Sunday, March 20, 2011

we got the a-ok

Yesterday I was living in paint hell.  This month has been the longest and most stressful month of my life.  I'm sure probably some (or most) of the stress has been self-inflicted from watching too many hours of HGTV and being horrified of the staging/going to market process for the last couple of years.  I've been dreading these moments from the second I moved into the condo, almost two years ago, and realized that Adam and I living here would not be a long-term arrangement.

Staging has been SUCH HARD WORK!  We got a to-do list a mile long from our realtor when we met at the beginning of the month.  We've had three weekends to take care of all of it, because let's face it, who wants to do anything after a work day other than normal household chores?  Not us.

The first weekend we started the packing process of our stuff, which sucked.  I felt like the entire house was torn apart.  We cleaned up the couch and other furniture that we were selling/giving away.  I packed a ton of stuff in big trash bags for the trip to the Salvation Army.  We listed everything on Craigslist and hung close to home to be there when the weirdos who were buying our stuff came by.  We cleaned and cleaned until I was sure we'd been living in a pig sty of squalor this entire time.   Craigslisting bled over to the weekdays and I ended up finding a great deal on a storage unit.

Last weekend, we FINALLY got rid of the couch.  We took down and packed up all of our "personal" wall art and patched all the holes to prep for touch up paint.  We borrowed an SUV from friends and spent the day moving into storage, buying all the new furniture and making the aforementioned trip to Salvation Army.  The couch's "some assembly required" turned out to be more fun than we were expecting but the place changed before our eyes.  Sunday was spent organizing and cleaning up because we kept tearing the place apart every time we did anything.

Yesterday we started the "touch up paint" process, which can also be known as Jen's Personal Hell.  First of all, the condo is painted about 8 different shades of white (with the exception of the terrible blue paint job courtesy of me and Big Nance in the bedroom that also needed tons of touching up).  It was so hard to keep all of the different whites separated and making sure they ended up on the appropriate wall or surface.  It was all going fine (other than the fact that I felt like I was going to go blind from the sheer whiteness of it all) until I reached the kitchen/dining.  Ironically, the guy at the hardware store told Adam that the semi-gloss paints would be much easier to blend.  As I was painting, I kept looking at it and after about 20 minutes, I completely lost my mind because it wasn't the same color at all.  I have no idea if paint can fade or change colors over time but all I know is that it required us to completely rip apart the kitchen and paint the entire wall.  Not gonna lie, we totally half assed it because at that point, I was very close to needing to be admitted to the nearest mental hospital.  I hate painting and I really suck at it and all of our hard weekend work; time, effort and money we've put in; topped off by my lack of sleep this past month was just pushing me toward the ultimate breaking point.  It was not a good afternoon because the house was, once again, turned upside down when we moved all the furniture for the great painting project.  I don't do as well when I look around the place that I live and see complete and total disorganization (Mom, I know this is SO hard to believe because my room was a train wreck for most of my childhood, but I promise, I'm a reformed adult these days).

Our realtor popped by this morning to check the place over, as he'll be doing all the photos for our listing either tomorrow or Tuesday.  He was shocked and impressed by all the changes.  It felt so validating to know that all our hard work, sweat and my tears have been paid off and that we are in sellable and show condition.  Adam can probably elaborate on this more but I know we have both learned a lot of lessons through this process.  We've talked about doing many of the things we did for staging months ago and never got around to doing them.  The stress we've been under (at least the condo-related stuff) could have been mostly prevented if we'd only put more work into the place over time.  I know I'll be better prepared during the buying process during the next time and I'll probably have our next home in total staged condition before we start meeting with the realtor.  I knew about 95% of the things that we ended up doing well before that initial visit and I should have started on them before.

I feel relieved for a lot of reasons.  We'll know a great deal more about where we stand by this time next weekend.  This week is only going to be a four day weekend because we're going to San Antonio for the first time in three months on Thursday night.  I'm looking forward to the trip maybe as much as I looked forward to going to DisneyWorld when I was 11.  I can't wait for the very much needed R&R.

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