Tips to Sell a House While Living with a Toddler

1. Do not let the toddler into their room
Not ever. The room will instantly be demolished. Toys will be everywhere. You will never keep up with the toy tornado. In fact, do not let the toddler anywhere in the house where there are toys.

2. Make the toddler wear mittens
Let’s face it, if you don’t, everything you own will be covered with tiny smudgy handprints and a smattering of a cheeto dust. And your toddler doesn’t even eat cheetos.

3. Stop eating
Eating is a major crime when it comes to trying to sell your house. Not only does it create horrible things like DISHES that you have to WASH, but it means you will have food in your house. Food the toddler can break. Food the toddler can pour onto the floor. Food that, heaven help you, means you will regularly have to clean the fridge.
4. Realize sleep is for the weak
If you sleep in those lovely, comfortable beds you own, it will actually make you less rested. For you will have to make those beds, while wrangling a crabby two year old and trying to get out of the house in time for work. This will happen every morning because you never know when there might be a showing. You NEVER KNOW. So it will be less stressful to just quit sleeping. Vampires have the right idea. It’s how they get so rich.
5. Leave the House
Realistically, in order to sell the house, you and the toddler need to leave as much as possible. This is counter intuitive since moving is expensive and you’d think you should be staying in to save money. Don’t. You will ruin the house you are trying to sell. Go to the library instead. In fact, just go ahead an move in to the library. It’s free and stocked with bedtime stories, even if there are no beds.

21 Responses to Tips to Sell a House While Living with a Toddler
  1. Alison@Mama Wants This
    January 23, 2012 | 6:22 am

    Note to self: Do not sell house until children are grown and have moved out.

    (I need my sleep AND food)

  2. Robbie K
    January 23, 2012 | 9:13 am

    House sellings sucks. I am so ready to be over this. I would take moving over house showings right now. Pack that shit up!

  3. Kristin Glas
    January 23, 2012 | 9:19 am

    I plan to move out, as soon as my house is listed. Even without toddlers, even if my kids are at University.

  4. Nikki
    January 23, 2012 | 9:24 am

    Food is not an option period. You don’t want to show a house that reeks of boiled hotdogs.

  5. Bossy Betty
    January 23, 2012 | 9:31 am

    Bless you, Mother. Big sigh.

  6. Emily
    January 23, 2012 | 11:02 am

    Yep, been there, done that. Good luck!!

  7. Miss Marina Star
    January 23, 2012 | 11:49 am

    So true! The only stress-free selling we've had was when we moved first and then sold the house. Expensive, yes…worth it…YES!

  8. MiMi
    January 23, 2012 | 12:42 pm

    Seriously, we left the house a lot when we were selling. My oldest was 15 months which is my FAVORITE age ever, but also a very messy age! :)

  9. Julie
    January 23, 2012 | 2:00 pm

    We sold our house over ten years ago when my kids were not quite two and four.

    I still can't leave our current home without running around straightening comforters. Just in case.

    It's a sickness from which you never recover.

    And yes. Sleep is for the weak.

    Today (and every day) call me weak.

  10. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    January 23, 2012 | 3:11 pm

    The food thing is true with or without a toddle. I just opened our dishwasher and the stink that spread through the house is pretty bad. It seems making cheese sauce and having the pan sit in the dishwasher for days is not a good approach for selling a house.

  11. Carri
    January 23, 2012 | 7:13 pm

    Yes yes yes to every single one of those. And why do people want to look at the house during nap time?

  12. Bodhi
    January 23, 2012 | 7:43 pm

    Been there and done all that. Oye!

  13. Not a Perfect Mom
    January 23, 2012 | 7:50 pm

    and we're going to try and sell in a month or so…
    and I have 4…
    and now I'm scared

  14. Liz
    January 24, 2012 | 7:00 am

    And you can combine leaving the house with eating out. Cuz who doesn't love to eat out?

  15. Eve
    January 24, 2012 | 7:59 am

    Oh you are right on the money with this one! We're in the process of selling our house now and yeah, we're constantly running out of the house making sure everything is spotless before someone sees it. Stressful, but it'll all be worth it once it sells and we can buy a house with a backyard!

  16. Two Normal Moms
    January 24, 2012 | 9:38 am

    It really is stressful to keep a house “show ready” when selling. I can't imagine doing it with a toddler!

  17. John
    January 24, 2012 | 11:57 am

    I was going to recommend selling the toddler & keeping the house. That might be a whole lot easier.

    Or, ask your realtor to only shop to the blind.

  18. Elaine A.
    January 24, 2012 | 2:06 pm

    Okay, John's comment cracked me up!

    I was so glad our house did not go on the market until we moved. I think I would have lost it completely otherwise…

  19. The Empress
    January 24, 2012 | 10:18 pm

    It's so bittersweet, isn't it?

    It felt like my heart was going to just lay down on the hardwood floors where my first two took their first steps.

    KILLED me on the last day as we shut the door behind us.

    KILLED me.

  20. Stephanie
    January 24, 2012 | 10:30 pm

    Ug it sounds like a horrible kind of torture..and yet I find myself wondering, could I put mitts on my Hubby so he stops leaving his little prints all over the house?

  21. [...] Be realistic, and let yourself (and your family) live. With this tongue-in-cheek post, the blog Taming Insanity points out how difficult (if not impossible) it is too keep a home in [...]

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