The instant the last vacation suitcase was unpacked, I immediately shifted into house mode. I haven't even edited my vacation photos, which is usually something I really enjoy. I'll eventually edit them and share some of my favorites with you.
But for now, I'm focused in on our house.
I think many of you know that we live in a cozy little house. We started out as newlyweds in our little home with three bedrooms and one bathroom. We had our bedroom, an office, and a guest room. We really enjoyed working together to paint, update, and renovate our house.
But then we started having children, making me feel more like the the woman who lived in a shoe (she had so many children...). Suddenly, we didn't have the time, energy, or money required to finish updating our house.
For years now, we have loved our home but not necessarily felt proud of it. We rarely invite anyone over because we can't see past what's unfinished or outdated (or cluttered, dusty, sticky...).
We have been living in limbo, unable to afford to move and yet unwilling to completely drop anchor and stay in this house forever. It's plain old not big enough. I think the last straw was when Nora moved out of diapers and we officially had 5 people sharing one bathroom.
I'm tired of waiting my turn for the toilet. I'm tired of knocking toys over in the shower. I'm tired of choosing whatever has the best resale value/appeal every time we do update something. I want to be in a home that actually reflects my style and taste. I want to be open to having people in our home.
Even though I've had these feelings for years, our finances just haven't budged from the tightness you'd expect for a single income family of five.
When Jared and I were making our New Year's Resolutions for 2013, Jared's top goal was to move. I laughed at him. I told him to make a new goal. I didn't take him seriously.
Then I spent some time in prayer.
God gently let me know that I should accept the possibility of this being our year to move. God knows me so well. He knows my emotional attachment to this house. He knows that I need to do this process very slowly and in small steps.
Step one: accept the possibility of moving.
Step two: start sorting through our possessions. We've started a garage sale pile, thrown things out, and giving things away. There's a lot of work left to do in this category.
Step three: rent a storage unit. We started moving seasonal items and boxes of sentimental items into a storage unit to clear some space in our basement and other areas of the house.
Step four: prepare our house for selling. This is where we are this week. I have been painting, cleaning, and replacing.
Yesterday I spent about 2-3 hours just scrubbing my kitchen cabinets, drawers, and walls. It's amazing how much grime builds up in odd places in the kitchen. I also removed all magnets, pictures, notes, and papers from our refrigerator. Jared got a little shock when he walked in from work.
Last night I ran out to a paint store to try to match our kitchen cabinets. Nine years ago, we painted the wooden cabinets with white oil-based paint, which was recommended for kitchens at the time. What we didn't know is that oil-based paint yellows over time. Now our kitchen is an ugly off-white color. The paint has also chipped and scratched in various places over time. It has always bothered me, but we DO NOT want to go through the agony of repainting them.
The worker at the paint store couldn't match my cabinets exactly, so we chose a quart of the closest match. I spent about 2-3 hours last night with the new paint and tiny art brush filling in all the chips and scuffs on our cabinets, doors, and drawers. If you just look around the kitchen (and don't look too closely), you can't see any of the chips and scratches that have bothered me every. single. day.
Today I scrub-a-dub-dubbed our tub like it's never been scrubbed before. I also washed the shower curtain and liner (did you know you can wash vinyl shower curtain liners in your washing machine??). The kids and I are about to head out for some more items to update the shower.
So the kitchen is basically done. The bathroom will hopefully be done by the end of this day. Next I need to start on de-personalizing our home by removing family photos, and we need to continue to de-clutter. Once we get the house ready, we will call a realtor and get it listed for sale. I imagine that will happen in the next week or two. (My stomach just flipped from even typing that.)
Jared wants to have a garage sale to get rid of stuff and make a little money. I don't want the hassle of hosting a garage sale, and I'd rather just donate all our
And in case you're wondering: no, we haven't found a house to move into. Not for lack of looking. I even made an Excel spreadsheet of the houses we've found so far. Yeah, I'm that girl. But none of them have stolen our hearts.
So we are continuing on with lots of prayer and hard work. We only want to go where God wants us. We pray for our next house. We pray for the right schools for our kids. We pray for our finances. We pray for the right realtor. We even pray for the next people who will live in our current house. And we definitely pray for our children throughout this whole process.
I'll keep you posted as we go!