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So you've joined the bandwagon. You finally made the decision to sell. You've gone through deep cleaning, decluttering and home staging to make your home attractive and move-in ready. And just like what we always tell you, it’s like living in a hotel suite.

But there’s always a ‘but’. Suddenly, you realized that don’t have hotel maid service or a personal chef, instead you have 2 pets and 3 kids who always run around, jump on the sofa and love to play follow-the-trail-of-random-stuff-to-find-me game.

Welcome back to reality.

You are now faced with a  frightening realization that you need to be able to keep your house just the way it looks right now… because people will be visiting anytime, and sometimes with short notice.

Don’t panic. All your preparation is going to pay off if you maintain your home just the way it is and the inconvenience you are experiencing will be over soon.. when there is a SOLD sign on your front lawn.

So, the question is how will you be able to live comfortably in a staged home if you have a small home, pets and kids?

Here’s how to live in a staged home:

First off, make sure that these 3 post-staging tasks are covered:

Take pictures of your home right after it was staged for a visual reference. How all the items are displayed creates a visual impact so make sure to take close photos of groupings as well as full house shots.

Get the family involved. Assign rooms to each and write instructions on how to keep their respective areas tidy and clean.

Create a daily checklist of chores and again, assign members of the family to help you out. This will help you keep up with people coming in and out of the house.

Basically, there are only two major rules to follow:

#1 Live Clean

Use a splatter guard when cooking and try not to cook food that has strong, lingering odor until the house passed inspections and has been approved.

Don’t let dirty dishes stay exposed in the sink. Wash dishes immediately or put them in the dishwasher. Chances are, there might be people who want to pay a visit who are less than 5 minutes away.

Keep your sponges, scrubs, brushes, dish soap, etc. hidden in one place where you can easily grab them if you need them. Preferably under the sink.

Dirty clothes are not supposed to be on the floor. They belong to the hamper.

Make dusting and vacuuming a regular thing.

Always keep the bathroom and kitchen clean and dry after every use.

Always use coasters to prevent water stains!

Use Zep or Febreeze if you have pets. Keep these odor eliminators (whichever brand you prefer) handy to instantly refresh drapes, rugs, etc.

#2 Live Tidy

As soon as you get up in the morning, make the beds first. If you have small kids and they are not fond of doing this, create a fun game out of it. For example, reward your children with something they like if they manage to make their beds 7/week

Keep your towels dry and smelling clean by tossing them in the dryer and put them back on the bar folded nicely.

Make it a habit to put back newspapers, books, and magazines where they were placed by the home stager.

Keep large trash bags where you can throw stuff that collects around the house. Stow it in your trunk before you drive off when there is a showing.

Delegate special bins where your kids can put their toys, books, and clothes.

Pack prescription drugs in a grab-and-go-case if you need them before leaving the house.