Staging: I think depends on what your area is like - if you have a lot of sort of cookie cutter homes, doing things to make it different - like a bold color on the front door - may really help your house be memorable. If your house already has a lot of character - like a craftsman style house - you probably don't want to add those things, but let the bones of the house and the details inherent in that style speak for themselves. Neutral is good, but it doesn't have to be bland. People look at so many houses these days with the internet and high inventory in a lot of areas, that you want your house to be memorable.
I think also people like rooms with a purpose, they like to know "this space is for dining" vs. this space is used as an office, a dining room, a craft room . . . all at once! because if it is all those things, it lends to the idea that your space is to small to accomodate different needs in different areas (I think this rule would not apply to NYC spaces that are small, and the more multifunctional the better)
Re: unschooling/homeschooling, etc . . .MIL was asking about this stuff this weekend, like, if I continue to work - which unless we win the lottery or something is just plain likely - how will we homeschool? We explained that schooling doesn't really need to take a large portion of the day, and she looks skeptical. I don't feel like even trying to explain unschooling to her. It would make my head hurt. I agree, that if we were to unschool, we'd have to deschool ourselves (and also our familes, oy - the bad part of living so close to so much family!) and IDK if that' even possible. It's part of the reason why I don't know we will be radical unschoolers, though we may take somethings from that philosophy. I'm definitely not into canned homeschooling programs either. We have some time.
Carrie - I hope you get feeling better! Winter has only just begun!
2 weeks until Christmas! I am not ready, and yet, I still can't wait for it to be here, and be done, so we can get back to normal. LOL Still a good many things we want to try to do with the kids before chrismas. need to hurry up.