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!