Sharing Your Space with Kids and Pets

Posted March 31, 2018 in Real Estate Trends

Shana O’Brien 2018, Clark County WA real estate agent

The average home size in Clark County is just over 1,700 square feet. That’s a great size to share with a spouse or a roommate, but when you start adding kids and pets to the mix you might start to feel a little snug. Today I’ve got 3 quick tips to stop kids and pets from taking over your space. And if you’re selling your home, implementing these same tips will help you improve your home for listing photos and showings.

Eliminate unnecessary furniture

Eliminate unneeded furniture, no matter how cute it is. No matter how adorable that child-sized wingback is, it’s probably not going to get a lot of use. We had a giant dog bed in our living room, and a dog who preferred being on the couch. Our space seemed to grow when we finally admitted we were “dog on couch people” and got rid of the unused bed. Be intentional with furniture purchases, and opt for pieces that are dual purpose. There’s no such thing as too much storage.

Create a landing pad

Most of us tend to walk in the door when we get home and dump our stuff, whether it’s a purse, wallet, keys, mail, etc. Adding kids and pets to the mix means bringing in additional paraphernalia, like backpacks, rain boots, leashes and school papers. Creating an organized entryway for all the stuff we bring in the door is key to having a clutter free home. It doesn’t have to be the front door; your landing pad may be at the backdoor, or in the mudroom or garage.

Look for function and beauty

Google “hide the litter box” and you’ll see hundreds of creative furniture solutions for keeping this cat necessity out of sight. At my house we don’t have a place to store bulk pet food, so we keep it in the dining room in a large vintage tin that adds a little whimsy to the room but serves a practical purpose. We don’t have a spot to tuck away food and water bowls, so instead they’re visible but they’re attractive.

The same applies to toys. Toys are the second biggest source of clutter in family homes (laundry ranks #1). Embrace the less is more concept and purge through toys no one is interested in any longer. Pack away some of the “good” toys and create a rotation cycle. For the items that you’re going to keep in the living space (board games, puzzles), opt for storage solutions that compliment your style. Board games in an old suitcase or vintage crate? Cute!

And if you’re selling your home…

Be hyper-aware of pet smells. You may not even notice them, so get an outside opinion. If you’re selling your home and leaving the house for a showing, tuck pet supplies away; cat tree in the closet, food and water bowls in a corner, animal and kid toys put away in their appropriate places. And always remove or crate pets for home showings.

Want to see photo examples of these ideas? Check out my Kids & Pets Pinterest board. You’ll find me @Redheaded_RE.

Shana O’Brien
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW
Realtor & Home Stager, WA and OR licensed • Author •