Our house has been on the market for almost 7 weeks. And here we sit…patiently waiting. Sometimes not so patiently.
It's tough for several reasons:
1. Ripping the Band-Aid off something painful, like a huge cross-country move, would be much easier if it was quick and easy. Dragging out this process of relocating is making it that much harder for everyone, in my opinion.
2. We begin to doubt our decisions. Is the house not selling because we made the wrong choice? Should we pull it off the market and rent it instead? Should we drop the price and take a huge hit financially? Is there something wrong with our house that is turning people off? We love our house - why don't others love it, too!?!
3. Should we start packing or just wait? Because, as it is, our third stall garage is filled to the hilt with empty boxes. If we attempt to being FILLING those boxes, we won't be able to fit either car in the garage. Then what happens if the house doesn't sell and Mike's company says, "Too bad, so sad"??? I certainly wouldn't want to UNpack everything we own!
4. Every conversation revolves around our move. With anyone and everyone. Friends, neighbors, acquaintances, people we run into at the gym and the grocery store the mailbox and church and Target. "So…how are things going with the move…?" It's an easy conversation starter for others and we are constantly reminded that there has been no movement in our situation.
5. We're on pins and needles knowing that the house has to be ready to show at a moment's notice. I've been in the middle of making dinner and a realtor called asking if he could come by with clients within the hour. In a split second, we need to decide whether to we rush through dinner or stop everything and go out to eat.
6. Speaking of "ready to show," the house has to look like a model home all. the. time. As you can imagine, this is fairly stressful with small kids, even more because we homeschool and are home all day long. We do a LOT of life within these walls from 6am-10pm, yet it's supposed to look un-lived-in all the time? It's an interesting balance.
It took a few weeks to get everyone in the habit of picking up anything and everything as it is used throughout the day. We aren't perfect, but we've gotten it down to being able to tidy up in about 30 minutes and get out the door if people want to walk through.
The funny thing is that I have traditionally blamed the mess and chaos on my appropriately nicknamed Destructo-boy, Jason. Turns out, he's only one of three males in the house that don't pick up after themselves. As it turns out, Ryan and Mike also leave a trail wherever they go! Sometimes they do put things away, but it turns out that my 10 year old was even worse than my 5 year old. How had I not noticed this before???
But it's better now. And, as much as I hate to admit it, being on the edge of our seats and ready to show our house all day, every day has even resulted in me having better habits. Instead of leaving the last few dishes in the sink until tomorrow, I spend 5 minutes washing them. Instead of blowing off the most recent load of laundry, I hurry to fold the clothes and put them away. I'm more diligent about reminding the kids to put away their toys and activities before meals and bedtime and especially before leaving the house, instead of letting it pile up, little by little, until it's an hour-long project and everyone is angry and resentful. Paper piles don't exist. We no longer have a junk counter. Counters and floor are clear. It's…actually quite fantastic!
Tonight, as I was putting away stray shoes and finding homes for coupons and random paperwork, I came to the realization that it brings me peace to have my home neurotically picked up all of the time. It's not so bad having the excuse that "it needs to be ready to show at a moment's notice" to get everyone on board with picking up after themselves. Including me!
Life has given us the "lemon" of being in limbo with our relocation, but I'm choosing to see the bright side. We've developed some good habits and my house looks amazing most of the time! And I no longer procrastinate housework. Or organizing. Or anything else seemingly minor that needs to be done.
I wonder if I can keep this up in our new house in Dallas…???