The final box was loaded into the giant moving van. Tears fell down my face a we drove away from our empty home for the last time. Mostly it was tears of sadness as we left a town full of friends. But part of it was tears of relief. Relief that I did not have to scrub the house until it was spotless for yet another showing while attempting to keep three little people entertained.
Maintaining a clean house with 3 kids is a challenge in itself, but keeping it completely staged and spotless is a difficult feat. Have you seen that ecard that says cleaning your house with kids is like brushing your teeth with Oreos? It’s totally true and a reason why I hire help in the cleaning department. Only problem is when your house is for sale, the realtor and their clients’ schedule doesn’t always coordinate with the cleaning lady’s schedule. So I’m left to do it.
I’ll never forget the day that I was cleaning the house for a 3 pm showing. It was 10:30 am when we received notice giving us plenty of time to get ready. All I needed to do was focus on cleaning the house. As I picked up the clutter and the toys, I heard a loud crash that started upstairs and ended by the front door. It was the safety gate from the top of the stairs. Somehow the gate had broken and fallen down the steps when the gate was slammed shut. I looked up and saw a hole in the wall about the size of a softball.
I now had 4 hours to clean the house and fix a hole. In a major freak our moment, I grabbed spackle and attempted to spackle it myself while calling my husband. He came home between meetings to finish my handy-work. (I’m SO lucky I married a man that knows how to fix most things!) By 2:30 pm everything was just about right. I pulled out the china to stage the dining room table and started to heat a pot of water, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves on the stovetop.
Just then, my son came up to me and said his little sister had peed all over her room. No joke. There was pee everywhere. And the reason why? She decided to change her pull up by herself after she did a number two. (And how that wasn’t everywhere is a miracle in itself. Now, we had about 5-10 minutes to get out of the house and I’m throwing her rug into the washer and scrubbing the floor again. We cleaned everything up and somehow the house was ready by 2:45pm to be shown. The doorbell rang. I had made a habit of leaving 10-15 minutes before the appointment, but we were scrambling this day and OF COURSE they were early. I end up getting the kids in the car as I carry their shoes with me and we drove around the block about 10 times waiting for them to be finished looking. As we did after all the showings, we waited for the feedback with crossed fingers. And guess what. Our house wasn’t one of their top choices. I mean, seriously? After a day like that? Crack open that wine bottle right now. This was the most ridiculous day of getting ready and it was all for naught.
The good thing is, we were able to maintain a clean and staged house for months with three kids. It was stressful and challenging, but it was doable. AND we did it together. We were able to get our home under contract prior to moving to NC. I hope that the new family is able to make as many happy memories in their new home as we did. I hope their children’s laughter fills the house and that they find West Hartford, CT as special as we did (even during the brutal winters).
*Photo credit- ecard from somecards.com