house preparations and stress

Ok, I know that most people out there have moved at least once in their life. And some of you, if you have kids, might’ve even moved with children. For those people, I ask: HOW?!?!

Admittedly, this is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with selling a house. Everywhere I’ve lived before now, I let my landlord know when I was leaving, and then I moved out by that date. End of story. No keeping the place in tip-top shape for potential residents to check it out, no worry about how long it was going to take, nothing. Also, every other time I’ve moved (and I’ve moved a lot), it’s been a one-bedroom apartment, plus me and Teenie. This time, it’s a four-bedroom house, four cats, two adults and one baby. Holy hell, what am I getting myself into?

It’s not even the moving part that’s hanging me up, it’s the getting-ready-for-the-move. Or more specifically, getting ready to put the house on the market. I’m going room by room, trying to tidy up and declutter, and I feel like I’ve made zero progress. Sure, the closet in our master bedroom is now organized and pretty, and Cate’s room will take less than five minutes to be in perfect showing condition. But the rest of the house? Wow. I thought that going room by room would keep me from feeling overwhelmed, and really? Um, no, not so much.

Earlier tonight, I was talking with Dave about how stressed I am, and how I wanted to take Cate to the Tulip Festival like we did last year, because I thought it’d be cool to do sort of a side-by-side comparison of how much she’s grown. (Plus, the chance to get pictures of her walking in the tulips? Priceless!) But now, if I think about taking the day off for a silly festival, it feels like a waste of a Saturday when we should be working on house stuff.

It’s not just the de-cluttering that’s holding us up. We have a contractor working on our kitchen, and a friend working on our deck, and progress on both of those projects seems to be at a standstill right now. We have new cabinet doors for the kitchen that are on order and won’t be here for at least another week, and the deck work is something that has to wait until the damn weather cooperates.

I guess I just want everything on my to-do list to be finished, so that whenever everyone else’s work is finished, we’ll be good to go and ready to list the house. It’s just that it feels like there are about a million items on my to-do list, and I still have 999,995 to go.

5 thoughts on “house preparations and stress

  1. Gaby was little when we moved out of our townhouse and into the house we’re in now. We packed away things we knew we wouldn’t need and rented a storage unit.
    More money to spend, I know, but it helped us keep a handle on the clutter while we were trying to sell the townhouse.

  2. I definitely agree with Shannon. After you’ve decluttered the things you can get rid of, there’s till too much clutter, so take a few days to pack up everything you don’t need in the immediate future and pack it into a pod that can be stored until you’re ready to move. All your family pictures, extra furniture, bookcases with stuff you don’t need right now, appliances you’re not using right now, winter clothes, extra blankets and bedding you won’t use in the spring and summer, half of your dishes, you get the idea. Three things are accomplished– you’re making the house look less cluttered and thus more spacious, you’re making it easier to spiffy up the place when a potential buyer comes over, and you’re packing for the move in advance.

    The last house we sold, we had no kids but we had 2 smelly dogs, and putting about 1/3 of our belongings in storage made everything so much easier. The added expense is not so big in the grand scheme of things, and worthwhile.

    I totally understand how you feel. I hate moving, and I hate having other people look at my house while I still live in it. The easier you can make it on yourself, the better.

  3. Oh, I’ve packed a ton already, believe me. Our plan is to clean out the garage (rent a dumpster to get rid of the junk, and have the Salvation Army come pick up the stuff that we just don’t want anymore), and once it’s all tidy, move the boxes I’ve packed down there. I know a storage unit wouldn’t cost that much, but we’re trying to save up for the actual move, so money is SUPER-tight right now. And hell, we have a 3-car garage, we might as well put it to good use, right? I’m assuming that people coming to look at the house might overlook some boxes in the garage if everything else in the house is pretty and polished-looking.

  4. Moving rots. I’m in my 3rd home in 10 years. We’re still trying to sell home #2. When we moved here, I was 5 months pregnant with twins. I couldn’t do anything~no lifting, no moving furniture. All I could do was fill boxes, tape boxes, break down boxes after someone unpacked them. And in this market (at least here in the Northeast), people want PERFECT homes. Hence why our house built in 1942 is still for sale.
    Showing your home to someone is so stressful. We sold our first home quite easily in 2002. Only had a couple of showings and it was off the market. In these days though, the stress is unbelievably high.
    So I empathize. And I wish you luck.

  5. I can just say ditto. We took our SoCal house off the market already and have a property manager. We should have a renter in by the end of the month so that should make our bills a bit easier. The only side of our move that made it more bearable is that it was forced so the navy had to pay someone to pack and move our stuff. We had to do all of the unpacking but no extra bill for the move. On the other hand, we move about every three years so there is that…

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