Planning an Exit Strategy
I've been away from the blog far too long. But life has gotten in the way. A post or two ago, I wrote about my existential crisis: how I found it difficult to resume blogging after my summer hiatus due to family issues and my malaise over the election of Donald Trump. Design news just did not seem topical when I felt like my world was collapsing.
Shortly after writing that post, I dealt with another crisis: the passing in December of my beloved almost-95-year-old mother. Thankfully, for her, she died peacefully at home. Although she had been suffering from heart failure, there was no illness that had her bed-ridden. She was sitting in her TV-watching chair and simply stopped breathing.
Although the circumstances of her passing were not punishing, the loss, for me, has been. It's accelerated certain plans I had on the back burner. With my youngest child a sophomore at a college about 300 miles away, and my two older children living 200 and 3,000 miles away from home, I am gearing up to downsize.
I've lived in my home for 20 years. When my husband and I first purchased it, we had never owned anything larger than a two-bedroom 1,200 square foot apartment. With 20 years of home ownership comes 20 years of stuff. A walk-through we had with a real estate broker revealed just how much we have to edit to make our home marketable to prospective buyers. It is a formidable task; one I've chipped away at a snail's pace.
Luckily, certain things we've had to do happened organically. Namely, repairs. The ice dams of the notorious winter of 2015 forced us to replace the roof and flashing on half of our house and paint rooms that had water damage. The snow accumulation left our deck a mess, prompting us to re-stain it. Last Labor Day weekend, our water heater broke and flooded our basement. Carpet was ripped out and holes punched in walls to prevent mold. We had to install new flooring and baseboards, re-patch walls and repaint. Emptying my mother's apartment and bringing back some of her furnishings gave me the impetus to purge my house room-by-room, reorganize the way my mother would have (she was the consummate organizer) and integrate her things with my own. All of this is still a work in progress.
One item on our "to do" list has been ro replace our unsightly kitchen faucet. It had a brass finish that has "weathered," to put it mildly. Next week I'm having the faucet replaced with a new touchless faucet courtesy of American Standard. I'll be blogging about the process and sharing the reveal on the blog so stay tuned.
For the interior of the house, in addition to the repairs, replacements and purging (aka decluttering), we'll have to depersonalize. We have to make prospective buyers envision themselves living here. They can't do that with our family photographs and memorabilia around. There might be some minor staging, although the house pretty much tells a story on its own. Then there's the perpetual cleaning -- which will be challenging with two cats in our household. (For once I'm grateful to be an empty-nester. No kids to clean up after!) Finally, when the snow melts and ground softens, there's the exterior to deal with -- window washing, pruning of trees and shrubs and flowering plants to add for curb appeal. I'm exhausted just writing about it all.
Loss is painful and change, specifically moving, is one of the most stressful things we deal with. I'm hoping that during this time, getting back to blogging -- about the things that make our worlds just plain pretty -- will be a good distraction.