This post is for all of you who have kids that have graduated beyond the baby stage, which to me means about the time they head into kindergarten. As much as we try to prevent it, littles can cause havoc on our houses. From spills on the floor to nicks in the walls, it seems like everything below the 3 foot mark is in need of some serious rehab once those kiddos are past the baby stage.
If left for too long, sometimes these blemishes become fixtures and you don't even notice them anymore...until you go to sell your house and realize all the work that needs to be done. So why not tackle all that starting now and enjoy the beauty of a revitalized home.
1. Remove Baby Safety Equipment
Take out all those safety plugs, remove the baby gates, uninstall the safety hinges, and remove all the locks on the cabinets. Now you can walk right down those steps and open those cabinets with ease. Be sure to repair any holes left by screws of installed hardware.
2. Steam Clean Those Carpets
While you should clean your carpets at least once per year, most people don't. So why not take the time now to get it done. Choose a weekend, move aside all your furniture, and treat your family to a fun weekend getaway while your carpets are cleaned. You'll come back to like-new floors, fewer allergies, and the assurance that they probably won't ever look that bad again.
3. Repair and Repaint The Walls
From crashing scooters to dirty fingers to random acts of art, the lower half of our walls take a beating from little ones. Find a good cleanser and wash all your walls. Fill in all the little nicks and scratches with Spackle. If you have a lot of crayon marks or stains that can't be washed off, be sure to use a heavy duty primer before applying paint. And before applying your own paint, try it on a small patch of your wall first and let it dry completely to see if it still matches the current paint on the wall. If it does, then you can just cover the areas that you repaired. But if it doesn't, you'll need to re-paint the entire wall.
4. Say Bye Bye to Baby Stuff
Babies come with so much stuff! Strollers, pack-n-plays, bouncy seats, boppies, baby gyms, and toys, toys, toys. If you haven't done so already, go room by room and remove things that are fit only for babies. Keep whatever you want for a keepsake, and donate the rest or hold a garage sale. You'll be amazed at how much space this reclaims in your house. Here are some ideas:
Bedroom: Crib, changing table, baby books, baby clothes, baby blankets, baby/toddler toys.
Kitchen: Bottles and sippy cups, plastic or coated baby spoons, bibs, high chairs, booster seats, bottle warmer.
Family Room: Baby scooters, pack-n-play, safety plugs, baby gates, toys.
Mud Room/Garage: Strollers, diaper bag, baby coats/boots/hats/mittens, car seats (but keep the booster seat until they are 8 yrs old), tricycles, baby scooters, baby pools,
5. Update Their Bedroom
Is your big kid still looking at teddy bears on the wall and staring at pastel colors everywhere? Now is a great time to revamp that room with some cool big-kid decor. Add in some cool features that babies don't get to have like a desk, a bean bag chair, cool artwork, and bookshelves stocked with age-appropriate books. Include lots of storage areas for the toys that they do still have and that help them know where everything goes when its time to put their stuff away. You'll both be a lot happier.
Source: Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors