Sometimes, you can’t choose when to put your home on the market. If it falls over the holiday season, the winter holidays, especially, it makes keeping your home in show condition complicated and overwhelming. Cold and wet weather brings with it mud or debris that can derail the greatest of plans for making your house available to buyers. There are, however, a few things to do that will keep your home in top condition and can ease the stress of selling during the holiday season.

Plan for the weather. Keep a basket of towels near your front and back doors to quickly clean up muddy foot and paw prints. Set a boot tray inside each entrance to keep the drips from dribbling past the doorway. Whisk it all out of the way if a buyer comes calling.

Make mornings more manageable by hanging a squeegee in the shower stall. Teach your family to wipe down the glass after their shower. And, so that a buyer can view your home when you’re at work, try using disposable bowls and plates for easy breakfast cleanup.

Protect yourself by avoiding keeping gifts in a visible location under a tree or in a closet. For safety, you might keep presents at the house of a friend or family member. Pack you’re your collectibles, breakables, and items not regularly in use. That means you’ll have less to worry about and minimize dusting.

Keep large lidded containers handy to gather your kid’s toys, electronics, and game pieces. Teach your kids the habit of gathering everything up before going to bed each night. That way, there’s less rush in the morning to prepare just in case an agent wants to show your home. Make room in your closet, under a bed, or on a shelf to store the containers out of the way. For oversized items, stack them in bins in the laundry room or garage before you walk out of your home for the day.

When you have small children or pets, keeping their fur and crumbs off the couch may be completely unrealistic. Instead, consider using a blanket, throw, or a large towel to cover seating while in use. You can easily slip it into the washer as you leave in the morning.

Finally, be sure to have a plan for somewhere to go and something to do if your home is showing while children are out of school. Who can say, your new habits might carry over into your family’s new home too.

Ask for help. Let me, as your real estate professional, help you decide which items are deal-breakers and what can slide during this busy season.

If you’re looking to buy a home, check out what’s new in the Matthews Community during the holidays.

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