Tuesday, August 26, 2008
staging . . .
Greg and I have been on a mission to sell our house and move closer to Gresham--where his new ministry is located. All summer long, we've worked feverishly to get our house ready to put on the market--put in new deck and lattice around the pool, stained the older part of the deck, landscaped, patched and painted, decluttered rooms . . .
One day our real estate agent (and friend) Wayne, came over and showed us how to stage the place.
"Put away all personal photos--people want to be able to picture themselves in a home," he instructed. "Take everything off the fridge, and take down half of all other decor around the house. Simple is attractive." He pointed out a few spots in my house that weren't as alluring as they could be. It was quite enlightening to see my house through another person's eyes.
The staging of my house was much harder for me than any of the yard work or repairs we'd made. I'm a collector of way too many things. I'm a starter of projects that will never be completed (seriously, I've hauled an antique chair all over the country--I've had it for nearly 20 years--intending to someday re-cane the back so it's usable. It's still sitting in my garage, gathering another layer of dust). I have two on-line businesses which require lots of space and create unending messes.
But I started "staging" with a vengeance, and now I like my house so much I don't want to move :) Actually, Greg and I sat down and crunched the numbers (I don't really know what the phrase means, but I've always wanted to use it) on a property we liked and discovered that we would be paying $500 a month more for a house worth a lot less than ours.
Who knew? I guess we'll just be a part of the Happy Valley crowd until the real estate market picks up a bit.
But Wayne, I have to tell you, the concept of staging has changed my life! I feel like I'm in a new house now--it's so uncluttered and simple (compared to what it used to be). I'm selling stuff I haven't used in years on ebay and Craig's List--and giving it away with great gusto. I'm slowly bringing order out of the collective chaos I've created.
Greg, of course, is thrilled to see his home becoming organized and streamlined. My daughters have given me the thumb's up--Danielle even said my living room looked like something out of Simple magazine! And I didn't do a thing to the room except remove clutter--and spiff it up a bit with orange and yellow paint.
Now I just have to resist the temptation to start buying stuff that matches my new, simpler look . . .