Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting the Hell out of Here: Part Five

"I'm starting him on the machine tonight."

Ready the House for Sale

It was the summer of 2006. We had a galley kitchen with subtly mis-matched counter tops, about three inches of counter space, and enough cabinets to store...nothing. We also had a dining room with no table in it because it was being used as an office/playroom-type thing. Spazzy had just turned three, and we decided that because moving was out of the question, we'd do better to remodel the main floor.

So we did. And we mostly finished it. Mostly.

That said, even though the big, open kitchen with all the glorious storage and prep space is fully-functional, it was never quite completely prettied up. See, Husband and I are neither one big on tackling anything that seems like "extra" or "unnecessary" or "boring". So we have unfinished trim work, missing quarter round, and unpainted doors all up in our biz-nass. There are lots and lots and lots of little projects that need to be done.

For example, we need to stomp the ceiling where we moved walls around and shit:

We need to cut, paint, and hang the trim around the coat closet (and paint all the other trim in the living room white):

We need to touch up paint, and buy/hang closet doors in the bedrooms because the old ones were those super cheap crappy ones that fall off the track every thirty seconds and so we just took them down and threw them away. There are walls to be painted and tile to repair and carpets to clean.

There are a LOT. OF. PROJECTS. And that's just inside the house (and an incomplete list, at that). We also have a backyard that needs some serious TLC after almost three years of wear and tear from our massive dog, and the front yard is in desperate need of some semblance of landscaping. The roof needs to be replaced. Really, the old-ass windows do, too, but we can only afford to do one or the other, and we decided that a new roof was more urgent. I think buyers will be less turned off by the thought of replacing windows than replacing a roof.

Now we do have plans for all of these things. We just need to get off our lazy asses and get to the execution phase. The good news is that Husband is very handy, and I am a killer Lovely Assistant. In addition to my skill at painting-while-drinking-wine, I am also very good at holding boards while they're being cut, handing people tools (or "thingamajiggies"), and corralling children into safe spaces while loud, dangerous work is being done.

We did actually manage to give our mailbox a makeover. It's not an expensive mailbox, and we probably could have just bought a new one, but we want it to match the "shutters" on the house. And since I'm planning to paint those navy blue, we just gave the whole mailbox set-up a nice facelift.

Before & After—Mailbox Edition

So yeah. Getting the house ready to stage for sale is a big part of the next year of our lives. Our goal is to tackle a project at a time as we have the cash for it (no charging anything!). I've been using the money we have set aside for this to buy Home Depot gift cards at Kroger when they have the 4X fuel points deal so that we sort of get some of the money back via our gas tank.

Has anyone else gone through this process? What was it like for you? Any tips/advice?


  1. Are you a list maker? I just found this website the other day (there are many others like it), called tadalist! ( You can make as many beautiful lists as you want and when you check something out it makes it pretty and gray and moves it to the bottom of your list. I'm so happy with all my nice clean pretty lists!! Just thought you might love it as much as I do! Might help in your many projects!

  2. PS I love your mailbox. Ours is a big tan plastic Lowe's purchase, and it's just thrown over an old post, not even secure. It wobbles.

  3. Thanks! I will definitely check that out. I am very much a list maker. My lists have sub-lists.