Send Xanex

Okay, so we've done almost everything we can do to our house to get it ready for sale. Everything is spiffed and shiny (with a few exceptions that will no doubt come together between now and Wednesday when we list the house with a Realtor.)

Except, um, I don't know how to LIVE here without completely losing my mind every time someone uses a pot or pan or rumples a bed or, god for-freaking-bid, takes out a game and leaves it in the middle of the living room floor where it is the first thing a propective buyer will see--DAMN IT--and so what if we have no prospective buyers yet when it's just a matter of DAYS--DAYS, I tell you--until we do and we need to get in the habit of staging this freaking house right NOW!



Um, hi there.

As I was saying, I seem to be experiencing a small amount of anxiety.

And this, my friends, is really the answer to how all those Metropolitan Home types have spotless many-shades-of white houses.

No one lives there.

The truth is, you wanna sell your house? You should move the hell out so that when, hypothetically speaking, the realtor turns up her nose at the Love candle your daughter brought home for steak night and suggests that you dispose of it, you don't have to fight the urge to tell her exactly where she should put it.

(That truly really was just hypothetical. Our Realtor hasn't said anything about the Love Candle at all, and it has nothing to do with the look in my eyes. I feel the need to have these mental (and I mean that in every sense of the word) imaginary confrontations with people because I am a youngest child in that way. We youngest kids are always on the look-out for those who would cast aspersions on our grown-uptitude.)


So, anyway, I guess my point is that I don't know how to both LIVE here with my family and to look like no one of any consequence lives here so that some unimaginative prospective buyer can picture his or herself living here. Does that make sense? (The sentence, I mean. I have no illusions about how much sense the sentiment makes...)


Barb, I'm sorry; but it's not possible. The weekend our house went on the market, every morning I'd leap out of bed, spend an hour swiffering and putting away everything that was (again) out of place and then I'd kick the children outside to play (nice weather, fortunately) for the entire day. I fed them breakfast outside on the grass. We didn't use our kitchen at all for 4 days. (And it looked great, by the way) Our neighbor (the one whose house we were buying) happened to be away at the time, and we used her kitchen and her powder room. Luckily, our house was sold by Day Number 4.

On the other hand, I have a friend with 7 kids under 12 (including a newborn baby) who managed to sell her small-ish house with everyone in it. I don't know how.
Anonymous said…
Hey Barb,

Breathe my friend! Here's what helped us...Get a plastic tote bin. When the realtor called to make an appointment or tell us that in 30 minutes someone was going to be showing the house, I would make a mad dash around the house with the tote, putting everything in it that was out of place, (toys, mail, etc) and then take it to my car with me when I left. Also, people usually do not look inside your dishwasher or washing machine - yes, I hid stuff there once or twice on my way out the door! From the pictures you have done an amazing job! Now breathe! ~Michelle
Suna Kendall said…
I don't know how suburb.'s friend with the 7 kids did it, either. I thought I'd not need to move because I'd be dead from trying to keep a house perfect with a 3 and 5 year old in the house. It certainly made them glad to move.

I am glad I never need to move again until the kids are out of the house.

I love Michelle's suggestions.
hokgardner said…
We were in a house last week that was on the market, and I was convinced that no one could possibly live there. But then I found out that not only did they live there, they had a 1-year-old there with them too. I was amazed, because I couldn't possibly keep my house as clean as that one was even without a husband, kids and a dog.

I don't envy you at all. I'll cross my fingers for a quick sale so you can go back to normal life, whatever that may be.
Ei said…
I've only ever sold one house. I did it with a two year old and a tiny infant. I wish I could help you but I've entirely blocked the whole experience. I vaguely remember sitting in a park somewhere crying, but that is about it.
DK said…
Well, hopefully it will sell soon and you can go back to messing it the heck up. Believe me, not living in your house does nothing to help it sell, either.

We'll keep our fingers crossed.

I don't know how anyone does anything with seven kids.
MadMad said…
I wish I had helpful words, I don't. In fact, just to prepare you, you will always get a call from a realtor who will be arriving in 10 minutes with a family WHEN YOUR UPKEEP HAS SLIPPED. Always. I spent a month not letting my kids play with their toys. They were only allowed to watch TV, basically. But I do think that you have to let go, some. People will love the house if they love the house, and a dirty dish or two in the sink, or a love candle isn't going to sink the ship. I had a friend who sold her house the day after Xmas - and you know what a house looks like the day after Xmas, right?! So if it is going to happen, it is going to happen. I think the realtors sometimes take this staging stuff a little too far!
ckh said…
I wish you a speedy sale and an easy transition. It will be over before you know it and you'll only remember the great memories of the house and this part will become a blur.

Our house was unoccupied when we bought it and there was a weirdness about that. It was missing that special something that makes a home. I hope that the buyers that fall in love with your house overlook the imperfections of being occupied and see them for the way it makes your home special. Maybe they'll see the Love Candle as a glimpse into the joy they'll have with their own children as they grow up with your address.

And only delusional people without children or pets can possibly believe that houses remain spotless all the time.