Movin' on up!

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This post, my friends, will contain absolutely no advice.  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Instead, I’m asking for your advice.  Can you help?  Please?

Earlier in the week, Rebecca wrote a post about the shrinking of your living space once twins come into the picture.  Two babies at once = lots-o-stuff.  No matter how large your house, it seems to shrink exponentially as the months in which your kids have inhabited the Earth go by.  First, it’s the bouncy seats, swings, play mats, and Bumbo chairs that liter the living room.  Then around the 5th month mark, the aforementioned items are handed down to another expectant MOM (to fill up her living room!), and it’s the Exersaucers, Jumperoos and high chairs that take their place. 

We sold the ol’ Exersaucer and Jumperoo on Craigslist a month or two ago and, damn…that was a happy day!  “More space!!”, B and I said to each-other.  That was, until they started walking.  And climbing.  And being….well, 1-year olds! 

It was at that time that we decided enough-was-enough and started looking around at houses.  Right now, the space in which we live is 1,388 square feet.  That seemed HUGE before we had kids.  We would rarely even use our downstairs, which includes two bedrooms and a bathroom.  We had one entire bedroom (now the boys’ room) that contained nothing more than backpacks and sleeping bags.  We stored them in the abandoned room simply because something had to be in there.  It couldn’t just be….empty! 

Now we seem to be bursting out at the seams of our little home.  The boys enjoy exploring every square inch.  And the primary-colored plastic explosion that is now our living room…well, it needs to be a bit bigger. 

We’ve been looking at houses for a few months now.  While attending open houses, even the 1,600 square foot homes seem SO big.  But we know that, once the boys get older, that amount of space will seem small as well.  So, we decided to stay around the 2,000 square foot mark.  Not to big, but not too small.  I’m all for living in the smallest amount of space that is feasible for a family.  Less to heat, less to clean and less space to search when your kid plays a game of “hide mommy’s car keys”. 

So.  We need to move into a bigger home.  Check.  That would entail us having to sell our current home…and you guessed it!  That’s where you come in! 

Dear readers, how is a family of four supposed to live in their current home, all while giving the “illusion” that it is not lived in?  How do you make your home as uncluttered as possible when you have two one-year olds and all of the paraphernalia that accompanies them, cluttering up your house?  Moreover, how are you supposed to show your house when you and your husband both work full-time and the only time during the week that you have available to show your home is between the hours of 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm, which also happens to coincide with the time in which your two little munchkins start flinging sweet potatoes and black beans all over the dining room (aka, their dinner time)?

If any of our readers have experienced selling their current home and moving into a new house with kids in tow, we want to hear from you!  Give us your tips on staying sane while movin’ on up… 

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3 thoughts on “Movin' on up!”

  1. Open houses on Saturdays and Sundays. One person takes the kids an hour or two before you have to be out and the other stays to “stage” the house (meaning take a broom to the cheerios on the ceiling). Then hope you have somewhere to hang out for the day while your realtor spends all day convincing people that the family who lives here is responsible, put together, and immaculately clean.

    at least you will have a clean house once a week, even if you aren’t there to enjoy it.

  2. I am going through this exact same situation RIGHT NOW!!! It’s very hard, but doable. I am a SAHM, so I’m here during the day which is both good and bad. Good because I can wait to pick up until I know we’re having a showing, but bad because I have to get the girls out of the house at a moments notice.

    To start, we spent one month getting the house ready to sell. This included painting, small repairs, packing up all clutter and storing (in our garage), and strategically staging every room to maximize appeal (thank you HGTV). Then once that was done, we had it professionally cleaned and put it on the market. The first weekend, we went out of town so that it was totally available to all agents and the first open house. The next two weeks we had a handfull of agent showings and a couple more open houses. Unfortunately our agent has turned out to be a huge loser and in the beginning failed to indicate that agents needed to schedule appts to show the house through me with advance notice – they were just showing up and letting themselves into my house!!! The nerve! We’ve corrected that problem and now the showings have slowed down a bit…but I digress. Essentially we packed up everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary to live with so that there is minimal clutter and it is very easy to run around and pick up before a showing – or in your case every evening before you go to bed and morning before you leave for work. Every time I leave the house, it has to be ready to show so I have a routine I follow to make sure I’ve picked everything up, turned on all the lights and left it in museum condition. We have a list of about 15 steps I follow. This is definitely the hardest part. We are also extra careful now about picking up as we go, rather than letting things pile up. On Sunday mornings (Open House day), I clean the bathrooms, kitchen, floors, vacuum, etc. That usually keeps things good for the week.

    Again, it’s hard, but doable. I have a major love / hate relationship with the jumparoo right now. The girls love it, but I hate having to hide it every time we leave the house. We pile all the kids stuff in their room. Our realtor said that was fine because people understand you have kids and containing it to one room is less impact overall.

    The other advice I have is unless you majorly need every $ for your next house – price it to move! We’ve been on the market 6 weeks now and I was really hoping we’dhave sold sooner (we’re in Washington, DC). It’s a tough market right now, buyers are picky and in no hurry. The thought that this could go on for months is disheartening, but we’re not able to be very flexible on price so it could take awhile. Also, ask around and get a good realtor who you trust. The stress of our realtor is also making this situation much worse.

    Goooood luck! I’d be happy to share any other advice, you can email me at mariahmckechnie@gmail.com.

  3. I just went through this last summer. My twins are 4 1/2 yrs old and another little one year old. If you really want to sell and not have to be in the linger state for long, then you have to make some compromises. Some of the bigger toys have to get put away. Less is better in so many ways – less mess to clean up every day, less mess for potential buyers to see. We had a real estate agent that we really trusted so he would show the house during the day while we were at work as well as weekends.

    We actually did it backwards though – we bought a new house first then put our old house on the market. I live in Arizona and housing prices were dropping so we had to wait about two and a half months and dropped about 25,000 off the price but we were finally in the new house. We went from 1800 sq feet to 3100 square feet. The first house would have been fine with us and the twins but then with another baby we were so cramped.

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