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Preparing to put house up for sale!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yikes! I can't stop my head from spinning. We have so much stuff to clear out of our house and so many projects to take care of before we can put our house on the market. We found a house that we really like, but chances are it will be sold before we are ready to sell. I want the house to be ready for when we find another one, though. I am currently painting the bedroom (every night after the kids go to sleep). Our basement is the biggest challenge. I could use at least a day without any other obligations to really go at the basement, but that isn't possible. My plan is to spend fifteen minutes every day doing something in the basement. I'm going to ask my parents if we can use one of their garages to store stuff once we get closer to putting the house up for sale. Any tips or strategies? I've got a 7 year old, a 4 1/2 year old and 13 month old. I'm feeling tired and stretched very thin already..
post #2 of 7
Just wanted to send a nod and a wink of sympathy. I'm estimating there's about three more after-the-kids-are-in-bed nights in my basement before I can move back above ground and tackle the three bigger items that need attention. Fingers crossed that we can get the place on the market in the next month or two. Sometimes it feels like it will never happen, especially when you have to work in such small chunks. Then there's the small detail of selling in a still-depressed market without losing all the equity.

I don't have any tips other than what you're already doing. I so much prefer to work in large lumps of time, so this hour-here, hour-there approach is really hard for me. But in the end, it works, and it's really quite satisfying to see the projects getting done. The hardest part for me is making the choice to start each night rather than sit down and take a breath. I'm *always* happy when I do, though, even on those days when I the most exhausted. I'm finding it helpful to really stay focused on the prize of getting to where I want to be geographically. It will be such a delight, and each hour of work is an affirmation that it's an important goal.

Best of luck to you!
post #3 of 7
It really helped me to have good ways to carry stuff about. I rented a storage unit to help declutter our too small trailer when it was up for sale.
So, I bought a bunch of file boxes from costco (for heavy stuff), bigger boxes from home depot to be able to pack as neccesary. Those got stacked on the porch for the trip to the storage unit. I also had laundry baskets on the front porch for stuff that was going to goodwill. And, finally, I hauled up the extra garbage can to the porch for garbage and the recycle bin for papers.
So, my porch had baskets for goodwill, cans for recycle and garbage, and boxes for storage. Made it easy to just take a trip out to the porch to "dispose" of anything I found that could fit in to the category of not-needed-ever-again or not-needed-until-after-the-move.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies, ladies. We are in the middle of painting our bedroom (which I do at night after the kids are in bed), putting new flooring in downstairs (which my husband started on his day off and can't finish until he's off again) and clearing out the basement. Our house all torn apart, furniture is in wierd places and it is driving me a bit crazy! We have a dumpster in our driveway for a week, so that's good insentive to clear some stuff out. My parents live five minutes away and have agreed to let us store some stuff in their garage once we are closer to being ready to put the house up for sale. I've been hoping to score some moving boxes on freecycle and just start packing away things that we don't need right now to cut down on the clutter. Another issue is things that I'd like to sell. I need to sit down and figure out what trouble I really want to go through to sell stuff or if I should just give it away. We've already had a bit donation pick up from the vets and will be doing another soon. Slowly trying to get it together.
I have a friend who is ocd and is also selling her house. She has it ready to show already, down to organizing her spices alphabetically. It is a bit discouraging to think of! I realize that she has done more than she needs to do, but I also see how much more we need to do!
post #5 of 7
Hi, I wanted to invite you to our 2010 moving support thread...

post #6 of 7
We sold our house last year, the hardest part for me was keeping it "viewable" at short notice with 2 children around.

I found it helpful to box up a lot of stuff that we weren't going to use before moving, eg winter clothes, sleeping bags etc which are usually stored in our wardrobe. That made the built in wardrobes look much less cluttered and gave us a bit more room to put away the stuff we did need to keep available.

I also boxed up a lot of toys, we rotated some of them as it took us months to sell but it was good to have a manageable amount to put away each time.

I will admit there were several viewings where extra laundry, toys and general bits and bobs got rounded up in cardboard boxes and stuffed in the back of the car.
post #7 of 7
Having a place to store stuff is a huge blessing! When our neighbors moved, they stored a ton of stuff in our basement - starting with holiday decorations as each holiday passed (they have a ton of holiday stuff). Out of season clothes (could be a lot now), kitchen stuff you don't use often (good dishes, fondue pot, punch bowl, etc), knick-knacks. You might even consider moving some furniture to your parents' garage.

Maybe you're trying to do too much at once - get stuff out of the house, sell stuff, do projects. Since your parents live so close, could you clear a lot of stuff out of the house, and deal with it later? Normally I'm opposed to handling stuff more than once, but in your case it really seems like decluttering is more of a priority than deciding what you should sell and what your should give away. You can stack stuff in the garage in sections of Keep, Sell, and Undecided.

Is it possible to bring the kids to your parents' for an evening, so you can get the painting done? You should be able to finish a whole room in a couple of uninterrupted hours.
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