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Toy control

Our house has been on the market for just over a week. I must say, selling a house? Stinks. I am constantly on pins and needles hoping that I get calls for showings, and I am obsessed with keeping the house clean. The beds are always made, dishes washed, counters scrubbed AND there are fresh flowers in the bathrooms, for crying out loud. I know a week is not very long, but can someone just go ahead and buy it please??

I’m sure a lot of sellers with kids wonder what the heck to do with all the toys. For us, I moved the boys’ large toy basket out of the living room and up into the playroom while we are in selling mode. It’s important for buyers to see the home’s features, as opposed to being distracted by endless toy clutter. I brought down a small basket from the shelving unit in the playroom so that if we have a showing, I can quickly tidy up the toys and stick it back in its place. I also carry the Jumperoo into the playroom for showings, as well. Our end table has shelving built in, which is where we keep a stash of their books. Knox generally prefers to play with his Magnadoodle, toy laptop or read a book, so he’s very content with this set-up. Brody is also a book-lover in the making and just likes to be where Knox is playing. Honestly, I think the boys like having less toys in the living room. We used to keep their massive toy basket in the corner, and now that the huge thing isn’t there, the boys have turned that corner into their “fort.”


They play together a lot now, especially since Brody has mastered the army man crawl and follows Knox everywhere he goes. I feel badly for Brody, though, because it takes him so long to get somewhere, and by the time he crawls to Knox, big brother is on the move again, leaving Brody in his dust. Oh well, he will catch up soon!

We did pack up a LOT of toys and put them in a storage unit. We rented a small 5×10 unit down the street for our “clutter” to make the house seem larger and more open. We moved some superfluous furniture pieces in there, and probably ten or so boxes of random stuff. We packed away toys that don’t get played with everyday like those random stuffed animals that seem to multiply and puzzles that Knox hates (which are all puzzles, by the way). Then, we left the favorites in the playroom and tried to make their rooms more about the necessities (aka sleeping and getting dressed). This is what their rooms look like “for show.”

Knox’s room only has a few of his necessary stuffed animals on the bed for sleeping with, a basket of books on his nightstand and a small zippered pouch of his favorite little animal figures. The rest of the toys are organized in a basket in his closet.

Brody’s room just has a small basket of toys on the floor that can easily be stuck in the closet for a showing, as well as books in his book slings on the opposite wall. We also open the blinds on their windows to let in lots of light and make sure to keep the diaper pails changed frequently!! Poop smell does not sell houses. Just so you know! I didn’t want to totally “de-kid” their rooms because we don’t know how long it will take to sell our house, and the kids do actually live here! So, I tried to make it clean and welcoming without being too stark for the boys. I’ll share some more selling tips soon, hopefully they work for some of you guys too!

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  • Reply Jessie

    We plan on staying in our house as long as we can which means we have 2.5 more years, we’ll have a 5 yr old and 2 yr old, a small house, and no play room. Let’s just say….thinking about it gives me huge anxiety. I think we’ll have to do what you are doing and rent a storage until and have minimal toys in the house. Good luck with selling your house. I look forward to hearing more about how it goes.

    October 23, 2012 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Elizabeth

    We had to list, show & sell our house with 1 small child. The thought of doing it with 2 makes my belly flip! Best of luck that someone will buy that house up real soon! Keeping everything 100% perect all.the.time is the pits!

    October 23, 2012 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Caroline T.

    Thanks for the tips! We have a four month old little boy, and we just put our house on the market last week. I have de-cluttered as much as possible, but we do have a baby in the house. It is impossible to get rid of all of the baby stuff. I did exactly what you did with the small toy basket on the bookshelf in the den and a small basket of toys and books in his room. Hopefully we will get the house sold soon, so we can go back to living like normal again!

    October 23, 2012 at 11:23 am
    • Reply Jessica

      I hope y’all have great luck and sell it fast!

      October 24, 2012 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Holly

    I wish I could buy your home! Or at least you could come decorate mine!! When my house was on the market in Brunswick, GA, I always kept a few laundry baskets around so I could scoop up any clutter and or dirty laundry and put it in the car when I had to leave for a showing. Made a great difference! Praying for a quick sell!

    October 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      Girl, I wish you could buy it too! Thanks so much!

      October 24, 2012 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Allison

    Oh Lawdy I remember that and we have one little girl. Right now we’re in our temporary apt before our house is done and can I just tell you her stuff is EVERYWHERE. It never was before at the old house b/c a.) too small and b.) we’re too anal but since this is a temp place I’m just letting it explode for a while :) However, we’ve been having a lot of rather interesting “heated discussions” about toys in the new house. It’s 3 levels with the main area (level 1) as a play/family room. However, most of our day to day living (kitchen, another living space etc) is on level 2. Our daughter is just about to turn two and there’s no way she’s playing downstairs w/o supervision so we’re going back and forth about what to put where so it doesn’t get overrun and also buying new toys that are “nicer”….like replacing her ugly plastic barbie kitchen with a nice wooden one.
    I will say this, what worked for us was pulling out some favorite/versatile stuff and using baskets or colorful fabric cubes like y’all. Then since Knox is older maybe you switch out the contents every few weeks to keep him interested. Good luck!!

    October 24, 2012 at 9:24 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Allison, I know what you mean!! We’ve talked about that, too, for the new house, and I think we’ll do a combo of what you mentioned. We’re using a study as a kind of arts and crafts room for the kids with “pretty” kid things like easels and wooden tables. Then the typical kid stuff will be getting stuffed upstairs in the game room!!

      October 24, 2012 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Amanda

    All good tips! Now how about selling a house when you have a dog?? We have a 2.5 year old son, but I feel confident we could easily de-clutter his stuff. But how do you show your home with a 70 lb dog who has free reign? THAT’S what makes me hesitate about putting our house on the market!

    October 24, 2012 at 10:03 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Amanda, pets are tough! We sent our lab to temporarily live with Trevor’s parents while we sell. In glad we had that option! Otherwise, I’d try to have him outside or elsewhere for showings if possible- that and invest in a good vacuum cleaner! 😉

      October 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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