When we first put the house on the market I was certain that we’d sell ours in a heartbeat and then have nowhere to go. Now that we’re a good couple of months into this house selling malarkey I lurch between abject fear that we will never ever sell our house never ever ever (highly unlikely given that the viewings haven’t even started to slow down), and we’ll sell it but the perfect house will elude us, or possibly never existed in the first place. It’s what keeps me glued to RightMove, despite knowing that anything in our price bracket and criteria will pop up on my email, just in case there’s something we’ve missed. After spending a good chunk of an evening looking at every property for sale in the entire of Worcestershire I was forced to concede that we know the houses on the market right now, we know the ones we want to look at, and the rest will have to wait.
Truth be told that’s the slightly less daunting side of the coin, if we needed to we would pop some of our things in storage and find a little house to rent near where we need to be and wait for the perfect house rather than just buy something because it had walls and a roof. The focus now is on making the house look as near as possible to the shiny new show homes just up the road. We started with the massive decluttering and skip filling last October half term and that did make a huge difference but even after that it’s been amazing how much stuff five people can have tucked away in nooks and crannies.
The next stage was to repaint and we’ve tidied up the garage door (now Oxford blue) and the hall and downstairs bathroom and kitchen and our bedroom all got a lick of paint a couple of weekends ago. I should say that this is “we” in the matrimonial sense; I haven’t so much as touched a paintbrush, my special skill is trying to hide the kids toys before viewings.
We’ve got a new carpet coming for the lounge this week which I think should help too; part of me is a little bit nervous because I didn’t choose the colour, and I haven’t seen the colour, and it’s not simply a newer version of the blue we have at the moment. The carpet we do have has done 11 years in the heart of our home and despite many of my best efforts and the temporary theft of my parents-in-laws’ carpet cleaner, it’s looking more than a little tatty. The new one is called Barley I think, and will hopefully make our nice bright sunny room even sunnier. And then no one will be allowed to eat at the dinner table until we move. After all, it’s going to be summer soon and it’s been mild the last couple of days, I’m sure we could start eating at the garden table in February, no?
But after painting and carpet the only thing left to do is to have another round of sorting out to see what sparks joy. It’s not a quest for minimalism; I can see beautiful minimalist homes and think they look incredible, but at the same time I know it’s not a look I could ever pull off. By the time we count the sports kit (John), enough art materials to launch a shop (also John) and enough fabric, yarn and fluff to launch another (yours truly) all of house searches have included looking for a room to be our new studio and the majority of what is in our house right now probably will come with us.
But some of it won’t. In October we skipped, recycled or took things to a charity shop, and as much as I thought about trying to sell some of it either at a car boot sale or online, we both knew that all that would happen was it would sit around in the corner of the garage until we moved out, and then we’d take it to the charity shop. It was definitely the right decision for then, but I wonder if we come up with a smaller collection of things that do actually have some value, it might be time to have another look at selling things on Ebay.
Perhaps it’s one of those markers that means I’m definitely not a millennial but I’ve never sold anything on Ebay, and only ever bought a couple of things at most. The things I have bought have all arrived safe and sound (one knitting kit and one vintage horse brass showing a train) but I still read stories about people who’ve sold things and then they’ve got lost in the post, or the buyer says it never turned up and you have no way of knowing where it got to, and wonder if that’s really worth all the hassle. I suspect I’m hearing about the exception rather than the rule, and companies like Shiply, that get you free quotes from couriers who bid to do the job for you, would definitely add in an extra level of security so if I can convince John that it’s as easy as it looks, that might just buy us a pot of paint for the new house, wherever that turns out to be.
And in the meantime we love this little house of ours, even in all its new clothes it’s home, our little haven, and it’s no hardship to be here while we wait for the next chapter to start.
While we wait, tell me your success stories about Ebay, and help me convince John that it would be worth all of the effort: what sort of things have you sold, and was it as easy as I think it’s going to be?