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Auntie M.......Auntie M! (in my BEST Dorothy voice) How do I begin to.......

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First of all it's hilarious that I would offer advice in this department but I do read about it. :D Pick a room, not the twins and start. How about the kitchen? Pack up all the extras, get rid of what you don't want and leave it fairly complete but simple. That won't bother anyone and get you going.

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Have you done any reading about staging? I'm reading Home Staging That Works by Starr C. Osborne, and it's great. More than just staging, it has good advice about decluttering and cleaning too. I also just started reading another home staging book, written by the woman who came up with the idea in the 70's. I have to say, Ms. Osborne's book is better. ;)

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Pick a room, not the twins and start. How about the kitchen? Pack up all the extras, get rid of what you don't want and leave it fairly complete but simple. That won't bother anyone and get you going.

This is one thing that I picked up from the books I'm reading--start packing away all the extra stuff--the things you can live without for a few months. I packed all the medium to large stuffed animals, weeded out quite a few kids' books, packed 4 boxes of my books (so far), packed 2 boxes of videos & DVDs. I have much, much more to do, but I'm waiting for dh to bring home more boxes. The idea is to pack away about 50-60% of your belongings. This will not only reduce the clutter in your house, but reveal areas that need to be cleaned, and you'll be so much closer to actually being able to stage your house. (and you'll be already halfway packed when it's time to move)

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I refuse to go into either of the twins' bedrooms and 'clean' anymore. I am resolute in my decision to begin purging and packing.

I have found, as I pack away toys, throw toys out, and box up toys for a garage sale, that they not only rediscover the toys they have (the ones I leave for them), but they can't make nearly as much mess anymore. Go tackle that room! :001_smile:

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Good luck in the process! We are totally there too. We finally decided and starting the ball rolling with relocating with Nick's job to Colorado.


The best advice I have for you is to try and get rid of and declutter the kids stuff without them around. Mine just follow around after me about why I am taking this, or how they love this toy they have never used so much, and please don't give that away. I sneak stuff into piles and remove them without the kids noticing.


Now, if I could only get rid of some of our books :glare:


A few small things I did for staging: in the kitchen I purged the counters of anything unnecessary as well as the bathroom counters. I also took down most all pictures and frames we had up. I have left the walls pretty bare except for a few pieces of art. I packed away extra linens, towels, blankets, etc so that our linen closets were not overflowing. I also packed away clothes from everyones closets that are not in season.


Hope that gives you a little idea or two! Where will you guys move?

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(rustle, rustle.....@8!*^$#.... where DID that go????)


Sorry, I seem to have misplaced Glinda's contact information. She could just fix you right up but now we'll just have to move on to Plan B.


Really, Mariann, I can hardly think of you moving now that the forsythias have made a comeback! First off, unplug that AGA and prep it for moving...;) (What *do* you plan to do with that, anyway? I mean really, do you need to put "shop for replacement range" on your to-do list?)


Okay, I am just giving this to you Faulkner-style, as things come to mind, hope it makes sense in the end. Do you just want to stage, or do you want to really do a merciless declutter?


When I am doing a declutter sweep, I start with my storage areas, like the garage and closets. Not the funnest place to start, but it helps to know where you have storage space as you proceed from there. Things I want to keep really must find a home in a bona fide storage area if they are to stay under my roof.


Honestly, for a relocation, I also start with the garage. I sweep an entire bay clear and start staking packed boxes. People know you are moving and neatly stacked & labeled boxes are not unexpected and easy to overlook when you are a househunter. As long as dh can see the square footage of the garage and I can see the rafters to know if my little boat will fit, I don't need to see anything else. You could perhaps also use a basement for this. I have only staged one home in basement territory, I think I did put some stuff down there instead of the garage. Just remember, come moving time, the garage is easier to load from.


Are your rooms now functioning as you wish them to for showing (ie, is the dining room being used as such, or for school or music)? If you have any rooms that need to be returned to their original purpose for showing, that's a room to begin with. Pack up & box up anything you don't need. Now, like a tiled number puzzle, the shifting can begin. I have been known to move bedroom dressers into sideboard position to both pump up a dining or sitting room and create more space in a bedroom. (Just remember to grab your skivvies *before* you hit the shower!)


I save the kitchen for last, so it stays functional as long as possible.


I despise doing the kid rooms. More on that later. While I am gathering my courage to go into those rooms, I assign each a bin and let them decide what they are going to put into it. These are the playthings they will be allowed for the duration of the listing period.


Then I go into my own closet. I cull, cull, cull. Same thing with the linen closet. In my master bed & bath, I clear all the surfaces, depersonalize, stage, etc.


Follow with the bathrooms, hallways, family rooms and other "neutral" or shared territory, clearing counters, drawers, walls, tossing and boxing as I go. (Later, the day before the packers come, I go through the house with a box of gallon size plastic zipper bags and bag up all the loose items in the drawers. The packers love me for this and it is immensely easier to unpack, plus small items don't get lost as easily.


When you have finally worked up the gumption to go into the little darlings' bedrooms, warn them to have their bin packed and removed from the room. They are now 100% responsible for the contents of that bin and items that are out of it after they have gone to bed are subject to never being seen again (yes, I am very strict when I have a house on the market!).


I do not let the kids watch me do their rooms. It goes *much* faster this way, trust me! I cull, cull, cull. We have relocated enough for mine to know what's coming. They honestly are... idunno....refreshed by the process? I usually pack up all the out of season clothes, unless the closet is so so big it still looks only 2/3 full with all their stuff. It's okay to have stuff on the shelves, but clean and boxed is key. Once the feat is accomplished, I put an empty cardboard box on the closet floor. This is the only thing on the closet floor aside from neatly organized shoes. This is this room's emergency showing box (you know, realtor calls and says since she's already in your neighborhood, she'd like to bring lookers by in 5 minutes - gah!). The kids or you can go into each room, toss all loose items from floor or dresser into the box, fold the tops down and voila - emergency clutter control.


I suggest you look at that other thread that's going now, "philosophy of decluttering" or something similar. And try to do a lot of what your realtor suggests. I generally believe that realtors come from a galaxy far, far away and are illogical aliens in disguise, but if they find you cooperative & prepared they are generally more excited about marketing the house. (And my apologies to the realtors on the boards, you here are obviously from Terra. You are just rare, hard to find gems.)


I need to gt going - hope this makes sense and may be helpful. Try not to feel overwhelmed, you know that is the worst part of the whole thing.

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