The final step in successful home staging is not as “clean” as it may seem. That’s because “clean” is widely interpretable. Experience has shows the best and worst. It’s amazing what you can learn about someone from their definition of clean. Wow. But I’ll forego the judgement and get to the point. When it comes to the definition of clean, there is only one for the purposes of good show quality. The cornerstone definition of clean when it comes to show quality is "make it cleaner that it ever was and cleaner than it will ever be again". No dirt, no grim, no liquid, no mildew, no dust, no debris. Period.
Getting it clean is the easy part. The best thing you can do is hire a professional for a solid “once over”. Have them come in and vacuum, dust, clean the windows and bathrooms, dust and mop the floors and clean out your appliances. This will cost most about $450 and will get you to the 90% mark. If you opt to do it yourself, here is a good rule of thumb : clean like you’ve been hired to clean that house. Don’t sweep anything under the rug- after all, your client will see you and you won’t get paid, right? Be the paid help for a day and clean under the furniture, behind the fridge, under the bed, behind the toilet. Don’t skip it. Make it shine!
Take a trip to your local home improvement store and get the supplies you’ll need. Most folks will not have the full line of products that will be needed to get the job done right. First, take inventory of what you have. Take out all of you cleaning products from under the sink, in the closet and out of the garage. By now you’ve purged these items too and only have the useful basics. Then, make a list of what you need. Use your favorites or here’s my suggestion.
Hopefully you made progress with the clean as you go method during decluttering. Room-by-room is the best approach. Complete one room and move onto the next.
What’s that smell? Well, find out and eliminate it. The final consideration for a clean house is scent. Make no mistake, a foul odor will prevent your home from selling. Last nights dinner in the trash, a cat litter box or a musty basement is like poison that will kill all your other efforts. Air out your house everyday. Particularly after cooking. Keep moisture low by useing bathroom vent fans for 20 minutes after each shower and lastly, avoid “pug-in” scents. Despite logic, they are ineffective, too strong and unappealing. Leave them on the shelf at the store and opt for light scented, high quality candles- burned nightly for a few hours.
Now that it’s clean, how do I keep it tis way? That’s a good question you should know the answer too. Because you’ll likely still be living in the house it’s important to have agreement among family members as to the how’s and why’s. Make rules. Laundry in the basket. When the basket is full, wash it, fold it and put it away. Nothing dropped on the coffee table. Take off your shoes when entering the house. Of course, you’ll need to do a dusting, vacuum and wipe down once a week to keep it clean but having the agreement and rules that will work for you and your family are key.
Now you're the one with the perfectly organized and clean house. Everyone wants to be you! Everyone wants to live in your house and that my friend is the goal. Congratulations. Now, let’s price it right and find your buyer!