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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cleaning House and Waiting

Well, I’m still keeping my house clean and waiting for someone to come along and buy it.  My real estate agent told me to put a little personal note on the chalkboard, so I put this…
"House Staging", "Home Staging", "Home Staging Tips", "Selling your house"
But I’ve been getting so frustrated about keeping it clean and not having any showings or offers, that what I really want to put is…
"House Staging", "Home Staging", "Home Staging Tips", "Selling your house"
Ahaha, but seriously it’s fine that we haven’t had any offers yet.  We’re not in a hurry.  The best time to move for us would be the beginning of June anyway.  So we’ll just wait a little longer…but hopefully not too long!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Superhero Birthday

"Spiderman costume", "Superhero Birthday Party"
For my little superhero’s birthday this year, he opted for a trip to Six Flags and a small party instead of a big party.  So we had a nice little family party at home – sweet and simple – just the way I like it. 
I particularly liked the spread at this party, so I thought I’d share it with ya. 
"Superhero Birthday Party", "Spiderman Ironman, Captain America", "Rice Crispy Treat Cupcakes", "Cupcake tower"
First, I used old birthday plates and plastic margarita glasses to create a cupcake stand (with hot glue, of course).  I also bought an assortment of superhero plates and napkins because he likes them all!  "Superhero Birthday Party", "Spiderman Ironman, Captain America", "Rice Crispy Treat Cupcakes", "Cupcake tower"
And Levi loves rice crispy treats, so I make them in the shape of cupcakes with some M&M’s, icing, and superhero cake decorations from Party City.  I loved the way they came out, but I think they were a little too rich for the kids (not for me, though).  Next time I’ll keep them simpler.
"Superhero Birthday Party", "Spiderman Ironman, Captain America", "Rice Crispy Treat Cupcakes", "Cupcake tower", "Spiderman Candle"And of course, we had to have the Spiderman candle.  He loved it.
"Spiderman Birthday", "Spiderman candle"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

House Staging

The crappy part of staging your house is that you don’t know how long it’s going to be on the market.  You hope that it sells quickly, but it’s not really in your control that much. 

But decluttering is a definite must.  I’m not a pack rat at all, but I still managed to pack away enough boxes to fill a spare bedroom in my mother-in-law’s house (shout-out, Mimi, thanks!).  Sure it sucks when Samuel asks where his Spiderman costume is, and I have to regretfully tell him that it’s in a box packed away, but hopefully it won’t be packed away for all too long. 

But potential buyers would definitely rather see this…
"house staging", "kitchen staging", decluttering
…than this…
I basically just went through every single room, cabinet, and closet and asked myself what I could do without for a few months or for good.  I was also surprised at how much I could throw away when I thought about whether or not I wanted to take a particular thing to the new house.

It's also amazing how clean the house stays since there's no clutter.  The boys don't throw all their toys around looking for that one toy that they want.  I don't have a stack of papers on the counter that I'm supposed to go through (so much of that can be scanned and put on the computer).  And when one thing gets put on the clean counter, it gets dealt with right away because it sticks out like a sore thumb.  

It all sounds so easy, right?  Just stay on top of things, don't let it get cluttered or pile up and it will be easy.  Put a dish directly into the dishwasher.  Do a load of laundry everyday.  Ha!  We all know that to have that much energy massive amounts of coffee are in order as well as a cleared schedule.  But it is good to keep in mind.  ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Little Staging Shortcuts

When I said on Facebook that I got my house ready for its listing in one week, my aunt (who has owned ten houses) said that it always took her like a month to get it ready.  I then told her that I probably did a month’s worth of work in one week.  When Michael and I put our minds to something, we put everything else on hold until we get it done.  And we really didn’t want to prolong that process because it kind of sucked.  Anyway, I thought I’d share a few cool tricks I learned along the way in staging my house. 

So one of the first things on my list was to spray paint the vent hood over my stove a stainless steel color the match the rest of the appliances.  I didn’t really know if it would work, but I thought I’d give it a shot.  "Staging Stainless Steel Appliances", "painting white vent hood stainless", "sanding metal", "kitchen staging",
Well, I started to sand it, and the white paint was coming off fairly easy, so I just kept sanding and scraping until all of the paint was off, and I would sand left to right to mimic the stainless steel look.  I was left with a stainless steel-looking vent hood.  I didn’t even need to spray paint it.  Now I don’t know what the long term affect of having exposed metal like that will be, but it looks cool for now.
"Staging Stainless Steel Appliances", "painting white vent hood stainless", "sanding metal", "kitchen staging", "saltillo tile"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Changes

Oh how I have missed blogging!  For the three or four of you left following my blog, I’ll just tell ya that life’s been a little crazy in a really good way.  I have really been enjoying life lately and falling more and more in love with my kids and husband. 
IMG_1667 (800x533)The big news is that after years of floundering on the issue, we’ve finally decided to put our house on the market and move.  We decided, however, to move out of Arlington to another city in the DFW area.  Therefore I will no longer be “Arlington Mama”, will I?  Hmm, I’ll have to think about what I’ll do about that…
IMG_1556 (800x533)
Anywho, I’m really excited about the choices we’re making.  Life is too short to live with regrets, isn’t it?  This smallish move is just what we need to feel that sense of adventure.
IMG_1560 (800x533)
So I got the house all ready for showing, busting my butt in just a week, and boy oh boy, I didn’t realize how much work it would be.  I can’t imagine what it’d be like for homes that are in disrepair.  Here’s a non-exhaustive list of what we had to accomplish:
  • declutter every room, cabinet, closet, and shed
  • replace broken locks and rehang front door
  • fill holes and touch up paint
  • pull weeds in yard (didn’t realize how out of hand it had gotten!) and plant landscaping
  • get the house painted
  • clean walls and baseboards
  • recaulk shower and tub
  • replace broken windows
  • take pieces of furniture out
  • stage, stage, stage
IMG_1567 (800x533)
I’m sure there was more, but that’s all I could remember off the top of my head.  So now the staging is all over, and we haven’t had one showing.  Talk about a defeating feeling. Oh well.  At least I get to live out an OCD dream of mine by keeping the house insanely clean at all hours of the day.
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