’ precious and fragile items with heavy-duty wrapping material and packing tape. That means not only packaging but loading and unloading them safely come moving day, which means they probably can handle it more safely and effectively than you could. In case you’re still iffy about the idea of your Tiffany lamps and antique mirrors being handled by rough hands and muscular arms, bear in mind that all of your belongings are insured.

 Tools of the Trade

Moving is about more than boxing, packing, and loading/unloading. You need the tools of the trade to make everything go smoothly. That means two-wheel and four-wheel dollies (which you can buy on Amazon for $39.99), as well as sturdy metal ramps and hoisting straps. The better the tools, the better the move will go. If you’d rather not purchase the tools needed to facilitate the move, look for a moving company that offers everything for one inclusive price.


In general, moving companies provide estimates based on mileage or the nature of the moving service being provided (for example, if it includes storage as well as moving). Obviously, a local crosstown move will produce a lower estimate than if you’re heading out of state. Shop around, and always meet with a representative who knows what services will be required and what they’ll cost before signing on the dotted line. In Irvine, you’ll likely pay $69 to $120 per hour for two movers after a two-hour period.

Storage Facilities

A long-distance move usually requires special services and considerations. For example, if you arrive at your destination later than expected and, for some reason, you can’t get into the house or apartment, the moving company will store your belongings in a special storage space for the short or long term. That way, you don’t have to worry about your stuff sitting in the back of a truck or getting broken into. 

Packing up everything you own, loading it, and hauling it to a new and unfamiliar area is enough to give most people butterflies in their stomachs. If you have an entire household to move, lack equipment, and don’t have time to handle it all yourself, a professional moving company is a more convenient option than risking going it alone. Plan ahead so you have time to get enough estimates.