After our twins were born, we threw around the idea of passively, maybe, possibly looking for a new house. At the time, my mother was living with us and was proving to be a bit of a disgruntled roommate.
We started wishlisting what this new house would entail: an in-law suite (priority), a big enough office space for the two of us to share, a bigger kitchen with an island instead of a breakfast nook, etc.
Then my mom decided to move out. Then the girls turned two and started pushing the boundaries of our living space. Then the pandemic came and house-bound all of us. Then the market started exploding with all of these available houses?! (WTF)
We’ve lived in our home for 7 years now, and we’ve upgraded/remodeled/touched up every (reasonable) space of this investment. What was the real tipping point besides all of the above? The kitchen.
The kitchen is due for its first actual remodel, and that’s not something we want to take on in a home where our time is limited. I’d rather save our time, effort, and cash for customizing our next (I’m not going to say forever) home.
So after the back and forth and dates and Zillow-stalking, I’ve started “Moving Phase 1”. What does this entail?
Decluttering, as if it wasn’t already a pandemic thing. I think I’d already done a pretty good job of letting things not pile up. I do declutter seasonally, but this is like a ruthless editor with a red pen. We went through the basement last weekend and probably donated/trashed/consolidated until we had at least 7 empty Rubbermaid totes, and a space big enough for the girls to roller skate in, if they were actually coordinated enough to skate. I went through the fridge, pantry, dining room, hall closets and Christmas decorations. Next are guest room closets and the Master suite. All of the extra basement furniture is in a temporary storage unit.
Fixing odds and ends. We’ve laid sod in our backyard, trimmed back all of the trees on property, replaced air registers and bathroom vents, changed out chandeliers and ceiling fans. All little details to update the space and make it look a bit more uniform and polished.
Depersonalizing. This I got from one of the 10 home design emails I get everyday. When staging your home, you want the space to look inviting but not like you. The next homeowner needs to be able to see themselves living there, so pictures, personal collections, pet and kid stuff all has to be out of sight.
The plan is to contact a realtor and figure out financing by February, setting us up for a move in May. Fingers crossed it won’t take six months like finding this house.
In true Passion Planner fashion, I’ve kept a month-by-month checklist on my phone to track Phase 1 progress
After we closed on our home, I bought our kitchen table on eBay. The table’s former owner (who was also a UF alum) was redecorating his home and he gave us some pretty good advice. He said, “You’re home is never really ‘done’, and by the time you think it’s done, it’ll be time to move again.”
Now, I don’t feel the rush to buy furniture or art or hang curtains in rooms we don’t go into. But thanks to Pinterest, I have some pretty solid ideas for the next couple years.
We have a two-car garage on the side of the house that has no windows. It’s a flat, three story wall with aged paint siding. I am planning on painting the exterior white (eventually) and adding this arbor. It should break up the space and give it a little color.
Our front porch is pretty plain, just brick stairs and some outdoor lanterns. I’d love to build out a little portico with columns. It should give the front brickwork a little more character and make our house NOT look like the scary house on the corner in the winter.
Almost all of our first floor windows are floor to ceiling. While this lets in so much light, it limits our usable space, especially in our breakfast nook. I’d like to change out our tall bay windows for normal sized bay windows, allowing for a banquette.
It’s not the first time I’ve talked about getting new furniture. If only our current couch wasn’t so nice to nap on. I love the shape of this couch and the fact that it isn’t overstuffed. Our living room is narrow, so big Hemingway furniture can be too bulky. I wouldn’t get rid of our furniture set. It gives Troy hope for a man cave later on in life.
Lastly, this photo looks exactly like our guest bedroom, minus the headboard and comfy linens. While the guest rooms are perpetually “coming along”, one is in desperate need of a headboard. It’s hard to justify buying stuff for a room that rarely gets used. That is until the family visits…later this month…. But that is a blog post for another day.
If you happen to be on Pinterest (instead of working), check out my home board.