Because nobody wants to see your crap.

(AKA: Before and Afters)

I’ve been working my butt off the past few days taking listing pictures for the house. (Which is why I’m treating myself to a few minutes of sit-down time (while the dryer finishes) to write this post and have a Dr. Pepper.) Even though I’d already down initial purges of all the rooms in the house, I had to clear out boxes and boxes of stuff to go through as I prepared each room for the pictures. Because nobody wants to see your crap. Or my crap.

What I’ve noticed as I look at some of the local listings is that the first thing you notice in people’s pictures is not what the house looks like, but how old their furniture is and all of their clutter. So the goal of my pictures was to make my house looks as much like a “show house” as possible with our existing furniture and accessories. Not an easy task when you have as much stuff as we do and when the house is almost always a disaster because I’ve just never had the chance to find a spot place for everything. (Oh, that makes me think of university when my life and my stuff and my clothes were perfectly organized. Each shirt had its place. Those were the days. Sort of…)

So, take for instance, the basement pictures I took today. The computer desk is a catch-all place. And the kids are constantly eating on the couch in front of the tv and spilling and leaving plates and popsicle sticks and half bags of popcorn. But, I worked a miracle. I shoved all of the kids crap by the couch a little closer to the couch where it wouldn’t be seen. I filled a box with miscellaneous computer desk crap. And I decluttered and dusted and (because I couldn’t find the vacuum) picked up the stray popcorn kernels off of the carpet.

Here’s the first Before and After. I call it “Life” and “You Know You Want to Buy My House Because It’s Always This Clean”:

That’s right. I’m good. Took me 20 minutes. (And, yes, that desk is where all of the blogging happens.)

And then do you remember the master bedroom makeover I did while Marc was in Chicago for a week in February? Well, we took the master bedroom pictures the other day. It pretty much took us that many months to get our bedroom clean after that renovation and all of the subsequent renovations we’ve been doing. I also believe I told you that I had the best (the worst, really) before picture. It’s true. I looked back at it today and realized what total chaos I’d put our room in — bags of clothes to give away, piles of laundry, and just the general mess that is usually our master bedroom with kids bringing in their toys and hitting us with them to wake us up in the morning and then leaving them.

So, the before and after pictures here are more about the how clean and beautiful I got the room and not so much about the makeover. If I had it to do over again, and had I known we were going to put white baseboards on the rest of the house, I would’ve painted the walls a bit darker and done white trim in the bedroom. But I didn’t. So I didn’t. At least it’s no longer two tones of white and with a dead mosquito in the corner:

And now the only pictures I have left are the living room, the two main bathrooms and the guestroom. All of which don’t have anywhere near as much clutter as the other rooms, I’m just waiting on some baseboards and for Marc to grout the tile we put up on the fireplace the other day.

Did I mention I want to have a “House Leaving” party to celebrate how nice we got this place? What do you think?!

Posted in Family, Life | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Because nobody wants to see your crap.

  1. Angie says:

    That is quite the transformation! I’m impressed!

  2. Bonnie says:

    That looks great need some cheesecake…yup for sure.

  3. mam V. says:

    Have your house leaving party outside so your house will stay picture perfect. You did a perfect job!, where are you all living in the meantime???

  4. Beck says:

    Our Realtor took our house pictures. And they sucked. She was not nearly as good as you at taking pictures of the rooms from nice angles.

    I’d totally want to buy your house if I was shopping for one in P.A. Which, of course I’m not. And which, of course Glen would never allow since we just moved. LOL.

  5. Well, the house only looks neat & perfect for the pictures. Then I move the stuff back. But I did get caught up on all the laundry today and have been organizing and making boxes of stuff to get rid of as I go, so I really do feel like I’m making some progress.

  6. Oh, and Marc mentioned it when he saw the post, and I’ll say it here: our bedroom never looks as bad as in the before picture. It was really just that day. Normally it’s only about half that messy.


  7. Toni says:

    Dixie – I think you have found your vocation.


  8. Carissa says:

    Those are fabulous pictures, Dixie! You are definitely making progress – good for you! 🙂 I love when you can SEE such a difference (that’s why vacuuming is actually a pleasure when I ever do it b/c you can really TELL a difference….UGH!!!). And I hear you – our master bedroom is always a catch-all and always a disaster…We’ve started to get it organized, but it’s a slow process. I look forward to being able to go in there and actually being able to relax just walking in…..someday! 🙂 Keep up the great work! (and cheers to a Dr. Pepper break mid-day when you’re working so hard!!) 🙂

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