Sunday, April 13, 2008

HDTV Special

Since we made the decision to move, we've been starring in our own version of an HGTV special. Something like Prepare to Move or Get This House Ready, or something like that. At last, the hours upon hours that I've spent watching HGTV are paying off. Decorating Cents, Clean Sweep, House Hunters, Designed to Sell and Get it Sold. It's all coming together. Especially since we had The Stager visit our home. Her services are provided by our realtor, to give our home a once over and make suggestions on how to "neutralize" and "declutter" so that the house will appeal to the largest audience of buyers. It's like having my own Joan Stefan, right in the living room. We have redesigned every room in my house "without spending a dime!" It's a bit more challenging accomplishing this without the $2,000 budge that Clive and Lisa (upper left) have. But with some paint and a few new accessories, we'll have the place ready to list in no time. It's kind of fun actually. I decided to prepare one room by myself and see what The Stager would have to say. She walked in, glanced around, and said, "Nice," and then, "Perhaps you should remove at least one piece of furniture." Stagers are big on that. Removing furniture, knick knacks, family photos, anything that basically gives a room personality. They love to "neutralize." They just love to neutralize the heck out of everything. The kids reacted to this as I predicted they would. Emily, with all the drama of an 11-year-old: She wants me to paint my room? Beige? What, is this woman going to start telling us how to live? And Luke: I have to put everything away? This is going to take forever. FOREVER! In the meantime, I'm loving the heck out of creating a home that is absolutely clutter-free. I always wondered what it would be like -- to live like the Amish people do. My sister-in-law actually lives like this all the time. Not that she's Amish. She's just extremely well-organized. Now I will be, too. Or for a while anyway. In typical fashion, Dan is being very tolerant as I live out my dream of living an HGTV show. As I'm gathering boxes and packing and neutralizing, he is doing all the hard work, spackling, fixing, repairing and preparing to paint. For the most part he knows better than is kind enough to leave the decorating decisions to The Stager and me (and my HGTV experience). But he did seem a bit troubled as I packed up his wine rack. "I thought it looked really nice." "It does," I assured him, "It's just that we need to open up the dining area, make it roomier. Buyers like that." He harumphed and muttered with, I thought, a hint of sarcasm, "It's a wonder how people ever sold their homes before Stagers."
Packing up has proved to be challenging, but sort of fun. I'm on a first-name basis with the guy at Target who saves me all the boxes I need. He has a second job at a local liquor store, which has been a godsend for all of our books. I've lost count of how many Bud Light, Miller Light and Smirnoff boxes are neatly stacked and labeled in black magic marker "Name/Books". (If the truth be told, most of them are "Karen/Books." ) A trip to the local U-Haul store and we're supplied with packaging paper and bubble wrap.
The garage is about one-fourth full with boxes and a few pieces of furniture. A storage unit would be nice, but truthfully it's easier to haul everything out to the garage, less expensive for sure, and it helps to be ruthless in discarding items that have been taking up space for far too long. Peter Walsh (TLC's Clean Sweep) would be oh-so-proud!


Xandra said...

LOL! You're livin the dream!

When I moved to college, I went to the local drugstore to find empty boxes, and the only ones they had were Depends boxes. Imagine my embarassment hauling those boxes up the stairs to my dormroom!


Becky said...

You are making this look to easy. Who decides to put their house up for sale and does it LIKE NOW!!! That is amazing.

Enjoy the process. I hope you can sell quickly and easily

Becky said...

too easy ... I meant too easy.

justabeachkat said...

Great attitude. You're making it fun. I hope all your hard work pays off quickly.


Jen said...

I'm laughing over the liquor boxes....and the fact that I was on a one name first name basis with the paint guys at Lowes....moving and staging is so hard...but well worth it in the end...still laughing over your liquor boxes....and I would be sad too if my wine rack was put up...thank goodness its just for a short time.

violetlady said...

I am always watching HGTV. I have gotten to the point that I criticize the hosts (where did she get that outfit, who does she think she is, blah, blah, etc.) I am a Realtor so I am a real expert (LOL!!).

Kim said...

Wow! I can't imagine getting my house clutter free! What a big job. Where are you guys going to move--somewhere in the same town? Why? Needing something bigger? smaller? From what I have seen of your house it is GORGEOUS!! And your backyard looks amazing. I want to buy it--but might have a hard time selling the idea of a move that big to my 15 year old!
Enjoy the process!

Bill said...

Karen, you should write a column! This is so funny!

However, I've decided that I'm going out of here in a pine box.

Boomeyers said...

I love HGTV and it sounds like so much FUN! You will have to post some pics of the finished product.

Chappyswife said...

Ah, you're living my dream right now. Except for, you know, all the hard work and stuff. :0)

I'd like a week or two of Peter Walsh's time. Without his mouth.

I am reading a Beverly Lewis book on the Amish right now (when I should be cleaning.) I love their simple lifestyle. But I would need my electricity and ALL of my electrical appliances! And indoor plumbing, thankyouverymuch.

Xandra said...


I tagged you over on my blog...check it out.


gail@more than a song said...

Well I loved what you said your daughter said about the stager and her telling y'all how to live! It sounds like you're getting way organized, and might not want to associate with me anymore! I so need to do something like that although I'm not moving I don't think. Hope you're taking pictures to document and show us how it's done!

gail@more than a song said...

Because I'm not organized is what I meant, might not want to be around me because I'm SO not organized!

BClark said...

Good for you Karen, how super to have an organized, when you want to move. I have not had one of those for ages, and do not plan on ever having another one!! I like all those shows also, I do get a little irked sometimes at their Simon Crowel wanna be antics. I think you can be nice and polite and accomplish things, I know, dream on! Best to you, Barbara