Apr 30, 2010

Market madness

Twelve days ago, when we put our house on the market, a little switch flipped in my brain. That little switch has temporarily, yet dramatically, changed the course of our existence. We are in "show mode," as in the entirety of our family's life revolves around the ring of the phone and the state of the floor. Many things have changed, such as:
  • I clean all day, every day. Starting from the moment my eyelids crack open each morning, I am tidying or dusting or wiping or mopping. The biggest push is in the morning, after I get kids off to school. I don't shower or relax until the kitchen and bathrooms are sparkling, the beds are perfectly staged, and floor is freshly mopped. This usually requires diligent efforts until at least 10:00a.m., since Gavin always spills or wrecks or streaks something before, during, or after I have cleaned an area.
  • I have random stuff in my pockets. No matter how far in advance I prepare and clean the house, I always find last-minute do-dads as I am turning on lights and preparing to leave before a showing. Right now I have a fork, hair elastics, a Lego man, a marble, an eraser, and a dryer sheet in my pocket. Larger items get stuffed into whatever drawer is closest, which means things often get lost. It's annoying.
  • The garbage can lives in the garage. People touring our house most definitely don't need to see the garbage can, which usually stands at the end of the counter, close to the back door. During showings we move it to the garage, but then I don't automatically bring it back inside when we get home, and then we can't throw anything away, and trash piles up. I also empty all the trash cans before showings, and if I don't have time, I leave them in the garage. This is another reason I have random stuff in my pockets.
  • Gavin and Lexi think the van is their second home. Yesterday Gavin asked me, "Can I go get in my car seat so you can mop the floor?" I laughed out loud...he knows the drill! Our garage is just off the kitchen, so I often put my babies in their car seats and leave the van and house doors open. They are happily contained and we talk to each other while I mop the floor in peace.
  • The van is a pig sty. This is because we live in the van. We eat meals and snacks, change clothes, do homework, read books, sort the mail, and all manner of other activities in the van while potential buyers and/or agents are looking at the house.
  • I don't start something unless I know I have time to finish it. This mostly applies to laundry -- sorting, washing, folding, ironing, and putting away the laundry. And laundry is pretty low on the priority list when things like mopping the (giant) floor are at the top. So I wash laundry and change sheets at night, and can't remember the last time I ironed. Maybe tomorrow...
  • We are eating worse than usual...and that is saying something. Since I hate cooking anyway and cooking only messes up the kitchen, I just can't handle it. So we are eating lots of convenience foods, sandwiches, and cereal. I pretty much don't care, but I'm sure my family doesn't appreciate it.
  • I stay home more than usual. This may seem contrary to the normal state of selling a house, but really, I only leave the house for a showing or to pick up kids from school now. My baby naps best in the morning and my toddler naps only in the afternoon, and now, whenever I leave, the house needs to be spotless. My mobility was already limited, but now it's mostly non-existent. [Sidebar: I was just assigned a daytime visiting teaching route and think it's going to be impossible.]
  • I wake up sleeping babies. This is exactly the opposite of my normal modus operandi. We bow to the real estate gods, no matter what time of day.
  • I am extremely short-tempered. Am I pregnant? No. But if you know me as a pregnant person, you will better understand this state of mind. I am stressed out. I lose it over little things. I am totally emotional. If I seem irrational, it's because I am irrational. Please don't feed the insanity. I need gentle words and soft strokes and lots of encouragement right now. I have a severe case of market madness.
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