but when I sit down to write I rarely know
what's gonna come outta the 'ol rolodex-brain
so I gots to be liberal with the title--
in case I need more room to "elaborate".
Okay, so Kelly n' I have had a few home staging jobs
And yeah, we took our befores and afters,
only they aren't on this pc
and can't be downloaded on this pc
because it was built in 2006...
hamsters and chicken wire are holding together
this Samsung monitor (an old-fashioned TV)
HP keyboard that I still only know 1/4 of the keys are for,
and a Compaq computer tower
Oh how I long for, ne, covet a new pc.
One with all the bells and whistles.
Anyway, there will be no illustrations today,
but it's okay, stay with me.
Home Staging Tips:
*When you stand at the door way of a room,
instead of trying to zero-in on what's a distraction,
focus on the positives--
"Keep the sofa, remove the odd chair."
"Keep the large painting, remove all the nic-nacs."
*If the room hasn't been painted in 5 years,
paint it in an updated color.
Or no color, but a neutral clean slate.
*Don't use red. Please do not use red.
Red is tricky because of lighting.
It can make a room feel incredibly
if not done properly.
If you're not 110% sure,
go with another color.
* All those cute souvenir nic-nacs you collect
will not be "interesting" to a potential homebuyer.
Pack them up. Yes, all of them. OK, OK, you may keep one out.
Just one. IF you have a place for it. Not on the kitchen counter though.
*Bedding...make it heavenly-looking. Do not go cheap in the Master Bedroom.
And remember, it's going with you.
*Plants. If it's lush and green, keep it. If it's a project you're hoping to rehabilitate, call the time of death and dump it. Also, those long, long, long philodendron tresses you've been coaxing along since 2002, trim them. It makes most surfaces look cluttered and heavy. Unless you live in the jungle; then it's expected.
*Windowsills: Are not decorative ledges. Remove everything. All of it. Wipe it down and if needed, add a coat of polyurethane to restore them.
*The front door entrance: Should feel like a hotel entrance. No shoes, backpacks, coats, etc. No clutter.
Two more, then I'm done with this:
*Have a new, lovely WELCOME mat outside your front door.
*Deep clean the house. All of it. Baseboards, closets, under counters, junk drawers, the garage, the unfinished basement. Every single nook and cranny,
the carpets, the floors, the windows, the fixtures inside and out (ceiling fans and lights).
Okay, so that's that for today.
Oh wait, one more,
Do Not Paint Your House with your Favorite Sports team/College Alma Mater colors. Not inside or outside. And for military families--pack up all the awards, certificates, too. And do not paint your walls in camo-colors either. Living in a military town has forced me to advise against this. Don't do it.
*After years of using the Smoke Alarm as a dinner bell,
I bought a meat thermometer and started actually using the timer on the stove--
even if the recipe calls for a cook time of 15 minutes--I set it for 5 or 6 minutes, to remind me to check on it.
Having burned countless rolls of garlic bread and dozens of biscuits over the years, that one habit has saved many meals.
*Cut chicken breasts in half (lengthwise) when they are just slightly thawing. They cook faster, the portions are healthier and you'll have more servings.
*Black beans are in the top "healthy bean fiber" category...I don't know if that's an actual category, but they're super good for you, ok? ADD them to everything:
salads, salsas, soups, sauces, chilis. They're good cold too.
My favorite homemade salsa-side dish: 1 can Black Beans, 1 can white kernal corn, 1 can green chilis, add some red chili seasoning and some garlic salt. Serve with tortilla chips, or your fav Mexican dish.
I've also tried it with Ro-Tel tomatoes and it works too!
*Spinach. Popeye led the way when he sang,
"I'm strong to the finich,
Cuz I eats my spinach!"
"It's good and good for you too." , said in my best, Glenda the Good Witch voice.
So I add it to everything...egg omelets, spaghetti sauce, chili, anything I think I can get away with it. Salads, of course. Just wash it real good, because the FDA has said that spinach is one of a few vegetables (sold in stores) that retains some measurable amount of pesticides. In fact, they recommend buying Organic for complete protection of pesticides. I buy whatever's on the shelf at the store I'm in, and just wash it well. There are even sprays you can use to help clean produce.
Mothering in all its forms:
*Not for the faint of heart.
*Tests our endurance like none other.
*Requires many pairs of Big Girl Panties.
*Can suck the life right outta ya somedays.
Those aren't tips, those are knowns.
Survival Tips From the Field:
*Start each day anew. This is especially important with small children and teenagers, as their memories of the previous day are likely gone, unless you have promised them a trip to Disney World or American Eagle. They will remember those, unfortunately.
*Keep your expectations based in reality as that's where you'll spend most of your life. But be firm in your expectations and communicate them with absolute clarity so there are no misunderstandings.
*Have friends who have kids your kids' ages so you can commiserate together and hatch plans to wreak havoc upon your children together. It's much more fun and makes the time just fly by.
*When my kids start to whine at me--and I know they're in a mood to just keep going and going, I say, "Write it down. Put it on the fridge so everyone knows what's bugging you and you don't have to repeat it over and over."
Actually, all I have to say is "Write it down"...they know what I mean. Which is,
loosely translated "Thou Shalt Not Whine". I can't bear listening to it.
*Also the phrase :"I am not the right audience for your act today." --and walking away, helps diffuse a tantrum.
*When you are sure the child in front of you could NOT possibly be from your loins and the thought of spending time with them offends every bone in your body: Pull them In closer. Spend a whole day with them. Make them stay home from school, if that's the only way you can get alone time with them. Take a long trip from one end of town to the other, running errands would fit into this too, thus trapping them in the car so you can re-connect with them. I do this with my kids and I swear it works. The days when I cannot stand another minute, is my cue that it is the BEST day to pull them in closer. By nightfall, the gaps will be closer and hearts are open. Do not let them talk you out of it by their rolling of eyes, teeth-baring, or lips sewn shut, or worse, telling you they don't want to spend a day with you. Nope, just hold on for dear life.
My soon-to-be-Sister-Missionary, Diana said she was talking about this practice of ours--this "Pull Them In" method, and she related "We knew what Mom was doing and sometimes we just hated her for it. But it worked. And I'll do that with my kids."
--Now, there are some rules for the day:
No cell phones allowed.
This is not a "let's spoil the kid more rotten with a shopping trip to take our minds off the problems."
Being the Parent is crucial but be a Kind Parent. A Listening Parent. Not a Friend-Parent.
Laughter and Music help. SO use both.
Pray for your child. Let them hear you pray for them. Pray for an open heart and wisdom in being their parent. And hug the daylights outta them before the day is over.
This stuff works, yo.
Okay so I have to go now. My maid is a No-Show Again! Can you believe it?!
If you have tips you want to add to any of these lists, Add On People, Add On...