Painting and Packing and Storage, oh my!

I have been wielding a paintbrush since my earliest years. Most of the time, it had nothing to do with artistic pursuits and everything to do with remodeling the house we lived in. My experience is now expanding to include packing and staging.

When the professional stager (yes, it is a real thing) entered my house, she took a single look around as said something like:

“Nothing I say should be taken personally. To make your house appealing to buyers, we must neutralize it.”

A few phrases later she told me all the items of “religious significance” should be packed away. Wouldn’t want to offend any non-Christians who wanted to buy my house.

Apparently, people are offended by colors. Every room that had anything other than a neutral (think beige or eggshell) color scheme needed to be repainted. Thankfully, the light blue and pale turquoise of my office and living room weren’t deemed overwhelming.

The dining room, half bathroom, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom and family room weren’t quite as fortunate. Strip the wallpaper from every wall, she advised. She gave the boys’ bathroom a “pass” because it would probably by a kids’ bathroom so my fishy aquarium theme wouldn’t be too personalized.

Plain walls in the kitchen are preferrable
Plain walls in the kitchen are preferable

Every photograph needed to be removed. “Hallways seem larger with nothing on the wall anyway,” she informed me. Great. About 85 percent of the things hanging on my wall were pictures of family and friends. In the end, my dining room is so naked I feel like handing it an oversized towel to hide its embarrassment.

If you’re looking for boxes to pack all your “sentimental items” away from prospective buyers, I can help you find them. Moving and storage companies have boxes, sealing tape and packing wrap – for a price. Even Walmart carries a few collapsed cardboard crates that are either too small for anything but books or too large for all but clothes or linens.

How many towels do you own? I sold at least ten at my garage sale. I pulled another half-dozen out of my hall closet to toss in the

That color and wallpaper border had to go
That color and wallpaper border had to go

garbage. Another dozen came from my master bathroom and the main bathroom; most were in fair condition and will probably net a quarter each at the next garage sale.

After checking on prices of storage units ($90 per month for a 10×10), my husband decided to exile my car to the outdoors. The twelve moving crates I packed full of pictures, photographs, books, clothes, towels and nick-knacks have usurped the garage. They aren’t alone. The tables, lamps and other furniture deemed unworthy of the stage that doubles as my home join them. Of course, my oldest son’s apartment worth of furnishings was already out there.

There is no yellow brick road that leads to the sold sign we desire. Only a paint fume filled path where dust bunnies whisper, “Painting and packing and storage, oh my!”

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.