Monday, October 21, 2013

Behind Closed Doors

By the title of this post you may think I'm going to touch on something lewd, risque, or emotionally breaking - not quite, but after the past 3 days, I might just view it as emotionally breaking. These are the doors you do not need to open when you go look at a house, and what I'd like to share is how we, as living breathing human beings, can keep the door you shouldn't open from being the front one. What does life look like in this situation?
It was "bad enough" to have to get about a third of our "stuff" into one of those POD things and out of the house to have the pictures taken for the listing. Sure, that may make us sound like some sort of hoarder family, and yes I have my fair share (plus some) of Christmas decorations, but showing a house is an art form. Especially, let me reiterate, ESPECIALLY when you're competing with new construction.
Pictures went well enough, and then we had open houses on back to back weekends. Simple enough in itself, right? Sure! The dogs were boarded, the times were predictable, we had Dablet set up with other activities.
No Problem!
But then the rest of showing a house sets in....and you literally lose your mind.
Ok...I should have a warning label on my forehead when it comes to things like this:

Note: It's not because things are disastrous, but if my home is on display I know how these things work. Prospective buyers have CRAZY expectations of what a home should look like. It should be a display piece, with no dust, no dishes, no laundry (or clothes for that matter), no signs of life. So when you're actually LIVING in a house while it's on the market, life is more like this:

Case in point:
This past Saturday was a FULL day of Mary Kay appointments, a quick stop by the softball complex in Raleigh to watch Kyle play for a bit, and a day with Dablet. Finally ended up back at home around 5:15 excited to put Dablet to bed and relax for a bit since we have spent the last two weeks traveling and fighting off a toddler with a 106 fever...or is it a 106 fever in a toddler....either way....CHAOS.
The clock strikes 5:45 and my phone buzzes....Centralized Showing Service....showing request for your home at 6:30.
Instant. Brain. Explosion.
45 minutes to....I can't even process everything on the list. Immediately respond with "NO" to cancel the request. Here's the thing about trying to sell your house though, it REALLY helps if people can get into see it! So I called and said that if they REALLY wanted to come see it, we could do 7:30 with a window extending until 8:30 - at which point we could go back in the house. 
Showing time ACCEPTED....back to freak out mode.
The next hour and a half is what I like to call Operation Flash! I don't know much about comics, but I know Flash moves VERY quickly! What exactly had to happen in an hour and a half while I was home by myself with Dablet, THREE DOGS, and THREE CATS?!?! Well, let's see.....
Hide all the laundry that had piled up, the dishwasher was already full of dirty dishes, so the dirty dishes that were filling the sink from the dinner party the night before were met with a fighting stare from me before I decided there was no use. Scrub the glass shower (always a pointless task...will never have clear glass again), get rid of the trash, diapers, recycling, and clean the playroom. And there were those stinkin dishes still sitting there....By this time my mom had arrived to give Dablet dinner. Back to shoving things into drawers, cabinets that never get opened, and wiping down EVERY. SINGLE. SURFACE. in the house...maybe you're thinking that isn't such a big I said...we have THREE DOGS who have made it their mission in life to find a way to get hair on every single surface within 10 minutes of said surfaces being cleaned.
Time to get the cats in carriers and kick them out with my mom and Dablet...and of course, Dablet thinks it's fun to try and play with the kitties, so she unzipped a carrier and Meow had an attempted escape in our front lawn...insert four letter words loud enough for the neighborhood to hear uttered by my mom as she grabbed her mid-air on the lawn...perfect....
OK, now to hide any evidence that those cats live in our house, because let's be honest...showing a home that pets live in is like trying to Windex the cages monkeys live in at the zoo so a toddler could lick the glass at a moment's notice...
By this time I'm more than sweating...literally RUNNING around my house to get things done. Time to stick the dogs in the car, but where in the world are the leashes?!?! Grab scarves to get them out there into my mom's car because Kyle has our big SUV at a softball tournament. Fabulous. With 5 minutes to go before I have to be out of the house it's a standoff between vacuuming our red rug in the living room, or doing the dishes in the sink. Let's face it, not even Flash can wash, dry, and put away a sink full of dishes in 5 minutes. The rug wins and I resorted to putting the dishes in reusable shopping bags and hiding them in our garage. There is NO shame to "make it work" when in crisis like this!
Blitz out of the house after a literal run through to blow out all of the Fall scented candles with no time to let them go out on their own. You know what I'm talking about, that candle that can't make up its mind if you blew hard enough so it smokes for a I licked my fingers and pinched each one out. I'm honestly not sure if I used a new finger each time, or if I had soot on my face after...and make sure I didn't leave anything at our front entry table...and I'm in the car.
It wasn't until I got out of our neighborhood that I realized I didn't have my shoes.... and I was wearing all gray...I looked like I had just escaped an institution.
Meet up with my mom at a gas station, because my car that she took was on fumes (of course). Got to pump gas under full florescent lighting in my gray getup with no shoes...while one of the cats puked and did other unmentionable things in his carrier...he used to be my favorite.

There was a lot more that happened after that, but the moral is, you really can't LIVE in your home while it's on the market if you want to show it in a competitive place. Never mind have a toddler who has a mission in life to destroy anything you put in its place. And FORGET about having even a single pet...let alone 6 in the house....When I did the math, we have 30 legs to get out of the house at any given moment.
I went back to a beautiful breathtaking photo Kyle showed me a few days ago, and it's now at the top of my Christmas wishlist.....

Someone come organize a cleaning closet like this for me. I'm great at organizing...but way too much of a perfectionist for my own projects to ever start and finish something this spectacular for myself. Unfortunately, I can't have a cleaning lady on call during this life will have to go on! We had another showing today...this time we had almost 2 hours, but I was only home for the last hour...we survived, and I remembered my shoes!

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