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Tips for moving while homeschooling?

Heather R

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So, I'm sure there are lots of posts on this already, but I'm not having any luck finding them.  Links would be appreciated!  


We are preparing to list our home for sale, with hopes of moving to a different neighborhood in the same city later this spring.   I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how to get everything "staged" for listing and maintaining a super clean home while homeschooling.  I know that lots of people have done this before me, so I hoped you could share your best tips and tricks.  Everything from time-management and scheduling to quick routines to get the house ready for a showing.  Anything you can think of to make packing, moving, home selling, etc easier.  The last time we moved, we were childless and everything we owned fit in one load in a moving truck.  Now we have 3000 sq. ft of stuff and 3 kids!  I'm overwhelmed before I've even started!



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Well, we moved last year, but there was no showing the house so I didn't have that to worry about. We had 10 days to pack and find a rental in another city so it was a bit of a whirl wind. We are about to move back in a few weeks and they will be showing the rental house. I have basically packed away everything that we wont need over the next few weeks. It is the only way for me to keep the house clean. I only have school books out that we need immediately. I have all the kids clothes in a suitcase and they only have 3 outfits each and 3 pajamas except for the baby who goes through 5 outfits a day. I have all the laundry caught up and any new dirty laundry goes immediately into the washer and I do one wash a day....sometimes two if there are a lot of towels due to cleaning up spills and messes that the two year old makes. So anyway, there is no pile of dirty clothes in the laundry room. We are using paper plates to cut down on dishes. All of their toys except for one very small basket of a few things are packed up. I've tried to clean out the cabinets and use up food that we already have so it's less to move to the new house.

The house is still not clean all the time and will never be, sigh. I could get it cleaned within a couple hours though if there was a showing.

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I'm surprised no one has responded to this thread yet. I'm assuming you know the basics:

Pack everything you can live without for a season. Ask your realtor for advice on furniture arranging.

Keep homeschool stuff in dressers or closets. No clutter. Plus, keep closets clean.

Everyone knew their job when it was time for a showing. We eventually could get it ready in 45 minutes, but that's if we'd been having daily showings.

Make sure that some things are done as a matter of daily habit. Kitchen and bathrooms always kept up with; tidy up each room at the start of the day.

The best time for doing laundry was after 8 p.m. and right after a showing.

Most of the time we'd take all trash out of the house, including waste cans.

We'd take any dirty laundry with us.

We'd hang out at the park during showings because we have a dog and since we'd know the time for the showing we could usually go back home in an hour.

I insisted on a 2 hour notice. Sometimes we were flexible and could get it ready in 20 minutes.

Our last home was 10 years old and we were told our kitchen needed to be updated by perspective buyers who would answer a showing survey through their realtor. (?)


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I have moved many times, including with kids.  Basically, you are going to want to have less to clean up before a showing and less stuff around the house taking up space during a showing.


1.  Declutter as much as humanly possible.  Be realistic about what you actually want to move to the new home.  Anything you don't want/never use, either donate, give away, or sell ASAP.  

2.  Pack EVERYTHING that you don't believe you will need or can live without for several months.  Make certain you make a list of what is in each box and attach a copy of that list to the outside (moving companies usually have plastic adhesive backed self-sealing envelopes you can put packing lists into for pretty cheap).  Keep a spare copy of the list with you.  Number the boxes and the lists so they match.  This will make it soooo much easier to find things later.

3.  See about the possibility of renting a storage unit or a POD.  Move all furniture and boxes containing items you don't need immediately into the storage unit.  Leave space to walk so you can get to something if you need to.

4.  Plan on packing and keeping the house clean to take up a lot of time.  Streamline all other needs down to bare minimum while you are going through this process.

5.  Look at your academic expectations and decide what you really feel is most important.  Prioritize those items and put everything else aside for now.  Keep anything that would be nice to do ready and available if there is extra time but be realistic about what can actually get done.

6.  Walk through other houses that are for sale in your area.  Look with an objective eye at what you generally like in what you see.  Now walk through your house and try to do the same thing.  We get where we don't really see the flaws or rather the things that someone looking to buy a home might see so it sometimes helps to pretend to be the buyer before you actually put your house on the market.  Maybe have a friend walk through and ask them to share with you their honest opinion of what would be helpful for showing your home.

7.  Try to plan to be out of the house during showings whenever possible.  Frequently, potential buyers won't feel comfortable with the owner in the house.  Have a go to place you and the kids can head to and have a bag of things that you might need (including snacks and water bottles for all of you) that you can grab at a moment's notice.

8.  Have a cleaning routine that you and your husband and the kids do EVERY MORNING.  Make a master list of things to do for your daily cleaning routine.  Stuff like: Make the beds.  Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen.  Put away all dirty clothes.  Empty trash cans daily.  Also, anything with a strong odor is removed from the home ASAP.  If you get into a routine where everyone is pitching in, morning clean up should be maybe 30-45 minutes tops on most days.

9.  Do laundry, sweep, mop, vaccuum, dust, at least twice a week, maybe more often depending on how quickly your house starts to look bad.

10.  Do any minor repairs right now, even stuff that isn't that visible.  These things will probably come up in an inspection so just get those out of the way before the house goes on the market.  In fact, you might consider paying for an inspection before you market your house.   We did this twice and it was great.  We knew what needed repairing and took care of a lot of minor (and a couple of major) items, a few of which we hadn't even really been aware of.  When the buyer got their own inspection after the house was on the market, most things had already been taken care of so we weren't bogged down in negotiations over what they wanted us to fix.

11.  Consider whether having the house repainted, or at least certain rooms that have gotten a lot of wear and tear, will be necessary.  

12.  Plan to only make extensive meals once in a while.  You might get the call about a showing and now your kitchen is full of dirty pots and pans and strong smells.  Find meals that are easy to prepare and quick to clean up.

13.  If you have replaced major items on your house in recent years, find the dates they were replaced and any warranties that would go with them if those warranties are transferable.  Share that info with your real estate agent.  Sometimes potential buyers will be on the fence about a house but a newer roof or other large ticket item may sway them.

14.  Shop around for real estate agents.  Find someone that is a good fit with you and your DH personality wise that also has a good reputation in the area for actually selling homes.  Make sure this is someone that will listen to you but also be prepared to really listen to them.  If they tell you something in your house will hurt sales if it isn't changed/removed, listen with an open mind and don't get hurt.  

15.  Realize that you might get an offer very quickly but that doesn't mean the sale will go through.  Be prepared for the emotional ups and downs and extreme inconvenience of offers that fall through (there are many reasons this can happen).

16.  Pricing.  If you need to sell pretty quickly once you put the house on the market keep in mind that the bulk of traffic is usually when a house first goes on the market.  Make sure it is in great shape when you list it and I encourage you to slightly under price your house.  You may get multiple offers to choose from and possibly better options than if you price slightly higher in hopes of building in room to negotiate.  

17.  Please be realistic about what your house is actually worth.  It doesn't matter what you may want to get for your house if the market won't support the price you want to stick on it. (For example, a house sort of near us went on the market for $500,000.  Beautiful home.  Original owners had died and a relative from out of state insisted on that price despite recommendations from the real estate agent that in this market it was worth closer to $300,000.   It sat for a year.  They reduced the price to $400,000.  It still sat.  After two years they finally dropped it to $300,000 but it had been on the market so long that a lot of buyers were afraid something was wrong with the house.  They had to drop the price again, to significantly below market value, before they could sell the really nice house.)

18.  Have a checklist of things to do if the agent calls with someone who wants a showing very shortly.  Make sure someone is in charge of confirming there are no things like dirty clothes lying on the floor or toothpaste all over the sink or urine on the toilet.

19.  Keep stuff off of the refrigerator.  Keep as much stuff off the kitchen counters as possible.  Clear out the bottoms of closets (makes them look more spacious).  If you have any furniture pieces that looks really worn out and you can stand to go without them for a bit put them in storage or at least in the garage.  

20.  If you get overwhelmed with packing, pick one room and do it in a grid pattern.  Grab 3 boxes and start with one quadrant.  Commit to just working on that one quadrant.  Sort things you want to give away/sell into one box, things you want to store for use after the move in another box, and things you are debating whether to keep or not in another box.  Just focus on that one part of the room.  Once it is done, walk away for a bit.  When you come back, resort that last box then move on to the next quadrant.  

21.  Consider getting a safety deposit box to store important paperwork and jewelry so you won't worry about getting it lost or it getting stolen.


Good luck and best wishes...


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