The next installment of our saga, tentatively entitled "Fairly-Clueless-But-Highly-Motivated People Try to Sell a House" involves prepping said domicile for its close-up. That's right, a professional photographer had been appointed to snap pictures of each and every room...and then our living quarters would be virtually placed on the Internet, for any interested parties to scope out (or laugh at, be repelled by, what have you...) This looming appointment caused quite a stir in our household--well, for Husband and me, anyway...the boys remained blissfully oblivious, unless we demanded that they hop to and do something useful to help out--more on that later. But for the adults, a veritable flurry of purposeful activity ensued, over the course of a week or so.
The most pressing--and seemingly insurmountable--item on the agenda was to arrange power washing for the siding and back porch, both of which sported an impressive (read "unsightly") amount of grime and/or green growth (the latter being an unwanted side effect caused by the shade from our otherwise very desirable maple trees). This is theoretically not a difficult task to schedule or accomplish...except when it keeps freaking snowing well into March, and what you really need is warm-ish, dry weather to proceed. But Lady Luck trumped Mother Nature--for one day at least--and we were able to have the handyman come out and give our house a bath last Friday, in between late Winter storms. Then, Husband got to channel his...inner Huck Finn...by spending the gloriously warm, sunny Saturday afternoon slapping (or in his case "carefully, methodically applying") a coat of stain on the deck...instead of playing in the yard, as he would much rather have been doing.
Meanwhile, I tackled the inside issues...which in translation really means: "a borderline-obsessively-tidy person feels compelled to do things like line up the edges of magazines, straighten the bananas in the bowl on the kitchen counter, place the couch pillows so that their patterns are facing the same way and they lie at an absolutely even distance from the armrests...etc." (You may be chuckling, thinking I'm exaggerating or even fabricating...sadly, this is all 100% true. I'm exhausted all over again from merely recounting my mini-frenzy...) Then of course there were the cosmetic improvements that were actually suggested, such as tucking away prescriptions. ("Yes, people WILL go through your medicine cabinets," I was told. Gosh, that's horrifying, because we have so much to hide! I mean, heaven forbid they discover that Husband takes pills to help alleviate his...migraines...shudder...)
Hmm, what else was there? Oh, right, clear the master bedroom entryway by stowing the ottoman somewhere. (No problem...um...I'll just chuck it right here...in Derek's closet....) And the most difficult, inconvenient request of all: the children needed to get in the habit of making their beds and putting away their clean laundry....EVERY. DAY! (Are you gasping and reeling in shock? Well, let me tell you, they did. It's just not something we've ever required them to do, because frankly, I couldn't care less if their covers are a jumbled mess or their clothes remain on the floor where I (also known in this capacity as the "Laundry Fairy") left them. But at least for the time being, they must (are you ready for the injustice and back-crushing toil of this?) pull up their comforters...and (if that weren't bad enough) tuck their apparel into the proper drawers! (Yeah, all sarcasm aside, this adds approximately 45 seconds, total, to their everyday routines. Not even enough for them to work up a good whine about it, honestly...)
For me, the most amusing part of the whole rigamarole was watching Husband...crawling around from spot to spot...wielding a teeny-tiny paintbrush taken from the art supply kit the kids use for school assignments. You see, he had taken it upon himself--without any prompting whatsoever--to locate, mark with a sticky-note, and touch up any gouges, scrapes, or scuffs in the paint...all over the house. It was an undertaking of both colossal...and miniscule...proportions, I tell ya. I have no right to laugh, though, what with my own Battle of the Bathroom. (Okay, more like a "minor skirmish"...which I won, thank you very much...) There was one area along the baseboard where for some reason a gap had appeared between the wood and the paint. It was structurally sound, but a visual eyesore, if you will. So after being annoyed by it...but ignoring it...for, oh, I don't know, a year, maybe...I finally decided to fix the sucker.
This necessitated a trip to the Seventh Circle of Hell--I'm sorry, "the hardware store"--to purchase an appropriate product for the job. There I was, doing my best to explain to the helpful employee what I was trying to achieve, so he could recommend the proper substance...and I totally blanked on the word "baseboard". (I blame it on the stress of the testosterone-laden environment...or maybe home improvement fumes...or some such nonsense...) "Down by the floor, where the wood meets the wall, there's an empty space, and I need to fill it," I blathered. Bless his heart, he managed to squelch his inevitable confusion (and probably dismay) at the crazy lady in front of him, and keep his wits firmly about him, and point me toward a suitable solution...also known in high-tech, extremely specialized construction circles as..."caulk". (If you've concluded that I'm definitely losing it at this point...I can't say you're wrong...) Long story short...er...it worked like a charm, problem fixed, baseboard harmony re-established. (Bonus: I'll most likely never forget that term again, should I ever need it in the future, so "yay for that"....)
Fiiiinnnaalllyyy....we were all done nit-picking around, and could just sit back and let the shutterbug work his magic to make our home look as appealing...and power-washed...and caulked...and painted...as possible. And after all that--let's (euphemistically...and optimistically) call it Spring cleaning--I swear, he was in and out in 20 minutes. (Sigh--of relief...mostly...) Looking ahead, I'm told that a sign will go up in the yard by Thursday at the latest. And a lockbox has been installed on the front door, just lying in wait for the swarm of invaders--um, "potential buyers"--that might descend upon us at any moment. Oh dear. If you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel a strong urge to go...artistically re-rearrange the bananas. (Fingers crossed that the whole nervewracking "For Sale" process doesn't drag on TOO long!)