Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ten Hours and Staging Begins...

I set the clock for 9:30 am, 3 hours later than usual, a ridiculous time to start the day. Especially if you ask the dogs who were locked in the office, holding their four legs tightly together. At 8 am I turned off the alarm, lying there enjoying seeing sunlight coming through the window and thinking about getting up, til I fell back asleep for another 1 1/2 hours. Finally at 9:30 am the cat stood up in the bed and announced it was time to begin the day - Cheerio! Snap, snap! Get up human!

Like race horses out of the chute - we're off! Thursday was 'D-Day'. The day when I began, in earnest, to completely declutter, then clean, then stage every room of this house.

I have a plan - and I'm sticking to it.

Almost two years ago we started getting this house ready to list. Seriously. It's hard to believe we're now down to less than two months before it goes on the market. The realtor comes a week from tomorrow and we want it as close to ready as it can be. What started with a five page spreadsheet has been whittled down to a mere two pages. Some items can't be cleared off til the weather improves - mulching the beds, planting frost-friendly flowers, but most of the work can be done now, in the next week.

I started today with the lower level of the house - the storage room, rec room and my craft room. Mop all floors, clear out all clutter (shipping boxes, extra junk that has piled up), wash down the freezer and extra fridge, vacuum the craft room and put away all projects that are in the process. If they haven't gotten done by now, they're going to have to wait for a move south before I have time for them.

Here's my cleaning caddy - it's handy when you have a multi-level house. Glasses from Kmart so I can see the dirt around places like bathroom faucets, etc. And socks with nubby things on them so I don't slip and fall (note to Mom and Barb, who has totally inspired me to get busy cleaning with all she's been busy doing!). There's one of those Magic Erasers in there - where were they when our kids were scribbling on walls? An old toothbrush to get at little places, and lots of cheap washrags that I use just for cleaning.

I read a tip on Pleasant View Schoolhouse's blog, at least a year ago, to add Peppermint oil to your mop water - what a difference it makes. (It's the little brown bottle in my cleaning caddy - one drop does it.) The whole room smells wonderful afterwards! My Dyson animal - the best thing I ever bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond and they honored the 20% off coupon (their price was the same as Target and Lowes but then I saved 20%!).

The storage room 'before'. Not bad but not great either.

This end looked even worse. I seem to accumulate boxes and jars and bags. Everybody has a bit of a clutterbug in them I guess.

This is supposed to be the gift wrapping center. Good luck with that! Covered with junk.

And apparently filthy. Simple green pulled this off of it. Gross.

So much better now. Nice little spot for when the dogs are grounded. The floor is clean, the fridge is clean, the gift wrap spot is clean and the boxes, bags and jars are outside in the trash.

The back of the car is full of stuff going to Goodwill too. Gee, some lady is going to like this room I think!

My sewing / quilting room was a bit of a mess. I seriously only clean it about once a year. I'm not very neat when I'm being creative, unfortunately.

Much better - looks like a pleasant place to work and play now. I sucked up lots of spiderwebs in here.

So tomorrow I'll tackle the rec room, and it'll probably take most of the day, but that'll be one whole floor down and only two to go.

We're taking Sunday off to celebrate Valentine's a bit late, going to see Fiddler on the Roof, then I'll be back at it Monday, on the main floor. It's time to put away the snow village, then there are windows to wash, cupboard doors, polish and shine furniture, and completely clean out the laundry room. That involves boxing up and shipping all my scrapbook supplies south. Scrapbooking will get done right after all those not finished quilting projects. I'm thinking scrapbooking will get done while Manly is out on the lake catching bass.

Finally, upstairs to the five bedrooms and two bathrooms. I've got one window treatment to put up, windows to clean, screens to remove to let the light in, piles of books, etc. to put away.

So I'll be busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger between now and then. I'll let you all know how it goes, take some photos as I go, and maybe even show the after photos, asking what you all think. Extra eyes are helpful - sometimes we get so used to seeing our own stuff, we don't notice it anymore. I still remember touring a house (that we ended up buying) and opening the master bedroom closet door. There hung the biggest bra I had ever seen! Twenty years later that image is still with me, and I sure don't want that sort of thing happening. Not that I have that situation myself - but you get the drift.

Spring is just around the corner - surely I'm not the only one busy staging a house to put it on the market. Somebody out there tell me you're up to your ears with it too - misery loves company!


Diane@Diane's Place said...

You go, girl! Good for you! I can barely wade through 4 rooms and you have 3 FLOORS to clean. You're a better woman than I am, my friend.

I just cleaned, sorted, decluttered and tossed in my spare room this afternoon and I'm TARD. And I didn't even really get done! I still have to do some more sorting and tossing, mostly paperwork that has to be looked over for keepers and tossers, and I definitely have to vacuum in there.

I want one of those Dysons so bad I can taste it (really, REALLY bad analogy, that!) but I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on one, especially since my current vacuum is still plugging away. Maybe someday...

Good luck with your cleaning and staging. I hope your place sells quick and you get a good price.

Happy Friday and weekend!

Love and hugs,


Becky said...

Hi Bev-as much work as you're doing, it stills sounds like you're enjoying the process. We're celebrating one year in our "new" old house that we love. It was the only house we looked at and we fell in love with it when we drove into the driveway. It was clean and well staged and we just knew it was the right house. Our married daughter bought our old house, so we didn't have to go through all the work to get it ready to sell, so we could just concentrate on finding a new home. I'll look forward to seeing your posts as you finish room by room. God's blessing as you move ahead!

Sarah said...

When I read your post, I feel like I might break out in the hives/lip swelling/asthma attacks from last year. I guess I'm still scarred from the moving madness! I'll be glad for you when this is all behind you! Move here SOON!

Susanne said...

That bra story cracks me right up! What an image.

You and Barb are going to be the spring cleaning inspiration of Blogland 2009, I'm thinking!

Barb said...

It's sweet that you have a pair of reading glasses in your cleaning caddy. :-) I always keep an old toothbrush on hand too - amazing how many times it's exactly what you need.

Where would I need to look to find peppermint oil? You've mentioned that several times - I think I need to try it.

The ginormous bra cracks me up. How embarrassing!

The lower level looks great now. It's funny. You call it staging. I call it getting rid of the smoke residue in my house. But we're both actually doing some very early and very serious spring cleaning. xoxo

Kelly said...

Oh my, I am just sitting here cringing, because after flying out the door today- and not getting the house ready for viewing for the first day in 3 weeks, you guessed it, someone showed up!

A surprise visit, a man and male realtor, and as soon as they left I discovered a (not so huge!) bra plainly in view in my closet. Even more mortifying, our children are involved in the same theater group!I'm praying they somehow overlooked it, but it gave me a chuckle to read your comment right after that discovery!

I feel your pain at the staging process, but it will be so worth it when you sell quickly:-)