Thinking about putting your house on the market, but worried because your house is more than a home? If you’re a homeschool family getting ready to start a new housing adventure, don’t worry – it absolutely can be done.
This post was sponsored by BookShark. I’m a BookShark ambassador because I really do love their curriculum. Please check my disclosure policy for details.
When you’re a homeschooling family, you use every corner of your home.
Bookcases line the walls; the kitchen, dining room, and living room double as classroom spaces. You’ve got papers and projects and pencils stashed in all manner of baskets and organizers. You might even have a microscope or globe on a table in the hall.
What happens, though, if you need more space? Or maybe a job change necessitates a move? If you’re anything like me, the very thought of putting your house on the market as a homeschooler is terrifying.
HGTV says you’re supposed to make your house look like a potential buyer could live in it.
Your homeschool’s haven, however, is decidedly “lived in.”
You Can Sell Your House and Homeschool, Too
Friend, I’ve got good news for you. Selling your house while homeschooling is entirely possible, even if your home is filled to the brim. How do I know? Well, you would have cried if you had seen the state of my house before we listed it. Seventeen years of living in our starter home had really taken a toll.
We first started the process of selling our house about six months out from our anticipated list date. I asked our realtor to come for a pre-list walkthrough, expecting to hear we would need to drop about $20,000 for renovations.
“I’m not going to make you replace your windows, Ginny. Just clean the house and get rid of 75% of your stuff.”
Now lest you think I don’t know my audience, I will admit that getting rid of 75% of our stuff (and cleaning!) is not an easy task for a family with kids.
Add homeschooling to the mix and it had the potential to be a disaster.
Maybe it would be easier to just market the house to the local school board, instead?
Fortunately, we were able to navigate the uncharted waters with hard work and a whole lot of prayer. In six weeks, we had our home ready to hit the market.
24 hours after it listed, we had an offer for above the asking price.
How did we do it?
How to homeschool while your house is on the market
There are some people who can prep for a move in a relatively short time frame. If you are a family with small kids and/or homeschooler, that is probably not you. The first moment the idea of putting the house on the market even occurs to you, start purging. Go room by room and get organized, getting rid of things you don’t need.
What does that look like, exactly? Only keep in your home those items you use every day. School books and materials you aren’t using this academic year should be packed and put into storage. Check your syllabi and keep out only the books you’ll need for school during your projected period of sale time frame. For things like toys, stuffed animals, and board games, box up or donate all but the favorite and most used.
A Secret Homeschool Station
An area where books and materials can remain behind closed doors.
I cleaned out the contents of a large breakfront in our dining room; books, syllabi, supplies, and resources were easily hidden from view.
Local Resources for Schooling On-The-Go
Once your house is on the market, it might help to limit the amount of time you are at home. You’ll definitely have showings you’ll need to round the kids up and out for, but it’s also far easier to keep the house tidy when no one is there.
Not sure where to go? Hang out at the library or the park one day; go on field trips or do nature study the next. Visit family or friends in the area as often as you’re able. If your family’s schedule and budget allow it, try taking a week-long trip out of town.
Open and Go Curriculum Materials (And Help From Other Folks)
This one takes some advance planning, but it honestly is what served us the best. While I do have an eclectic approach to our curriculum, I invested in a number of open-and-go curriculum options: those which require very little prep on my part and tell me exactly what we need to do.
Our science curriculum, BookShark, is a perfect example.
The instructor’s guide fits perfectly inside a binder so I can pick it up and tuck in a bag.
- I can see at a glance what our weekly schedule with look like. No searching around to try and find what books we need.
- The daily activities are laid out clearly. They offer activities I can try on specific days.
- Both the kids and I can check the syllabus and see what is required if we want to pack our things the night before
BookShark’s syllabi not only came in handy in helping me determine which books I needed to hang onto; it also gave me a little breathing room. If packing and prepping for the listing was more hectic on certain days and I couldn’t be as present, I could hand off the binder to my husband, my mom, or even one of the kiddos. They could look up the day’s lessons, work through them, and then use the included handouts for review.
The Minimum Viable Day
This is the brainchild of my colleague Pam Barnhill, and what a beautiful idea it is. Pam uses the phrase Minimum Viable Day to refer to the basics – sticking to the core subjects and not worrying about extra things you might ordinarily do.
Think about it this way.
Your homeschool day is going to be interrupted
You will be out of your home a lot
You’re going to be touring other people’s houses with all the kiddos in tow (unless you find a sitter)
You don’t need the stress of trying to do the “and then some” when you’re a homeschooler with a house for sale.
Do not try to shoulder this on your own. Get your kids invested in the process and have them help you. When they have downtime, they should be helping you organize, clean, and pack.
Putting your house on the market while homeschooling can be daunting, but it’s not an impossible task.
Not only will the process of sorting, organizing, and staging help you breathe a little easier, you’ll be headed for an exciting new homeschool adventure within the walls of your new home.
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