Are your children’s rooms pure chaos? 7 improvements to make before selling


Are your children’s rooms so messy that you cringe before entering? Well, we don’t blame you. But if you’re planning on selling your home soon, it’s time to change that.

Of course, the kitchen, master bath, and living room can get the most attention during open houses and home visits. But serious buyers will linger all children’s space and bedrooms are no exception.

In fact, potential buyers are likely to imagine their own toddlers or tweens frolicking in there. So before you list your home, be sure to upgrade this place, both to make a good impression and (eventually) land a deal.

Don’t want to break your piggy bank on this project? Furniture rental is a good option to consider rather than shelling out for new stuff, says Jeanine Boiko, a New York real estate agent. In fact, the potential ROI in your area might not be high enough to justify a large down payment. (Consult your broker for advice.)

Ready to upgrade your children’s play space or bedrooms? Here’s how to spruce up the look without spending a fortune.

1. Infuse vibrant color

Photo by Mr. Interiors

You can get away with brighter colors in a nursery or teenage den than in the living room.

“With their colorful palettes and cheerful energy, is there anything more fun to decorate than a child’s room?” request Anna Brockwayco-founder and president of Chairish.

Inexpensive pouffes in neon orange or floor pillows in bright lime or fuchsia can offer a bit of flair, and they double as flop spots when building Lego towers or coloring.

2. Add multifunctional parts

Photo by Erika Ward – Interiors Erika Ward

Children’s bedrooms should be both stylish and functional, which means that their furniture and decorations should serve two purposes whenever possible. Examples: a bunk bed with a built-in desk underneath or an end table with drawers or cubbies for storing toys.

“I call these ‘sneaky pieces’ or items that double up to help a space feel less cluttered,” Brockway explains. You can try an ottoman with storage inside as you can slide it out for extra seating or to prop up your feet during story time.

Or hang a simple fabric-covered peg on the wall for books, as seen above. This easy DIY project costs under $50 and adds a fun pop of color to the wall.

3. Try carpet tiles

Photo by FLOR

A blah kid’s rug – or worse, a stained rug – is a big inconvenience when visiting a home to buy. But low-cost carpet tiles from FLOR (some start at just $6 each) or another easy-to-lay washable covering (say, from Ruggable) can instantly elevate the space, making it clean and inviting.

4. Organize a wall

Photo by Skapa Design

Quick prints, colorful wall hangings, or other artistic framed pieces can transform a playroom or nursery easily and affordably. Re-hang what you already have in a new way, or grab frames from a big-box store to hold your little one’s doodles. Theme the wall (eg, sports, ballet) or choose a single color (shades of pink, perhaps), and it will appear more neatly organized and less haphazard.

5. Choose simple storage

Picture of Smart Playrooms

Yes, you’ll be sanding down the playroom before potential buyers pass by, and now is a great time to rethink your storage. Plain white bins from the dollar store or colorful baskets from a home center can clutter and bring a semblance of order to your kids’ rooms. And if you can, choose containers that you actually like and would take with you when you move, rather than buying on impulse and giving them all up once you have an offer.

6. Use Plants and Twinkle Lights


Many tweens and teens gravitate towards flickering lights anyway, so a string of small Edison bulbs is a fun and inexpensive upgrade to try. Wrap lighting around an architectural detail in the room, such as a curved window or alcove, to highlight this feature.

And don’t forget about plants in kids’ rooms, especially if you can hide a few in a gorgeous planter or two. Plants add an unexpected vibrancy to a child’s space, and your little one might just have fun watering them every week.

7. Fake a Child’s Room

Photo by Chic Home Interiors

Have your children grown up and moved? The first set-up works wonders, Boiko says, so set up a less-used room as a space for the kids.

“Dress the bed in a fun blanket and sheets, and add a nightstand to make it visually appealing,” she says.

Facebook Marketplace is a great source for buying a used bed, and some thrift stores even sell used linens, she adds.

No bedside table at hand? “Pile books on the floor and put a lamp there,” she advises.

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