Prepping for a Showing When You Have Young Children

Prepping for a showing is hard work, nevermind adding children to the mix. If you are considering selling your home and you have kids, let me just say a little prayer for you right now because yeah… it isn’t easy. But it is totally doable! Continuing on with the home selling series, we are moving onto how to prep for a showing.

Plan Ahead

More than likely, you will have some lead time before a showing. I would do as much work as possible ahead of time so that when the showing was close, we wouldn’t be stressed. If I had a day’s notice I would vacuum, mop, and declutter as much as possible the night before. The more cleaning I could do when the kids were sleeping, the better! The day of the showing I would do the final cleaning and tidying, but when the kids were awake I was far less efficient.

Have Designated Drop Zones

Prepping for showings was a lot of work. Adding children (miniature tornados) takes that to another level. If I was cleaning for a showing, no doubt that there would be a mess made where I just cleaned up. Usually we were pressed for time trying to get out the door, so we had designated areas where we would just throw things. We had a junk drawer and cabinet in the kitchen, the dryer in the bathroom/laundry room, laundry basket in the master bathroom, and laundry baskets in the kids’ rooms. The house looked clean, which is all that mattered! Was it organized? No. But I just dealt with that later.

Give the Kids an Activity

In order to prepare the house how I wanted for a showing, I needed some dedicated cleaning time. Sometimes (a lot of the time) that meant cleaning when I was home alone with the kids. While cleaning with kids is great, all moms know that it isn’t exactly the most productive or efficient method. What I would do is have the kids near me (in a bedroom or living room) and give them toys and ask them to stay there while I tidy. This usually worked out pretty well. I could clean the bathrooms while having the kids in earshot, but not have them underfoot. If I was downstairs and I needed to mop, I would set up an activity (nothing complicated or messy) on the kitchen island and that would occupy them while I did my work. Or there is always the option of a show/movie. You gotta do what works to get things done! Were they always perfect? No. But it helped most of the time!

Get ready, then Get Out!

As soon as the house was ready, we would leave. Even if it was a few hours before the showing: the longer I was home, the bigger the mess that was made. Especially if we were approaching a mealtime. That is just how life is with kids! I would do as much as possible and then get out of the house for the meal itself. Any parent who has kids knows that the mess only increases exponentially when food is involved!

Be Reasonable

When we first started showing our home, I went a little overboard with cleaning and decluttering. I went as far as hiding the cat food and water bowls, drying rack, and turning every light on in the house. In hindsight it was unnecessary and only added more stress. People who are looking at your home understand that you actually live there. Leaving daily-living items out won’t stop them from liking your home. Put laundry away, open the blinds, and pick up, of course, but don’t go overboard like I did.

Ask (Or Pay) For Help

We are so fortunate to have a great group of friends and neighbors. I know for a fact that I could call on them if I needed an extra hand cleaning or watching the kids. Do yourself a favor and ask for help if you need it! That is what friends are for. Showing your home can be very stressful, so any extra help you can get is great. If you don’t have friends around or no one is available to help, consider paying someone to help clean your home or watch the kids for a few hours. A few dollars can go a long way to help preserve your sanity! Consider it an investment.


The reality of having your home on the market is that you need to be flexible. You won’t always have a lot of time to prep for showings. My biggest piece of advice would be to never turn away a showing. Even if you only have an hour to prepare, do what you can and let it be. They might love it regardless! I am a licensed realtor myself, so I am speaking from experience. (And if you do have real estate questions, feel free to contact me!) I really hope this helped. It isn’t an easy feat, but it can be done. And as long as you hire a good realtor and are realistic, your home should sell in no time! Good luck!

Have you missed the other posts in the series? Check out Selling Your Home When You Have Young Children and We’ve Been Keeping A Secret.

Life Lately

The past week and a half has been a whirlwind. A good whirlwind. Between traveling and setting up for Christmas (and unpacking, that’s a feat in and of itself), I need a vacation from our vacation!

Are these girls not the cutest?!

To start last weekend, we had our first annual Friendsgiving. There were 15 attendees between the kids and adults and it was so much fun! We fed the kids first then put on a Christmas movie for them so the adults could dine and chat, and it couldn’t have gone any better. The food was delicious and company was even better!

A little side note… some little girl child of mine decided to insert my computer SD card cover into my camera SD card slot… no bueno. So, I am camera-less. My friend was a LIFESAVER and offered to bring her camera to snap some pictures. But, I totally forgot to get pictures of the adults. I’ll be better next time! Table Setting


Scarlett and her best friends.

The kids had a blast playing in the yard while the men fried the turkey. Have you ever had a fried turkey? TO DIE FOR. As in I will never make a turkey another way again.

We spent the week of Thanksgiving at my in-law’s in PA and it was such a blast! My brother and sister in law were up from North Carolina, so it was so nice spending time with family we don’t see often.

My girl helping me prepare sweet potato casserole.

sweet potato casserole

Post Thanksgiving nap. This was so sweet for me because Ellie does NOT nap on us. Not that we don’t want to, just being a third child it doesn’t happen much, therefore she doesn’t really know how. I just about died when I saw this! So sweet.


She was so happy to have to be held alllll week. This week has been a rude awakening the reality that she can’t be held all day anymore.

babyMimi bought these awesome inflatable beds and sleeping bags for the kids. So brilliant! The kids slept HARD after all that playing. I literally was begging her here to wake up from a THREE hour nap.

napping at mimis

Early morning stories with his girls.

hubby with girls

Tractor rides with Poppy! Levi was in heaven.

PA Tractor ride

Me and my girls. I am so blessed.

Me and my girls

I can’t even handle these crossed legs. This girl is growing way faster than acceptable. She needs to stop it.

crossed legs

Our kids are the youngest 3 out of the 7 on this side of the family. They were LOVING being around the older cousins! The kids were all so well behaved the whole trip. Marcus and I kept saying to each other how blessed we are.


Since we all live apart, we celebrate our Christmas with this side of the family on Thanksgiving. Mimi set up an ugly sweater decorating contest and it was so much fun! She sent the kids off in the dollar store with $7 to pick decorations of their choosings. Although after 5 minutes the kids lost interest and the moms and Mimi spent the next few hours finishing them. What we do for our kids! They loved them though. Ugly Sweater

Not quite sure what was happening. But she did enjoy her tinsel (read: trying to eat her outfit).

Ugly Sweater

Ellie’s first highchair meal on the drive home. Seriously, too big.


We got in late Friday, and Saturday morning we decided to go out for breakfast since we had no food in the house (it is one of our favorite things to do anyway). I was talking to my realtor as we were loading up the car at 8:45 and she mentions to me that we have a showing at noon (she thought we were out of town until Sunday). So imagine me running around the house, trying to tidy up when we haven’t even unpacked, with Christmas decorations and presents strewn about. It was a mess. Let’s see if they actually make an offer. Ha! Can you say a little prayer for our house to sell? These showings are getting a bit tiring. Thanks ?

My boys at breakfast. My heart is full.

breakfast boys

Christmas tree shopping. tree christmas treeSo, so thankful for these babies.

christmas with babies

Sunday was a whirlwind of church, nursery, and SHOPPING. I am too tired to add in outfit pictures and this post is already pretty picture heavy. So expect a dressing room post this week, k?

Did you catch the post on our family pictures from last week? Click the picture below to take you there. I gave my advice to surviving family pictures with young children. Advice and what not to do. Believe me, we’ve been there. surviving family pictures with young children