Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home is where the heart is...not to mention all our stuff!

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a love/hate relationship with my house, minus the love part. I am pretty vocal about my dislike for our house and by this point it has become a bit of a joke in our family. And of course by joke I mean its nicer to laugh at me than tell me to get over it!

It started the very first day I walked in the front door for the viewing 7 years ago. I said, “I will never live here”, and I meant it. But my husband knows me well and started in with the: “just picture it with new flooring…picture an upgraded bathroom…picture all the walls freshly painted – blue.” Sold. I also really liked the location and the school district so we made the deal and moved our already large family in. I will admit it makes a great starter home in a great neighborhood but most people buy their starter home before they have kids, we bought ours while we were cooking our third. Seven years later we are busting at the seams and although we’ve changed those floors, upgraded many of the rooms and I now have my beloved dark blue accent wall – I still hate the house. It never grew on me. All I have is a list of complaints about it: its too small, its always crowded, there isn’t nearly enough counter/cupboard/bathroom/anything space etc, etc. Don't even get me started on the trim and baseboards, or rather the lack of them. So now that its time to sell the house that’s been a source of negativity all this time, my stress is now: who would want to buy it? Thankfully it seems I am alone in my opinions when it comes to our abode. We are in a well sought-after subdivision very close to the military base and the only mall in our little town. We live on a quiet street with one of the largest backyards in our area and so for reasons I still cannot seem to fathom, we have had several people approach us and ask to see the place before we put it on the market. So now the last-minute upgrading has begun. You know, all those “small” projects you always say you’ll do before you sell, the ones that alone are quick jobs but together add up to days worth of upheaval and chaos. These last minute renos seem to have fallen on my weekend to work and I am trying to feel guilty about that, I really am…I must say that although it has been nice to walk away from the disaster that is my home, with a very good excuse, it has been an exercise in patience and lack of control. I would never have considered myself a “control freak” but I am realizing that since I so often shoulder the day to day responsibilities in our household (mostly because I am the one home the majority of the time) watching someone tear it apart – or rather being gone and knowing that is what they’re doing – is not easy.

However, the biggest lesson I have learned so far during this process (that has really only just begun) is this: perhaps it wasn’t the house, being so small and inadequate, that caused all my organizational problems. Perhaps it was my organizing. I have spent weeks gutting out closets, tearing open boxes not opened for years, turfing belongings we haven’t given a second look in God knows how long. Its freeing and downright therapeutic. Maybe the size of the house isn’t as important as the amount of stuff inside of it. Of course that makes sense and I’ve likely known that all along, but then what excuse would I have had to keep complaining about my house?!

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