There are women out there who actually enjoy cleaning. I know this because I have met them. In fact, I have actually become friends with some of them, despite our philosophical differences. I do clean, but purely on an as needed basis. The toilet gets cleaned when it starts to look dirty. My bathroom counter gets cleaned when my hand starts to become inadvertently stuck to it due to hairspray build up. My floor is swept when the dog fur becomes an eyesore. The kitchen is the only area I attack on a daily basis, and even then you may see some clean dishes stacked awaiting placement in an upper cabinet.
This week all that changes. Putting your house on the market is like having guests over 24/7. Hiding toothbrushes and other personal items in drawers, wiping down every surface you can find, cleaning toilets and sinks daily, and following the dogs around the house with a vacuum in hand. Heaven forbid that your home looks like someone is actually living in it!
If you have not sold a home recently, and you are not a frequent viewer of HGTV, TLC, and other cable networks, then you may be unaware of the term “staging” in reference to a home. Having a clean home to show is no longer enough, now it must be “staged.” This means moving half of your furniture into storage, clearing all surfaces, and removing most wall hangings. It is basically a mini moving experience before you have even sold your home. One item per surface is ideal…so the alarm clock and the Kleenex box vie for position on my bedside table. The alarm clock wins…after all, we wouldn’t someone to think we actually blow our noses in our house!
Now I do understand where this is coming from, really I do. In my last post I made some jabs at dirty kitchens and walls that hold collections of crosses. Those types of things are distracting; they draw the eye away from the more important features of the home. They also are the main thing you remember about the home. When someone has looked at ten homes and they are trying to recall details of each, I would prefer they recall the vaulted ceiling in the family room instead of being remembered as the house with the weird statue in the hallway.
On the other hand, I have no problem looking at homes that have nice decorative touches throughout. These things speak of how the people that live there have made it more than just a house; they have made it a home. It makes me think I could make it feel like home as well. I hope I have achieved that balance. After all, as my husband keeps saying…we still have to live here; for now.