...because home doesn't happen overnight.
03.02.11 / 6 Things Down…

It feels so good to say I’ve crossed 6 things off of our listing list.  All.  By.  Myself. {Unless you count the ‘help’ you get from a 2-year-old.}  I am exhausted but excited.  Yesterday I tackled the kitchen.  And it really looked like I tackled it.  Stuff was everywhere.

Stuff to pack…

Stuff to donate… {who really needs 2 cheese graters?}

I went through each and every kitchen cabinet and drawer including the island.  I organized all items into 3 piles…1) keep in kitchen  2) pack up into boxes  3) donate.  We’ve lived here for 3 years, so it was easy to decide what to donate.  Whatever we hadn’t used since moving, well, it got donated.  Whatever we had used but wasn’t necessary for daily living {i.e. Thanksgiving roaster, bread maker, fine china, etc.} got boxed up and taken down to the basement until moving time.  In case you’re wondering, I labeled each box as ‘kitchen’ then wrote what specific items were in each box to take the guesswork out of unpacking.

Not only will downsizing our kitchen inventory make the kitchen storage look bigger and tidier to potential buyers, but it should also make our move easier…less stuff to move and pack when that time comes. Our pared down cabinets are looking downright bare…

In the cabinet above the fridge, I left the microwave rack, microwave and oven range manuals, and the extra kitchen hardware.  All of these items will be staying on with the new owners.

We are including all kitchen appliances in the sale of the house.  I figured it was about time I cleaned out the oven…for only the second time ever since we’ve lived here.  That’s pretty sad. But it looks great now.

For extra credit, I also touched up a few dings on the painted cabinets.  I just walked around with our leftover latex enamel paint {from painting the cabinets over a year ago} and a 1″ brush and swiped over every little imperfection.  The cabinets look as good as new!

My cousin let me borrow her carpet shampooer {a Bissel ProHeat} to erase a pet stain from the carpet in one of the bedrooms.  It worked like a charm.  So much so that I used it in our family and living rooms too just to spiff things up even more.  Plus I kind of liked using it.  Weird?  Yes.  Last night I took a shower in my boys’ bathroom and made myself scrub it down before I showered. This morning I tackled all the second floor closets which is no small task because each bedroom has its own walk-in closet.  Coupled with the kitchen donate pile, the unnecessary closet clutter filled my SUV to the brim on the way to Goodwill.  Goodbye and good riddance.

After a quick trip to Goodwill, I washed down all the windows inside and out.  We have a lot of them.  As much as I enjoy all the natural light that those windows let in, I’ll be happy not to have so many to wash in a smaller home.  Running short on steam, I decided to take on one last project for the day.  The WT {that’s white trash} mailbox.  We’d lost our signal flag over the winter.

I replaced it with a DIY kit that Handy Hubby picked up from Lowe’s for about $4 last night on his way home from work.

It was easy and I thought I’d just pull the Steelers magnet off {because even though we are Steelers fans that might not go over so well with potential buyers since we live in Bengals country} and call it a day, but this is what ensued…

…rustiness.  Ugh.  So I trudged down to the basement for some black spray paint to finish one more project.  After a little spray can shaking and a few sprays, the mailbox was looking a little less WT – but still wet.  {Sorry, I didn’t feel like waiting for it to dry.}

Then I came inside and wrote this post.  So that’s what I’ve been up to over the last 24 hours.  I crossed 6 things off my list:

  • declutter kitchen cabinets
  • declutter all closets
  • wash windows
  • shampoo spot of carpet where the dog dooed
  • scrub the showers
  • fix the signal flag on our mailbox

Getting your home ready for sale – whether you list with a realtor or by owner – is a must if you want to sell quickly and get top dollar {whatever that is nowadays}.  Look at your home like a buyer would look at your home.  Be thorough and detail-oriented.

Tomorrow’s weather is calling for sunshine and mild temps, so I’m hoping to clean the garage floor and exterior man doors.  Maybe I’ll even take some photos for the sales brochure.  As tired as I am, I just keep reminding myself why I’m doing this…to live in a modest home that we can pay off in 4-5 years.  No one said selling your home or becoming debt free would be easy.  And I don’t expect it to be.  But I’m sure looking forward to it!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

26 Comments

You’re a rock star! You’re right, doing all of that ungodly cleaning and decluttering will make a huge difference. Good luck!!

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02.March.2011

your oragnizeing is getting me motivated. Although Im not sure where you are moving but its sad because i think im in love with your house that you are leaving!

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02.March.2011

I feel for you…I remember when we sold our house and I was de-cluttering…It got to the point I couldn’t wait to sell it..it felt so empty because we took a lot of personal things out like photos…We just moved to Maryland and are renting right now (dislike) but not sure if my hubby will get transferred again so we are being prepared this time…but we want to downsize our living as well…It’s not about a big house it’s about being able to do things and get out of debt….only have to pay off vehicles now…Oh wait!! student loans haven’t started yet ~head slap~…LOL

Denyse
http://mydailyphotojourney.blogspot.com/

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02.March.2011

wow! i’d say that’s a pretty good day’s work! GREAT JOB!!! wanna come to my house and clean my windows??? ;)

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02.March.2011

Whoa! You are superwoman!

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Damn girl……where do you find all that energy??? I want it. LOL! You are really getting a lot done which is soooo great. Best of luck. :D

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replied on March 3rd, 2011

Jen – A cup of coffee in the morning gets me going and I just don’t let myself sit down until it’s dark or I’d crash. It’s also a little like the new baby phase where for the first 2 weeks you’re soooo excited it overpowers the exhaustion. But right at week 2 or 3, it finally hits you. If that’s the same case for moving, I’ve got a good week or so left in me, right?

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I remember doing this like it was yesterday! It’s definitely worth the effort. I’m hoping for a speedy and profitable sale for you so you don’t have to do the daily “shine” like we had to do for months and months in the horrible Florida market a couple years ago.

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03.March.2011

I know how difficult it is to get one thing done while watching the boys, let alone all of this. Thank you for working so hard on prepping our home.

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03.March.2011

I am so glad you are sharing your experience with your readers. I just recently discovered your blog and I love your house. I am inspired by all your methods to control clutter. We are at a somewhat similar stage in our lives too. We sold our first house to reduce debt and are in the process of building another house. At the moment we are living in a rental and althought it is really hard, it helps to see that others go through a similar process to try to do the best for themselves and their family.
Thanks…

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03.March.2011

Can you take the yellow barn door with you (smiles)? Amazing job on the home prepping, you are inspiring me to get after cleaning out closets and donating. Isn’t is SCARY how much stuff we have? Downsizing is such an awesome way to only keep what you really use and need. I am trying so hard this year to bring less stuff into my home (darn you Pottery Barn)!

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03.March.2011

Great job, I’m sure you’re running out of steam, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. If more people put this much work into getting their homes ready, I’d be out of a job ;-)

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03.March.2011

Wow! Now I am dying to know which Goodwill received your donations? I think I live in your area (Bengals country) and noticed the white dishes packed in your car. My mother loves collecting white dishes.
I admire your life choices and working a plan to get there. Bravo to you and your family!

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replied on March 3rd, 2011

A. Davis – It was the Middletown exit Goodwill off I-75.

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03.March.2011

I cannot believe you did all of that in one day! Pretty sure that would take me at least a week. You are inspirational!!!

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03.March.2011

we just moved from OK to FL and right now live in an apartment about a third the size of our former home…it is great!!! we only have space for the things we need and when guests stop by unexpected I don’t have to worry if the house is clean or bathrooms tidy b/c one sweep thru in the morning and I can get it all done…lovely!! so when we go to purchase a home next year, we are for sure staying under 1500 sq. ft.!! and selling/donating all the stuff we no longer needed, wow!!
live it up, people will think you are crazy but you live your life…find your happiness!!

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Can I offer you a word of advice on packing + moving? (since I just went through this myself…)

I know you wrote “Kitchen: (+ specific contents) on your box, but you might want ot try one Master List.
- Label each box with a number.
- Then, on your Master List, list the contents of each box.

The reason this works so well, is because let’s assume you have piles and piles of boxes… so many that you can’t see how you labelled it. If you have simply put numbers (on every side of the box) you can quickly scan your Master List to see if it needs to be opened yet.

Another tip, but this one is for when you are packing every last item: The boxes that need to be opened immediately (coffee pot, toilet paper, water bottles, etc.) should be clearly marked by something. We made a big X with blue painters tape on each box. That way we knew which boxes were our ‘survival boxes.’

I just went through this (actually it was 7 months ago) so I can relate to how overwhelming it can be. You’re doing a great job. : ) {hugs}

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replied on March 3rd, 2011

Karen – Those are great packing ideas! I’ll definitely be using the ‘survival boxes’ demarcation idea!

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03.March.2011

You kicked **s on that AND took photos! You rock! I originally came to your blog because of that wonderful sliding door you put in the bedroom, and now I’m inspired by the transformation you’re undertaking — Thanks for sharing!

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03.March.2011

Good on ya! It IS a worthwhile endeavor to pair down and clean up all in the name of financial freedom, because financial freedom really = personal freedom. My husband and I share the same philosophy which is why we live with our 2 kids in a 400 sq ft space while we finish our education(s). I am rooting for you in spirit and wishing you energy to complete all the things you need to do….but from the looks of it you are having no problems :)

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03.March.2011

Wow, decluttering and preparing to move is a lot of work. But it sure feels great when there isn’t so much stuff around. Could you please let me know where you got that great rug in front of the sink in the kitchen, love it!!

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replied on March 3rd, 2011

Lyn – All about the rug here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2010/06/06/you-asked-for-it/

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04.March.2011

I’ll tell you I think what you are doing should be done to any house once a year or every couple of years. We all accumulate stuff and what a killer purge! Congrats on the list – from one list maker to another – it’s a great accomplishment!

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04.March.2011

Ok totally not trying to be a stalker but I’m from Bengals country too!!! (although I am originally from here so I’m a Bengals fan, as hard as that is to say right now) But this makes me so excited because I imagined your house being in California. It’s so bright and airy, it gives me hope that I too can have a house decorated as nicely as yours. Good luck with the house hunting. My husband and I looked at 38 houses before we bought out current home. I understand how frustrating it can be. Good luck again!

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I’m so happy to have found your blog so many great things to look at and read about here. I just had to comment that I’m happy to see a fellow Steelers fan. GO STEELERS! Especially in a Tiger town! [I'm originally from Maryland and get a lot of slack for rooting for the Steelers vs. the Ravens].

Good luck on your home search! ox

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[...] Since all I’m think­ing about is mov­ing, I love these 6 Things to Do Before List­ing Your House [House*Tweaking] [...]




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