And so it began. The adrenaline was pumping. Even before our offer was accepted, I began puttering about the house straightening things, organizing a drawer here and a closet shelf there. Now, however, the game began in earnest.
First things first, I sent out a plea for help, an email to all my friends…cleverly disguising a morning of helping me clean my house as an invitation to a pizza party. I then commenced a daily routine of rising at or before 5 am and staying up until 10 or 11 pm. I washed curtains, organized closets, sorted through bins and boxes, laundered slipcovers, and filled countless trash bags with rubbish from every corner of the house, attic to basement. I painted entire walls and touched up others, and almost every baseboard in the house received a fresh coat of crisp white paint. My set of bulletin boards and marker boards that had for years served as “Command Central” and were intrinsic in keeping my life organized were removed, the wall they had so faithfully adorned given a fresh coat of paint and some pretty wall decor.
Speaking of the bulletin board…for years we had one of those “lists” pinned up. You know the one, the list of household projects about a mile long with only three items crossed off of it. Things like “replace warped siding” and “fix broken doorbell” and “repair basement door so it will latch”…and so on and so forth. Facing multiple projects in barely over a weeks’ time, we decided to call a local handyman that we had worked with in the past and see what he might be able to do on short notice. By the time the realtor’s sign went up on the lawn, he had knocked out every single item on our “to do” list, including the assembly of an IKEA wardrobe in our boys’ bedroom, since their room did not have a closet and I was figuring that bedroom closets are…well…a selling point. At the end of it all, we looked at each other and said…that’s right…”why didn’t we ever do this before?”. For a nominal amount of money, projects that had been hanging over our heads for years were completed and everything was working, ship-shape.
The Monday before our first showing, six sweet, gracious ladies showed up to my house for my “cleaning party”. I had spent over an hour the night before making up index cards for each job that needed to be done in the house, listing the location, method, priority level, and required supplies. The cards were quite a hit, so much so that someone joked about having them published! I will admit that they proved to be an invaluable help, as I was freed up to finish painting and organizing and didn’t have to spend my time that morning answering questions about what to do next or what product to use.
Thinking thus far that I have some amazing friends? Friends willing to scrub toilets and clean out the tracks of dirty windows with a q-tip? That’s just the tip of the iceburg.
Of the eight days we spent preparing the house, I think I only spent half of them with my children. Bounced around here and there from house to house, both my kids and my dear friends were troopers as we played a grand game of Carseat Shuffle. Picked up, dropped off, babysitter today, grandparents tomorrow. And always, in the midst of it all, my heart pumping and reminding me…faster, faster, so much to do, so little time.
Fast forward to Thursday…the night before The Big Day. Don’t worry about the days in between, full of last minute errands to pick up cut flowers and potted plants, boxwoods for the front steps and hooks and clips to organize the hall closet. Thursday night…just a few last-minute projects, a little bit of paint to touch up, and a good night’s sleep before waking early to clean and set up for the two showings scheduled for Friday afternoon. I was looking forward to the rest, as by now my back and neck were aching and the skin on my hands was cracked and bleeding. Thursday night…almost there…time to rest, right? Think again…