When it comes to getting our house ready to sell, I am either way hardcore and motivated…or stupid. (For example, last night, I touched up paint on the boys’ closet door. They were asleep in bed. I was painting in the dark. Stupid? Yeah, possibly. Productive? You betchya!)
Thankfully, once the decision was made to KEEP our existing carpet and get it professionally cleaned (woohoo!), I was able to really focus on all the other work that needed to get done around here. My parents were kind enough to take the kids for an overnight this weekend, so Mike and I worked from morning until WAY early the next morning. We worked our butts off. Mike spent most of his time powerwashing the house outside; we cleaned out the garage and the kids’ yard toys and took a huge load to the dump. He also bleached and grouted the bathtub. My focus was primarily inside, namely the hallway, kitchen and dining room, all of which got two coats of paint this weekend. The only room left to paint here is the laundry room. I’ve touched up paint in every single room in this house and here’s what I’ve learned: if you’re really paying attention to the dings, the chips, the gouges in the walls, you could literally touch up paint every single week. Possibly every single day (if you’ve got kids like ours, apparently). I jest not: yesterday, I discovered a small chunk of paint missing on the wall in the family room that was not there earlier this week. I swear! And how did it get there?! It’s actually up fairly high on the wall.
Obviously, I wouldn’t mind having less prep work to do for selling the house and I do hope to try to keep our next a house slightly in better shape, but I have to be honest, every single little bit of touch up work that I’ve had to do has made me sorta happy. A couple people have asked me, “Now, that you’ll have the house looking so nice, I bet you won’t want to leave?” My answer is actually, “Mmmm, no. I’ll be heartbroken, but ready.” See, I don’t think I could stay in a place without blemish – and really, we’ll add more everyday. To me, as I scrub random marks and scuffs off the walls, when I cover up spots where the paint has been gouged out, I’m covering up memories. I don’t know what each mark is, obviously, but they all represent our life here to a certain extent. We were too busy playing, running, laughing, crying, LIVING to bother wandering around everyday with a scrub and paint brush. I encourage you to inspect your walls. You’ll be amazed at all the little imperfections that lurk there possibly telling some untold or long forgotten story. (Although, you may also be inspired to do a little wall maintenance while you’re at it. Sorry).
As we get closer to listing the house for sale (we’re now, looking at Presidents’ week), I find myself feeling more and more conflicted. As I pack up the kids’ things, especially, a lump forms in my throat. This past weekend, I was collecting the stepping stones that I had each kiddo make for Mike for Father’s Day through the years. The first one is from 2006. It has Matthew’s almost-three-year-old handprint and Zachary’s three-MONTH-old handprint. The next one is from 2007 and features the boys’ feet. Then, time speaks for itself…we were too busy playing, living, doing OTHER stuff, and the next stepping stone dates 2011. Sea glass that we collected from a beach in Port Townsend with my parents borders Kayliana’s initials and her foot and hand print. Obviously, we’re bringing these stepping stones with us, but there was just something about pulling them out of the ground of this property that’s held so many firsts, so many memories, that just broke my heart a little too. I know that this move is a good decision, I know that we will do LOTS of living and memory forming (and wall-banging-up) in the next house, but there’s just something about your FIRST home, that’s a little hard to let go of.
This picture says it all: Matthew learning how to ride his bike sans training wheels (April, 2010), my pretty, pretty flowers (nearly all of which I planted) and Zachary climbing my favorite tree – our Japanese Maple – like a little monkey in the background.