The little sign has gone up in front of our house. We have found the place to which we want to move, and what seems like the ideal apartment (ground floor, no fireplace, and the larger size for the smaller price) is available until January 10. We have been ridding ourselves of boxes and bags of stuffs. We have started showing.
The phone call for the first appointment came about 5 p.m. yesterday--asking for a showing at 9:30 this morning. At the time, we were an hour away, finishing up a day-long round of preliminary errands pertaining to the new home and job. The house looked like you would expect a house to look after several days of sorting through junk and a hurried morning preparing three meals at once before walking out the door--in other words, absolutely the messiest it's been since we finished moving in. (As a free bonus fun thing, the dishwasher has been on the fritz, too.)
This was a real showing--for real, live, potential buyers. With a realtor you can hope for some leeway, since they have the professional eye to realize there is a lot of space where that overcrowded desk is stuffed. But with buyers, the general idea is to make it look like no one has ever lived there.
DOB's family was kind enough to trade us two teenagers and a large, empty van for a toddler. D2 was kind enough to go to bed early and sleep late. The rest of us went to bed late, rose up early (hopefully not in vain) and proceeded to do in a twelve-hour stretch the organizing and cleaning that had been put off for two years. We removed large pieces of furniture and large bags of garbage. We vacuumed the places that never get vacuumed.
In the end, we were scooting the last dust bunnies out the back door as the prospects walked in the front. But the house looked fabulous. I was tempted to look around and think, "Hey, why don't we keep the house this neat all the time?" And then I recalled that I was desparately short on food, water, and sleep, I could only dimly recall what my children looked like, and there were six loads of laundry concealed around the house.
Somebody else is coming at five. Somehow we must conceal that we have been living, eating, drinking, washing laundry, changing diapers, potty-training, sanding drywall, and painting in the interim.