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November 2019
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It’s just like work week!

Once we decided to put our house on the market, life changed a bit. Suddenly we wanted all those little projects we’d been putting off to have been done last year. We immediately started cleaning and de-cluttering the first floor, and made a list of things we needed to do. The first weekend we completely cleaned the living room, from wiping down the walls to hand scrubbing the floor to vacuuming the couches. While I was mostly working in there, Brian was doing the same to the library, packing up books and wiping down all the shelves, putting away all our CDs, and scrubbing that room. He also took a weekday to completely clean the upstairs bathroom and get it staged (new white towels, linen closet shelving to hold our countertop full of “stuff” and a new shower rack).

Mary had planned a visit right in the middle of our preparations. Fortunately, she’s a work week veteran and was game to help us. We spent almost an entire day on the kitchen, and boy was it nice to have the help! We again packed up things we didn’t think we’d need in the next few months, cleaned and wiped down every surface, and she even cleaned all the little bits of cat kibble out of the cracks in the floor. While we were working on the first floor, we had a contractor come in and do a bunch of odd jobs that had been piling up – repairing some siding and flashing around the living room window, putting up new wood downspouts, replacing the sill on the kitchen window, replacing the cracked banister finials, plastering the chimney in the attic and patching some plaster in our bedroom. He did excellent work and was quick! Note to self – in the future don’t wait 10 years to get all those little jobs done. It’s totally worth having a handyman come in and do it. That evening we enjoyed a nice clean 1st floor, sipping some vintage Road Trip Orchards wine and playing Settlers of Catan.

Over a few short weeks, the house has gotten into the best shape of our tenure. One day Brian fixed the gate on the side of the house so we now have a fenced in yard. Another evening the front closet got cleaned out, with winter coats taken to the cleaners or packed away. Another day, Brian cleaned the office and then the exercise room. In between, painting touchups were completed and the window boxes were planted. Frankly, Brian did most of the heavy lifting since I could really only help on weekends. On May 16, our realtor came through and gave us the “thumbs up,” and our house officially went on the market May 18. We’ve now completed over 50 tasks from our “to do” list, including all the top priorities.

So far, I don’t mind keeping things tidy and clean. It’s good incentive to put things back where they belong. We’ve only gone to the attic twice to get something we’d packed away. Now we just want the right buyer to come look at the place! Hopefully after Memorial Day, the house hunter traffic will pick up. In the mean time, we’re enjoying Newburyport, living in a clean de-cluttered house.

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