Next month I will have owned my home for 3 years. It was built in 1900 and had a small price tag because it was vacant and needed work. Three years ago after signing the closing paperwork, I enthusiastically jumped on fixing her up. Setting aside my days to commit fully to the labor it would take to get the property functional and beautiful, I had figured on being able to live in our house in about 1 month. Then just work on minor details as time went on. Some deep cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, laying some flooring and fixing some minor electrical issues would do the job. HA! Reality check—though the HGTV shows may only last an hour of your time, it’s best to plan on any renovation project lasting a significant amount more, especially when it’s DIY on a limited budget! I had no idea that 8 months into it we would have still been living in the barn loft, running to the house to use the toilet (and yes- many times we were running!), driving to mom’s house for a shower, and wiping drywall dust off of every dish we use. Though we still have so much ahead, I must say we have accomplished a great amount. The problem is that a large part of what has been worked on will never be seen, and much of it had the potential of being done much quicker and simpler than how it actually played out.
A large part of the completed work was demolition. Little did I know how much of the house that I fell in love with would have to be destroyed prior to it becoming what I had desired. And at every turn there were things that we discovered needed to be done first in order to accomplish the next task. I must say there have been many disappointments during these past 3 years.
I purchased this fixer-upper knowing well that she would need lots of love. It was clear that she had been beaten up in her many years of serving, protecting and providing for the dear people that depended on her. She had seen so much over the years… good and bad, and it made her who she was. As she stood there alone and abandoned looking nearly hopeless, I found her somewhat charming and knew she was precious. Full of potential. So many had passed by barely noticing her pain, choosing to throw stones, or simply walking away deciding she wasn’t even worth the time or effort. Her broken frame, damaged interior and weakened foundation were all signs of a desperate failure. Yet, she was stronger than what she appeared.
I’ve realized how much I can relate this whole renovation process to what God does in and through me. What may seem like problems or failures He views as opportunities. With a house over 100 years old, there have been many layers of things hidden and buried that have to either be destroyed, carefully revealed or completely rebuilt in order for the true beauty and purpose to be achieved. God does that with us. Time, people and events in our lives cause layers of hurts, layers of secrets, and layers of scars. But as we surrender and allow Him to break down, reveal and refine the deep parts of our foundation we become the beautiful work of art that He created us to be. Even through the mess He finds us charming and knows our potential.
It may seem like such a daunting task, but it’s well worth taking that step! Be courageous and allow Him into the home of your heart. That fragile, deep place that has been beaten up by life. Opening up and trusting Jesus to do the renovation work is the best decision you will ever make. Just like any house that becomes a home, we ourselves will always be a work in progress. But He is faithful and will finish the work He has started!
Some of my favorite words from my little one…
Cool Bus (school bus)
The teacher in me wants to correct him so he won’t end up being 30 and still speaking these words incorrectly. But the mama in me doesn’t want him to ever change as I savor each moment realizing he won’t be little forever. He brings me joy and lights up my face each time I see him. I love his warm hugs, his constant singing and the way he teaches me everything he knows. Today his little body is fighting a bug, so he’s staying home with mama. He’s playing with some toys, resting, coloring, resting some more, reading, and watching Mr. Rogers on Netflix. After tucking him in for a nap I look around at my living room. Toys strewn about, pillows and blankets everywhere… Ah… the life of having a young family.
This is not a problem for us right now… but we are not selling our home. As I’m sure you know this is not a good impression for a potential home buyer! Of course not. But we all know the seller still needs to live life as usual and the little ones still need to play. So the most important thing? Have a plan! Simple shelving that compliments the furnishings can house firm plastic or wicker baskets. These will act not only as toy organizers but also as attractive accessories and can clean up a room for your online photos, while serving as a way to quickly prepare for showings as needed. Setting up a guideline that the kiddos can only get their toys out in their room or a specified play area can also be helpful and keep the living areas free from children’s articles. These small changes can make a huge impact on a buyer’s first impression, which is most likely going to be from your picture-perfect staged photos! This will not only invite them to view your clutter-free home, but let them know you have cared for it while it was still yours.
So in short, no need to hide the little cuties for the term of sale. Lots of memories to be made and hold on to… just a simple way to plan during this soon-to-pass season in life! Leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, or email directly to ask a question you may have.
Stage to SELL!
Ok, so I never thought I would care to watch the royal wedding. I’m not one to follow celebrities, and I usually avoid any conversation about them at all… it’s just not my thing.
But when I woke up this morning I had a notification on my phone to watch the royal wedding live. I just swiped it away without a second thought and crawled back in bed because sleeping in sounded so much more appealing. Then after a few moments with my head under the sheets I thought, “Hey, I love going to weddings!” I rarely get the opportunity to attend them and well since my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail I thought why not check in on this one for a second. So… hours later my little one was begging me to get him some breakfast and I had woken up my girls to watch along with me. (Yes, WAY too much time on it!) It truly was beautiful. Not just the ceremony, flowers, the hats, her gown, bouquet, more hats… but everything about the event. I sat and listened to commentary once the ceremony was over. So much about this stirs up my heart.
Harry and Meghan met on a blind date. Only two years ago. They quickly fell for each other and their story is so sweet. But it also includes much adversity. They were facing new situations together. They dated on two different continents. From two different worlds. And once their relationship became public knowledge the whole world was watching. And as with anything private that becomes public, people began to voice their opinions. As I mentioned, I kept my distance with the information that was spreading. It didn’t really concern me so I had more important things to hold my attention.
So with the wedding I can say I am glad that I spared a couple hours of my lazy Saturday to view and learn a little about it. Because the beauty that I see coming from it is how the combination of both worlds created something so admirable and moving. The couple bypassed some of the traditions of both of their cultures to come together and share what the two considered to be a representation of who they were as individuals coming together as one. The bride walked in on her own, no father to give her away. She preceded her wedding party, opposite of American tradition. The two used the names by which they address each other, unlike the traditional vows using the given names. Meghan’s dress, makeup and jewelry were fairly simple yet beautiful and respectful, when they could have been over the top. And the two also chose to have any gifts go toward charity rather than to them. They pioneered something new, outside of the box. A bold step which always comes with criticism and often awe.
So thinking outside of the box, being bold, including diversity… these things have the potential of creating something beautiful. And so it is with redesign… make it your own! Love your space! Find the things that you love, that make sense, that stir up the passion in you and celebrate who you are and all that you love! Marry these things together because by no means is design an exact science. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Expression 20 of Proverbs 24:3-4
Yes, it’s that time again. Most of us are groaning right about now. Either because of the process or the thought of being unprepared for tax season. But hopefully, most of you have already taken care of this necessary deed and it’s behind you until next year!
Just wanted to give a couple of tips relating to staging and selling your home in regards to tax season. Because the IRS considers professional staging as an advertising expense when putting your home on the market, the fees for staging services are tax deductible! Just subtract the fees of staging from the proceeds of the home sale. Some things to factor into including this information with your tax filing…