Desire, Discipline and Determination.
The Three D’s of Success according to somebody who likes to put large groups of people in conference halls to motivate them to reach life goals. Last summer I channeled those three intentions to galvanize the biggest downsize we’ve ever grappled. My first choice was to have applied The Four M’s: Motivation, Money and More Money (to get people to do my bidding) but I was lacking the last three M‘s so I went with the D‘s.
We’ve moved 5 times in our happy union 0f twenty years. Each relocation afforded the great opportunity to offload a bunch of unwanted junk that accumulated the instant we got keys to the new place. Isn’t it funny how something so darling and invaluable becomes a piece of crap when you might have to transport it from one locale to another?
The inspirations for this move were multifactorial but the driving force was the rapid approach of our Impending Empty Nest. I thought I was prepared for every next phase my sons grew into but that notion caught me off guard. The arrival of college catalogues and brochures for our youngest son screamed we were soon going to be just two people rattling around in a very large, lonely house. I dreaded the emptiness and began missing our old apartment.
Then a buzz began to trickle in about a preference for smaller more efficient, less expensive houses. Big houses are Out. Small, energy efficient houses are In. America was going Economy. How on earth were we going to sell a 12 room, 3 story house if every news broadcaster kept reminding their viewing public that they wanted to move into smaller homes?
I began a ceaseless yammering of those facts and gloomy predictions to mobilize our plan to put the house on the market in early spring. You see, I was sure I had all this under control and began even predicting with absolute certainty that it would take the entire summer to sell. Why? “BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN FAMILIES WITH MANY CHILDREN BEGIN LOOKING AROUND FOR BIG HOUSEs, THAT’S WHY!” Dear God, how does my husband put up with me?
Here is my advice for selling your house after all this fun escapade: don’t put it on the market unless you’re ready to move.
Reality slap: Houses are selling fast around here–big, small, you name it. Somehow I completely ignored any reports and articles about how the market has been depressed because there simply weren’t many houses for SALE! Now that prices are inching up again, sales are recovering, but the sluggishness is due to the lack of houses to sell. The past few months have shown a sharp decrease in the amount of time a house for sale spends on the market–from about 3 months to a little under 3 days.
And that was where I didn’t exactly have true insight because our house sold right after it went onto the market. AWESOME!!!! High fives all around!!! Yay for us!!! Then came the dawning realization that we weren’t going to be sitting on a huge house that won’t sell, we had about 4 weeks empty it and clear out. Hey, high five me–don’t leave me hanging…. Oh yes, there was a second little chink in the armor: the beloved apartment I missed so much had tenants with a lease signed through June first. Awwwesome, yeeahhh, um, just frigging awesome.
No worries, we had a Plan B which was more like Plan Z because I never thought we’d resort to it: Move into the finished basement of our apartment, which was essentially to move from 12 rooms down to 2.
Those Three D’s kicked into high gear. There is no motivator like a time limit to give me major Desire, Discipline and Determination to unload every bit of junky furniture, family cast-offs, piles of clothes I think I might be able to squeeze into again. We started selling on Ebay and donated or trashed every piece of clutter that was at one time a great thing to fill up empty rooms. Limited space and a time crunch makes a person a sharp judge of what’s worthy and what isn’t. In the aftermath of how much we unloaded, I am astounded at what made the “worthy” cut when space was abundant.
It’s really quite liberating to be unburdened of stuff. I think it’s what keeps us sane in the cozy accommodations we’ve been living for the past five weeks.