Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Decluttering begins

Yesterday afternoon, after several days of realizing we just needed some objective help before we put too much effort into working on the house, we met with our realtor.

She was polite and to the point: We have too much stuff for our house to show well.

While she mentioned something about getting a POD (clearly it blows her mind that a family could actually USE so many beds and dressers), she had some good points.

The goal while we are trying to sell the house is to think backwards: We spent the last six years trying to turn this house into a home - our home.

Now we need to "de-personalize" it, so someone else could walk in here, not distracted by too much furniture, family photos and preschool art. Let's not even mention overflowing laundry baskets. They need to be able to say, "This house could be my home!"

So last night I started taking things off the walls. I obviously have a decorating weakness for over-reliance on family photos, because at last count, I'd packaged up FOUR BOXES of them, harvested from every conceivable place: the laundry room, bathroom window sills, bedroom walls, dressers, and cabinets.

So, gone is the "baby wall."

Gone are my cuties in the kitchen.
And here's where panic starts to set in. Gone is the laundry tower (and I actually have two more drawers for sorting, on a different wall!).
Here's my new laundry room: the garage.
At least until it gets too full of boxes. Then this will be my laundry room, apparently.


Susanne said...

The no use of the laundry room would kill me. I think I'd be tempted to keep it and if the realtor called to say she was bringing someone, I'd grab all hands on deck and load the laundry into my vehicle until they were gone.

Depersonalizing your home while still in it must be very hard.

Laura said...

You are doing a great job! It will all be so worth it when you are in and enjoying your brand new home. Hang in there!

Jen said...

Just remember it's temporary....this is what I had a hard time remembering. You will be fine...I emailed Laura alot at Org Junkie..she has great tips.....good luck gal.

Family O'Foxes said...

What does POD stand for? It is too early in the morning for my brain. :)

I love the before and after pictures.

Are you going to rent a storage unit to put all your stuff in while you show your house? A friend of mine did that and thought it was worth it. Because then the garage looked spacious also.

I've never seen a laundry sorter like that...maybe I need that. Where do you find something like that?

It is looking good! Just think of this as packing for your new home. :)

Elspeth said...

You're doing what you have to do. It will be well worth when the sign outside your house changes from "FOR SALE" to "SOLD".

Julie said...

Oh Kathryn, how much work is all that. My head was spinning just reading about it. Your doing a great job.

I read your post below and I think I would go for a better lot and less house. You can always add on at some point. Obviously not to cramped. I hope you guys can find the home of your dreams. Very exciting.

Will your kids have to change schools? We have a great community about 4 miles from here that is more of a country setting. We have thought about moving but our high schoolers would have to change schools. They aren't thrilled about that.

Dimple Queen said...

Oh Kathryn, what the heck are you going to do without your Laundry oranization!!!! I have to agree with Susanne, the realtor would just have to call ahead of time for me to get that all worked out!

As difficult as it may be to have all your pictures down, I will say that when we were looking for a house it WAS much easier to see my things hanging on a blank wall than on a wall that was covered with their family pictures. AND I know this sounds silly, but it made it harder for me to see myself in a home filled with someone else's faces....I kept thinking I was "taking something from them!" :)

Aimee said...

I bought a great little book at Barnes and Noble when we were selling our's called "Dress your House for Success...5 fast easy steps to selling your house for the highest possible price"...written by 2 realtors. It was a fun read. We were doing "for sale by owner" and sold the house in a week and a half. I don't know how much these tips helped, but our house did look fantastic :)

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Man! I can't imagine having to do that here. Looks like you're making great headway to getting "realtor ready." Your laundry tower reminds me of my laundry cart - I don't know how I'd get along without it...maybe the house will sell quickly!

Marian said...

It looks like you're doing well. Things are looking svelte.

I've thought about how that process will go if we ever get to move someday. I also rely heavily on family photos as decoration. In fact, our whole downstairs hallway is lined on one side with shelves that hold an arrangement (artful, of course!) of framed photos.
Since I want to move, I'm already feeling awkward about photos I put up, but I guess you have to live in the house and make it yours until shifting course is actual reality. Now that I think about it, WE bought this house with a few owner family photos up...

Any promising houses in the search?

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

Looks good! I am curious however and not to add to your stress levels, but did the relator say anything about decluttering the garage too? I have heard that before. And by the way, laundry tower, I am curious how that works. Looks like something I need to purchase to get the clothes off the floor in the laundry room. Where else do you have one?

Wifeof1Momof4 said...
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Mary@notbefore7 said...

Should be some interesting days ahead... :) Keep at it. YOu are doing great!

Beck said...

It looks so different! That must feel... odd.

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

As if you aren't busy enough, I've tagged you. Please play along, as I love your posts.

Kristina at Learn2Luv2Run said...

We just went through the same thing. Actually our house still hasn't sold and we are renting in our new city, with a vacant home hours away. But back to the main point. I understand. We filled up more than I want to admit. We boxed up half of each kids toys, all decorations, any clothes we could do without during that season and more. The more we packed we just took to a storage unit. Little King (2 1/2 yrs) was amazed when we moved and realized he had almost double the amount of toys he had remembered!