Let the next chapter begin! (86)

The next chapter – selling my house and buying a new one – may be stressful, but it is my choice, unlike the previous chapter of my life – dealing with a house fire – which is a stress I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Last week I met with my realtors to fill out new paperwork and sign new contracts. The old ones, signed back in April before the fire disrupted my plans, are no longer valid. On the downside, I have to disclose the fire, which may turn some buyers off. On the upside, almost everything in my house is new and improved, which should encourage other buyers. Sharon and Bob, my realtors, think the house will go fast and want me to have a shortlist of houses I like beforehand, just in case I need to move fast. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of houses on the market in January and while there is one house high on my list, there’s no guarantee it will be available next month when I’ll most likely be ready to put in a bid. Having fewer houses on the market certainly helps me as a seller, but it’s not so helpful for me as a buyer. Since my move is voluntary, I don’t want to settle for just any ole house and I’m not willing to move into temporary housing until I find one. I’ve moved too many times this year. I did mention that this process is stressful, right?

In the meantime, I am preparing for a move as much as possible. I’ve finally cleaned away all traces of my kids’ vacation break. They’re back at college now and I’m assuming I’ll sell before they return, so the upstairs should stay clean. Downstairs is another story. The dogs and I still live here and it shows. Dark wooden floors may look great, but they sure show the dust and hair. I can blame the dogs for the hair and bits of dried grass and leaves on the floors, but they can’t reach the cluttered kitchen counters, so I have to share some of the blame. At least I don’t have to worry about downscaling and decluttering. A fire automatically does that for you, not that I’d recommend it as a method (see above: stress).

Then there’s my garage. The entire non-car side is stacked high with boxes, mostly of my books, but a good amount of off-season clothes, extra linens, and non-essential kitchen stuff. I don’t plan to unpack them, but my contractor keeps bringing over more boxes, so I’m running out of space. I decide to go through as many book boxes as I can and see if I can consolidate the contents. Sure enough, I manage to pack the books tighter and get rid of four boxes. I don’t really get rid of them, of course. I’m almost looking forward to packing since it won’t be preceded by desperate hunts around town for boxes. Instead, I stack all the empty boxes I’ve been saving in the upstairs closets, high on the shelves, hoping they won’t detract too much from my staging efforts.

Now that I’m counting down to selling day (in approximately 2 weeks), I start eyeing everything in my house with the idea of packing away as much as possible. Just how many towel sets or bed linens do I really need? I don’t need quite so many cups and glasses, either, as they won’t wind up forgotten in the kids’ rooms, clustered together on a nightstand along with numerous empty soda cans. Do I really need all my coats and jackets? Surely a couple of each should get me through the season. I draw the line at my shoes, though; they’ll stay in my closet until the last minute. My jewelry, too. Living with relatively little in the rental house during the 5-month rebuild prepared me to live in my own house with just a fraction of my stuff. When I finally do unpack everything in my future new smaller empty-nester house, it will be a time of discovery. I can hardly wait!

This entry was posted in Books, Buying a House, Downscaling, House Fire, Moving, My Life, Personal Memoir, Personal Property, Selling a house, Stress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Let the next chapter begin! (86)

  1. shoshwrites says:

    Thanks, Hallie! It sounds like you’ve almost got a ‘new’ house, too. I’m very fortunate that my contractor [recommended by my insurance appraiser] is very good, not only for the quality of work but his good eye for aesthetics. My kids are still in college, so I expect to have some of their stuff, but bit by bit, they’ll need to take it. I did a lot of decluttering last winter and spring before the fire, so what survived is mostly stuff I want to keep. I just want to keep it packed in the garage!

  2. Shallie says:

    Firstly I can’t imagine disclosing the fire will be a problem as the house is like new.

    I totally agree with getting rid of stuff you don and won’t use. Last year my friend told me he would paint an accent color on one wall in each of my rooms and to go out to the paint store and pick the color I knew I wanted for my bedroom. While there I was directed to a color consultant/decorator who said she could come by and give me some ideas for $90 an hour and I could then use her account for discount paint. My friend said to grab her and so 2 days later she was here, but it took her 5 hours as the house is open plan and was hard to work with, plus it was going to be all walls She did not want to take more then she had said, but we compromised in the end. Her talent is unreal and what has been painted rooms look really awesome – makes me feel like I am in a new house. Of course now there were things like sconces that did not look right with the new colors so was ordering new ones. I also had the popcorn knocked down in the few rooms that still had it and recessed LED lights put in, so it kept going and still is. My friend owns 2 businesses and this was something he was doing for fun for me, even though I have always paid him and he lives an hour away so that is a huge problem. It is now a year and the upstairs is not complete as he decided on new electrical, door hardware and so as I said there is no stopping. He said he did not think he would have the time to do the rest as tax reason was coming up and he is a financial advisor and realtor and does his clients taxes. I am very anxious about getting someone to finish the rest, even if he would just do the bottom level as I know my living room is a nightmare. He keeps saying too bad he does not live closer so he could pop in at any time and do a little at a time.

    I had a bad experience 3 years ago with my kitchen that really did not need to be painted, picked out the most expensive bid as it looked like they were going to be thorough and in the end a unlicensed person was dropped off at my house, did not do a proper job and I still have paint spots in places. I did take him to the licensing board and after much ado he refunded me the amount and more as I got a bid and it is more work now – starting to chip because it was not sanded and primed.

    The decorator has someone who works at the paint store who she says is not cheap, but meticulous like my friend and would do all the extras. My sons friend has a company, but not sure he will do the extras.

    I can’t see my friend getting done by the end of the month, but he will finish the upstairs as no one can take on where he has left off so that is a given, but living out of boxes for a year is starting to get to me.

    I finally made my 36 year old daughter take her things Thanksgiving, and my son has promised to clean up as he basically uses my house for everything, but sleeping, eating and showering. His room is full of things he has not looked at since he moved out at the end of 2006 – he has been in and out since 1995. He also has car parts in the crawl space and has moved all my exercise equipment in the garage in a pile as he stores a second car here. I was upset with him this weekend, I know he works very hard long hours, but expected him to start getting rid of his stuff and he said he had not planned to this past weekend, so I told him time was running out and if he did not do it then I would and I am ready to tell him I will put the bags on his car which will freak him out.

    Bottom line the good that has come out of this is that I discovered so many things I did not know I had and so was donating tons of stuff almost weekly and it sure felt good. I still have more that I can do, but want to wait until the house is done as there might be more things that I am not replacing. Like you I have way too many things I do not use, but finally bit the bullet and let them go. My friend opened a chest that I had not opened in 18 years and the entire contents was donated – linens, table clothes, blankets that had never been used. It is the best feeling in the world when you have your porch stacked up and are donating to places that can sell for research – in this case I use United Cancer.

    I have not missed anything that I donated as I forgot I had them.

    I had planned to do carpets this year, but at the pace we are going that might have to wait.

    BTW the decorator and I are buddies now, she is probably not much older then my kids, but we get along great, she loves that I am open to color. We even celebrated birthdays together in August and went looking at stores she likes to buy from to see if there was anything for me, but no luck. I can call,e mail her at anytime asking questions. I have the paint chips on the walls still- amazing they have not fallen down, her list of colors, but worry as time goes by I will forget.

    I know you will find a great place and when you start to get rid of things you don’t use it will be a weight off your shoulders – it was for me.

    Good luck with the selling and buying.

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