Monday, February 11, 2008


One of the most disturbing parts of selling the house is that we always need to be ready to show the house. I don't think this had really sunk in before we put the house on the market. I had never bought or sold a house before, so I didn't quite wrap my brain around the idea that people can come into your house at any minute, and may or may not make an offer based partly on what your house looks like at that moment. On television, houses are sold through open houses; for one afternoon, you have the place all shined up like a new penny and make sure you have apple pie or whatever wafting all over the place. In reality, you feel like you should have your house in that condition every minute of the day.

So I've pretty much accepted the fact that I need to spend every morning cleaning and tidying, and that the best way to avoid clutter is to put things away as soon as we're done using them. It turns out that this can be quite a zen exercise: make tea, drink tea, wash cup, put away. The house is much more serene when there isn't any clutter. Having unfinished business all over the place is like a constant reprimand: "Clean me!" "Put me away!" As I write this, there is basically nothing that needs to be done in my house. The baby is sleeping, the bathrooms are clean, the laundry is sorted, washed, and put away. Very peaceful.

I'd like to think that I'll take this wisdom to our new house instead of lapsing back into my old pattern of frantic cleaning and tidying when people were coming over or when I got sick and tired of looking at the mess.

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