Unless you’ve never read my blog/Twitter/Facebook before, you probably know by now that my family is moving this summer. We’ve known about the move since October and I can’t decide if that’s good or bad. It’s the old pull-the-Bandaid-off-quickly vs. ease-it-off-slowly debate. Both ways hurt but which hurts the least? You’d think the extra preparation time would be a benefit but I’m not certain. I think it’s helping our kids adjust to the idea, for sure, but in some ways it feels like a long, slow-motion train wreck.
ANYway, we’ve bought ourselves a new-to-us house in our new town and now we have to prepare the house we currently live in to go on the real estate market. If you’ve ever bought or sold a home you probably just groaned out loud because you know what special kind of agony goes along with selling a house you are actually still living in. We’ve been here for almost eight years and trust me when I say we’ve made it ours. We’ve made our mark all over this house, sometimes literally:
But as all the good real estate professionals will tell you, the best way to sell a home quickly is to do something called “staging”. Among other things, this involves removing most of your personal effects and setting up what remains in a pleasing arrangement meant to entice potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the home. It should be warm and clean and minimally furnished/decorated. On a good day I don’t have any idea how to decorate my house, so this should be really interesting
We’ve started packing and decluttering but we have a long ways to go. A very long ways. Meanwhile, we are doing some needed repairs and updates. For instance, the carpet.
Back in 2009 we had The Great Flood, which necessitated replacing the carpet in about 75% of the house due to a leak in an upstairs bathroom. We re-did the flooring in every room but two – the office and the master bedroom. Those two rooms had the carpet that was originally installed when the house was built back in 2003, and believe me when I say they did not spend any more on carpet than they had to, because this stuff was the most basic, generic carpet you can find. So it was time to replace the carpet in those two rooms to make it match the rest of the house.
We got the installation arranged for a Friday when we were to be gone to a gymnastics competition, which is good because who wants to be around when the carpet guys pull up a 10+ year old carpet full of dust, cat hair and other things too horrible to contemplate? Not this highly allergic girl. I was planning to leave home on Thursday with our little flipper so we could be at the meet on time since it was a couple of hours from home.
In preparation for the new carpet, my job was to move “all the little stuff” off the floors in those two rooms. Now, we had already started packing, but people, there was a lot of “stuff” sitting around in those two rooms. I work part-time and I have two children on my own during the week, because my husband is working in our new town. By Wednesday I was all stressed out. More than once I made the comment that I was beginning to understand why poor Britney Spears felt like she had to go out and shave her head all those years ago. I said that I could fully sympathize with feeling like everything in your life is so out of control that you have to do something to prove to yourself that there’s still a little something within your control. Life does not just stop coming because you have something special like an interstate move going on, so all the other things still had to be done too. I had picked up/put away quite a bit but it was becoming very clear that the job was not going to be done in time for the carpet guys to come on Friday. Luckily a phone call spared me a little bit of anxiety because “the carpet guys” said to move what I could and they’d move anything else still in the way. Whew.
So off we went to the meet, and we came home to two rooms worth of new carpet. Ooooh, it was nice! We took our shoes off and walked around barefoot with exclamations of pleasure and delight. And then I walked into my bathroom and found about 10 full black trash bags in the bathroom floor. And I realized that they had replaced the carpet in my closet.
I don’t know about you, but my master bedroom closet is the ultimate hidey hole. There are lots of other places to hide things I don’t want my guests to see, but with most of those there is the potential that a guest might accidentally open the door to the office/junkroom and my secret will be discovered. But nobody, nobody, goes into my master bedroom closet uninvited. For one thing, you’d have to go through the master bedroom and the master bath, and who does that? Basically it’s a walk-in closet that you can’t actually walk into, because there’s so much stuff in there.
I was floored (pun intended). Don’t get me wrong – the carpet in the closet was the same old grungy stuff that we had replaced in the other two rooms. It’s just that I. Had. No. Idea. I turned to my family and with all seriousness, told them that it’s a good thing I hadn’t known because if I had been responsible for clearing off the floor of the closet, it would have sent me right over the edge into a head-shaving Britney Spears episode. If I was hair-pulling, hanging-on-by-a-thread stressed about the other two rooms, the closet would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. It turns out that at least one of my family members knew about the closet but “forgot” to tell me. I say it was some unconscious survival instinct that kept them from telling me.
Anyway, the carpet guys did me a favor because pulling all that stuff out gave me the jump start I needed to clean the closet out and you can actually “walk-in” to it again. And I’m loving the new carpet so much I kind of want to stay here.