Open floor plan and tons of storage

By Mir
March 19, 2007

Would you like to buy a house? I know of a lovely one that happens to be RILLY RILLY CLEAN on the outside.

And on the inside, well. Um. Actually, it’s much cleaner on the inside than it’s been in a looooong time. I spent most of the weekend and half the night making it ready for listing photos and also so that people walking through will be able to visualize THEIR stuff in MY house rather than thinking things like “Wow, that is a really big stack of yogurt containers.”

Not that people wouldn’t be moved to buy my house on account of my children’s love of yogurt and my penchant for recycling, but just in case.

So anyway, The Great Cleaning of 2007 was a sight to behold. The end results are wonderful, you know, but getting there is a production.

First stage of cleaning: This isn’t so bad! Why, it’s almost sort of nice to start going through things and sorting out what I need and what I don’t. I’ll just make a few piles here. Good. Progress!

Second stage of cleaning: Okay, so I started with one big pile and now I have… three smaller piles. That wasn’t actually all that helpful.

Third stage of cleaning: There’s too much to do. I can’t possibly get it all done. I wonder if I have any cookies?

Fourth stage of cleaning: That’s it. Time to pull out the big guns. Tear it all down, baby! Take EVERYTHING out, clean every surface, be merciless with the decisions and DON’T MAKE ANY PILES. I can do this.

Fifth stage of cleaning: If I haven’t looked at this stuff for seven years, what are the odds that I actually need it? I’ll just put it all in the trash bag. The stuff that isn’t trash I think I can probably give away. Hey, this isn’t so bad.

Sixth stage of cleaning: Christ on a popsicle stick, I’ve been doing this for days. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’ve filled twelve trash bags. When does it end? Well, it ends today. Anything left on any horizontal surface can just… ummm… get stuffed in a closet.

Aaaand that’s pretty much where we are now. The realtor took pictures and everything looks great, but I probably have some more work I need to do before any actual showings or someone’s gonna die in an avalanche. And I just don’t know if that’s covered under my homeowner’s insurance.

In other news, you’d be amazed at how complicated it can become to pack for a trip when all of the things which are usually conveniently located on the end of your bed or on top of your nightstand or down there on the hope chest are now stuffed in the spare closet somewhere. Go figure.

In other other news, I got to do something really cool recently (when I wasn’t busy preparing to sell my house for a nickel to people who don’t like refrigerator art): I got to interview The Toy Guy. Maybe you’d like to come check it out.


  1. Susan

    I have gone directly to the Seventh Stage of Cleaning: if I didn’t marry it or give birth to it, it goes in the trash.

    The move should be a breeze.

  2. Heather

    I went through some veeeery similar steps last week, but my house looks better. My problem is that it’s harder to KEEP the house looking nice. I think the garbage sneaks back in during the night, since my husband claims complete innocence!

  3. Krisco

    I read this great book on organizing….It was called….er….I’m sure it’s around here somewhere…..

    Well, Good Job! It’s always a pain, but usually worth it at the end.

  4. Sara

    Okay, now that your house is nearly done, you can come do mine. I will pay you RILLY, RILLY well. Okay, I won’t pay you anything, but I’m a good cook and I have cookies!

  5. MomCat

    I’m stuck right there in the third stage. Sigh. Susan, I think you have the right idea.

  6. Melanie Marie

    So far I’ve done 17 bags of trash and 12 bags for donations. I don’t know how ONE person has accumulated this much stuff!

    Good luck!

  7. CCE

    This is a daily ritual for me, okay illness, I can say it…OCD. Spring is a tough time for me. But I do wanna admit that I have several Monica closets and a few beds that I don’t recommend looking under. There’s only so much space a woman can be accountable for.

  8. Brown Eyed Girl

    I also spent the weekend cleaning such as this to prepare for a move.

    I did manage to purge 2/3 of the clutter. The other 1/3 is things I want to hold onto, old bills, pictures, etc.

    So my last stage from this weekend was

    “Oh hell go to Walmart and spend $30 on rubbermaid then go back and go through that last pile and file it all” stage.

    I’m saving that for this weekend.

  9. Heather

    Is everyone spring cleaning? I thought it was just me, as I, too, recently listed my house with a real estate agent. Maybe we should have a big swap meet. You know… woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure…..I really like the Wal-Mart-Rubbermaid idea. I haven’t made it to the attic yet. Putting that off.

  10. Cele

    Gawd, I’m feeling amazingly worn out now. The energy it took just reading that wore me out and my house still isn’t clean. Heavy sigh. But at least now Mir’s house is ready to sell. fingers double crossed.

  11. Cybil Libyc

    Anything can be done with music and a margarita.

  12. fairly odd mother

    I don’t think I’d make it past stage 3. Congrats to you!

  13. ishouldbeworking

    Cybil Libyc! I like that idea – I will plan on using when I start my cleaning on Friday….. Good luck finding your stuff to pack Mir.

  14. dorothy

    We have decided to put our house on the market on June 1. I am taking all the toxic waste, I mean, unused paint, insecticides and other horrible cans of junk to the toxic waste drop-off place today. Then I am taking all those old computer monitors to that computer monitor recycling place thing. And then I have to do what you are doing.

    And I am so scared. Hold me.

  15. Jen the Mom

    I was thinking.. what with all the free time you always have I thought I’d tag you for a meme. (Sarcasm, that was sarcasm. I swear!) That was before I came to read your blog today.


  16. sophie

    I still keep the .jpg’s from when we bought our house. The seller (previous owner) was so crafty! Not a fiber out of place! Not a scrap of clutter to be found! I often look at those listing pictures and wonder how she did it, and why I can’t. Now I know.

    The seller did throw away her paint cans. Note to Dorothy: don’t! Those might come in handy if they want to match the paint. At least keep the names of the paint. I wish our seller had done that.

  17. Laura

    I wish I had been more brutal when we moved from Massachusetts to Seattle. That was 3 years ago and I still find things that make me stop in my tracks and think “I brought *that* 3,000 miles? I packed that up. In bubble wrap, probably. Put it in a box. Paid a brawny dude to load it onto a truck.

    What is WRONG with me??

  18. julie

    We’re moving later this summer, but we’re in the unique position of living in an under-appreciated 107 year old shoebox in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Meaning the only people looking at our house are planning to do what I’ve been wanting to do for months: push the whole thing into a dumpter and start over. I’m doing the inverse of your process: pack up the pretty and leave the piles. Not sure it’s any easier, but it’s less stressful. I think. The Margaritas do seem to help.

    Also, congrats on the Parent’s magazine blurb. (P. 184) Go you!

  19. Kimberly

    At least you didn’t dive back into the trash bag and open the box just to check and make sure you weren’t throwing out anything important, thereby dooming yourself to move those boxes with you because you just cannot part with whatever item was so important that you haven’t thought about it in seven years. Not that I would do something like that.

    I think “Christ on a popsicle stick” is my new favourite saying.

  20. Jennifer

    I just had a FREE garage sale this weekend. I filled seven tables with junk that has been stored in my garage since I moved in and by the end of the day I was left with two boxes of junk that was donated to charity. I gave everything away although I had to field the bazillion questions “Why are you doing this?” but I now have a lot more room in my garage. I didn’t have to price anything, no price haggling and when I needed a break, I put a sign on the garage that said “help yourself”.

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