Posted in House, House Hunting, Kids

Waving at You from the Chaos

We have reached mid-May, people. Oh people, my people, May rivals December for the crazy-chaos factor. Seriously. I think it’s worse. Today we have Laura’s art show, Catie’s play (that we will miss and see tomorrow) and Ethan’s spring concert. I also managed to fit in a visit to my mother in the hospital (been there since last Friday with REALLLLLLLY bad asthma/possible pneumonia) and getting a new-tire-that-replaced-the-flat-I-got-a-week-ago put on my SUV. And taking out all the cardboard/trash associated with building an Ikea dresser and installing a new toilet and medicine cabinet in our powder room and medicine cabinet in our master bath. We are swimming in cardboard!

I hope they take it even though it’s not broken down. Because no. Just…no.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

We are still deep in the midst of getting the house ready for sale. The main floor powder room is completely finished. As I type, the painter (and his son) are tackling the mess that is the master bedroom and bathroom. We’re camped out in the kids/hall bathroom so the drywall mud can dry and get painted.

I’m starting to hate this house. Which is sad, because it’s a really cute house and we’ve spend many, many years and memories here. But I’m tired of working on it to get it ready to sell. The last BIG thing is this weekend with the two decks. The back one is rotting in places, which makes it somewhat unacceptable with listing. The front one needs some tweaking.

Then there’s just the giant punch list, which I want to punch…..but enough of that.

We have visited the house we are putting an offer on four or five times now, with an electrician and a contractor. We’ve put together an offer, as well an an explanation of what all we are going to have to spend (specifics as well as guesses) (aka $32,000 to bring the electric UP TO CODE) so why we are offering much less than their asking price.

All that to say, life is up in the air right now. I’m so busy I’m not freaking out, or going running to my security blanket (can I get an amen?!), just mostly putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with today. Hmmm, does that sound familiar?

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I’m not usually very good at that. But life is forcing me to do it now.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Not Falling in Love, But Saying Yes Anyway

To a HOUSE, silly! I love my husband!

We’ve been house hunting for awhile. Not necessarily seriously, because our home isn’t on the market yet, but the area we are looking in is extremely popular and houses (good ones, anyway) sometimes appear on with “new” and “pending” in the same listing. And yes, my realtor sends me the newest homes on the MLS, but I like the format of more.

So last week Jim went with our agent to look at two houses–one that he liked and one that I liked–at least I liked the pictures! Photographers get very creative with masking problems and stretching rooms.


They visited the first house and Jim fell in love. He loved it, wanted it and was ready to say “yes, this is the house for us!”. Me, notsomuch. While it’s in our desired area AND within easy walking distance of public transportation (for two of our kids), it’s above our price range–by a fair amount–and needs a BOATLOAD of work. Kitchen, bathrooms–both need complete updating (the kitchen is a gut job!). Painting the whole interior. Really. The living room and one of the staircases is pinky-red. PINKY-RED people. UGH.

He finally talked me into seeing it. We went on Sunday. I was horrified. I saw some of the potential, but really saw the negatives more clearly. I came home and made a pro/con list and the cons outweighed the pros by 100%.

We talked about it. Even argued about it. Talked some more. I prayed about it. a LOT. And I went to take a 2nd look this afternoon. And felt completely differently. The awful bathrooms….weren’t so awful. The kitchen, well, yes, it’s still awful, but the shock value is gone. I could live with it for a tiny bit before we renovated.

Yeah, did you catch that? Another kitchen reno? …shudder… I think we’d try to hire someone to at least help out if not do all the cabinet install.

Paint. That’s easy. Time consuming, but easy.

We have to work out the financing options (needing a reno loan or going conventional and getting a home equity and then maybe refinancing? Not sure. It’s something we’ve never dealt with, so it’s something we need to research and figure out. We have to figure out exactly how much we are willing to offer (and counter offer) because NO WAY are we using their numbers. It needs too much work for us to agree to it. Either way, there’s a bit of a fire under us to get our house done and on the market.

Which is GOOD.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Boxes Galore

My house is currently overrun with boxes. Empty boxes. Half-full boxes. Boxes full, labeled and ready to go to the storage unit. We have two boxes ready to go to the Goodwill as well, with stuff surrounding them that won’t fit. We’ve gotten rid of two smaller “student” desks and replaced them with an Ikea table top that Catie and Ethan will share. Yesterday we cleared and cleaned out the school room (what I frequently call The Pit of Despair) and made a trip to the storage unit. and it’s mostly ready for drywall repair and paint.

This weekend wasn’t a baby step, it was a couple of hops with a few skips in there too. Progress!

Posted in House, House Hunting

Moving Slowly is Still Moving

It seems to be a theme with our family. Slow progress. SLLLLLOOOOWWWW progress. But it’s still progress.

We got a storage unit (my first time ever, it was weirdly exciting to dump boxes into it). We’ve packed up a LOT of books (and still have a lot to go). We hired a painter, who starts today, to paint walls and trim in most of the house. We’ve made a list of what we think needs to be done and hopefully, weather willing, will start work on the front deck this weekend (the railings go like \  /   instead of like I I. Yeah, it looks pretty awful when you pull up.

I’m more than a little overwhelmed. Half of me is really NOT wanting to do this, although the rational other half is ready and wants to just GET THIS OVER WITH.

I’m scared that no one will want our house. That we will have done all this work and have it on the market and no one will want it and then we’ll take it off in the fall and be in the same place.

I’m scared that even if we sell, we won’t find a house that works for us. Our situation is a little different with doing cyber school and having classic cars–we need room for a school room and we need more than a 2 car garage (or a 2 car with a workshop attached). This is not common in houses in our area.

And I just don’t get how our budget is more than $200,000 MORE than when we last house hunted (17 years ago) and we are still having problems finding homes in our price range!

THAT’S frustrating!

So, to sum up, we’re crawling slowly towards selling. But we’re still moving foward.

Posted in Cleaning, Clutter, House


The phrase decluttering is so passe, don’t you agree? 🙂

I am SLOWLY going through my house. Some things, like my own personal books or board games or my clothes, I can just go through, make decisions about and get rid of (or box up if I’m keeping).

However, the kids’ outgrown toys, my husband’s books, the kids’ books….these are beyond my purview and need intervention from the aforementioned people who own them. I’m asking my husband for “15 minutes” at a time. We’ve done most of his office bookcase. I’ve made one visit to the Goodwill and will go again today. There’s just SO MUCH STUFF.


Jim and I have been married for 21 years. The kids are 15 and 14. So that’s just a LOT of STUFF. Thankfully, the “getting rid of” has been rather painless. They are past the toy age, and much of it they have no problem saying good-bye to. Except stuffed animals. I bought three bins with locking lids and each of the kids-who-care-about-stuffed-animals (i.e. not Ethan) gets a bin to fill up. If they end up in the basement or attic of the new house, and then from there move on with my kids, hey, that’s fine. I brought a bin of Barbie stuff when I got married. Because my future daughters and I were going to play with it. Right?!

Nope. It’s going on a Facebook for sale site today “Vintage 60’s/70’s Barbie clothes and accessories” and if someone wants them, Great.I’m NOT hauling it to the next house.

Funny how the idea of actually packing something and bringing it to a new home is enough to make you question whether something is actually worth keeping!

We’re tentatively saying we’d like to have the house for sale by May 31st. It really just depends on how quickly we can accomplish the massive “to do” list. Thankfully we hired a house painter, so that’s on HIS list instead of ours! With the exception of the kitchen, office and upstairs hall bath, every single room needs to be painted. That’s a LOT of rooms! And too much time given how much else needs to be dealt with.

I’m off to load up the SUV with the next round of stuff going to Goodwill!

Posted in House

The House is Sparkling

Our realtor, Barb, is coming at 10:00 this morning to look the house over and give us an idea of how much we can list the house for. I’ve been cleaning like a crazy woman. And starting to clean OUT.  The back of my van is full with my first trip to Good Will.

Let’s do this.

Posted in House, Kitchen Reno

Research Project

One of the things that has surprised me in this process of renovating a kitchen NEXT YEAR is just how much research is going into it this year:

What kind of cabinets? What color? What kind of countertop? Will we get a return on our investment with a certain kind of countertop (e.g. our neighborhood would not qualify as a quartz-type neighborhood, but probably would be granite). Who will do the electric? Should we try to design the kitchen ourselves or hire someone? What kind of flooring will be kitchen-durable, good resale value, within our budget and something that we like? Should we/can we install it ourselves or do we hire it out? Which way should the island face? How will we fit a regular door instead of a slider, accounting for an island and our kitchen table and the amount of space the door needs to swing?

It’s rather a good thing that I LOVE doing research!

What we know so far:

Ikea kitchen cabinets, White Grimslov
Designer: Inspired Kitchen Design
Microwave will be above the range

What we don’t know yet:

Electrician (although it’s between two that we’ve previously used)
Flooring type or contractor (having one come today to give a ballpark figure for what we might want)
Countertop type or contractor (although we know it’s NOT going to be quartz, as much as I dream about it)
Where we’re getting our pendents (although we know it’s not Ikea or Home Depot, having shopped both)
Sink (again, not Ikea)
Whether to keep our current black dishwasher and range and just buy a black fridge OR get a stainless panel for the dishwasher and buy a stainless range and fridge.
Knobs (not Ikea)

One thing we always have in mind with this (in case you haven’t guessed) is the Almighty Resale Value. It has always been our intention to sell and move closer to Jim’s job and our families. Renovating the kitchen will be the last MAJOR hurdle to putting the house on the market. There are still many minor hurdles, but nothing that will cost thousands of dollars. Theoretically, at least!

The articles and blogs I’ve read say that the planning process takes about nine months. If we’re doing this late spring/early summer I guess I’m at a good place right now!