Moving is a pain in the ass. It’s time consuming, frustrating, expensive, and causes extreme anxiety. These feelings are intensified when you are both selling a house and purchasing a new one. There are just so many factors that have to happen for everything to go as smoothly as possible. It’s basically just a few months of torture.
We are moved about every 3 years or so for my husband’s company. Even when we think we’ll be somewhere longer, 3 years seems to be the sweet spot. We were flown to the midwest in February 2017 to house hunt, and here we are exactly 3 years later listing that house and awaiting another cross-country move.
This time is a bit different, though. We have to sell this house (for a good amount of money) to purchase a house in Northern Virginia. The cost of living and housing prices are (shall we say) INSANELY different compared to here. This of course increases my stress levels.
To add to it all, John was already relocated to start the project in Virginia. The kids, dog, and I are in charge of selling the house – which means that I’m flying solo with 5 kids and a dog for a few weeks.
I guess you aren’t here to read about just how stressed out I am, though, right? You are here for the opposite. So here’s how I’m staying sane and calm throughout this entire moving process.
Tips to Staying Calm While Selling a House with Kids
Declutter and Store Things
I’m talking cut your shit in way more than half. Kids have too much crap as it is. It is time to purge! You want almost nothing sitting on shelves, actually, you want to get rid of random, chipped, leaning bookshelves – they will not help your house sell. You can get tubs to put toys, books, and random items in and then put them in storage along with unneeded furniture, etc until you move. The less ‘stuff’ in your house, the better. (Also, it is way easier to clean!)
Is it winter? Pack up the swimwear and shorts. You get the point. Make a trip to donate anything outgrown or not worth moving and pack away half of the rest. Keep just enough to make laundry easy.
Catch Up on Laundry
Get rid of your laundry pile and then start a habit of doing a load every day. Wash, dry, fold, and PUT IT AWAY immediately.
Do Everything Immediately
This goes for washing dishes, picking up toys, making beds, etc. Anything that will add up to more work later needs to be done now.
Hire a Cleaner
You need a cleaner on-call. Before a day of multiple showings or an open house, your house needs to be cleaned- and not by you. Kids make toothpaste messes and fingerprint messes. windows need cleaned, ovens, and all refrigerators, too. Do not take this stress on; hire someone. You can negotiate a great deal if you have them come once a week until you sell.
Clean Every Day
Keep up with what the cleaner has done. Vacuum every day and wipe sinks out after the kids are in bed. You may only get an hour notice before someone wants to see your house, and that hour is needed for you to herd the children out the door – not clean the house.
Eat Off Paper Plates
It is not environmentally-friendly, but it will save your sanity. Eliminate doing more dishes and just throw that crap away. You need everything looking gorgeous.
Make Simple Meals
Eating out with kids is annoying and expensive, but you can stick to simple, one-pot/pan meals at home. You are not out to impress anyone; chicken nuggets work just fine when selling your house.
Book a Hotel for Open Houses
Run away the moment your house is clean and a day of showings or an open house is scheduled. Make it a weekend getaway or a little in-town stay-cation! We found a hotel with an indoor waterpark to live at for a few days!
Have a List of Fun Things To Do
It’s hard enough to get out of the house in time for a showing, so having a list of fun things to go do can help. Go see a movie, grab ice-cream, walk around Target, visit the local children’s museum, or have a list of friends on speed dial.
Workout Every Day
This is how I’m saving my own sanity. I have to release my anxiety with a good workout. Go for a run, do yoga, or just blast some music and dance it out.