Home Sale Update: De-Personalizing The House

Apr 30

It’s been a brutal and exhausting couple days. For. Real.

No truer words than the coined….”Is it Friday yet?”.

Except I don’t want it to be Friday because a POD is being dropped in my driveway at some point on Thursday to deal with this mess…

My poor organized and pretty garage!

I also don’t want it to be Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday or any day next week because it’s a literal snowball of shit from here moving forward.

Oh – how about the phrase “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”….that works.

I don’t know…maybe there is something to be said about the home staging process. It definitely rips the band-aid off any personal feels you have for your home.


These last few days leading up to the house hitting mls is a whirlwind. I was not expecting this. At all. And this isn’t the first home I’ve sold remember. This is #4.

Between Monday’s insane schedule with 10-12 people in my house either working, asking me questions, distracting me, driving into the driveway and not knowing how to park (or how to get out or go in reverse up the driveway without hitting an in-ground light), trying to have idle chatter (just spit it out please!)…and even when people left they were texting or calling me.

I should have been decluttering a client’s closet on Monday. But Sunday night I realized I was going to have to reschedule her. No way would I have been ready for the stagers on Tuesday if my own house wasn’t decluttered and ready for their team to arrive.

(After today, I am so glad I made that spur of the moment call. Today would not have happened…we would not be where we are had I been working for someone else on Monday.)

On Monday, my 2 right hand organizers instead came to my rescue. We worked side by side from one end of the house to the other. We removed the furniture the stagers didn’t want, removed all personal items, boxed up photos, threw away trash, sorted out donations…thank God I was pms’ing because it kept me more irritated than emotional…which meant I wasn’t crying. Win.

Seriously though, Monday was brutal. Taking down photos of the kids, my family, special memories in my office, artwork from the playroom, making decisions about item after item…part of the process was incredibly freeing. Many items I had been wanting to part with forever are now gone or in the junk pile to be hauled away this weekend.

Thankfully I had 2 partners here to push me through. We worked hard from 9am – literal carpool time…2:40. Our last stop was dropping a carload of items off at my ex-husband’s house. Was an awesome feeling to get that energy completely out of here and out my space / eyesight. He wasn’t home – we left them in his garage.

Anyway, Monday was a total brain fry. I was physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted that night. I army crawled up my stairs to the bathroom for a long bath…dried off, put on some serious eye creams, and crawled my way to bed.

I was a mess. My feet are killing me.

Today – Tuesday – whoa.

I woke up to a sick little girl. She has a cold so turned out I was going to have an extra partner in crime today. However, issue was I had to be out of the house most of the day.

On the docket today?…

  • the old master bathroom shower was being refinished
  • final landscaping projects begin
  • handymen were back to work on patching holes, painting, moving items around
  • home stagers were here from 10am – 4pm
  • exterior fixes were happening – eave repairs
  • photographer coming at 3 or 4 to snap some pre-marketing photos

Basically another day in hell…and another day of people trying to drive up my driveway and losing their mind because there was no room for them…and then they didn’t know how to get out or go in reverse. Ha!

I knew a lot of this was happening today – as you know I’m organized and on a schedule. I had an appointment at TCS to design a few client spaces and pick up organization staging items for my house. Planned for the rest of my day to involve gym time, maybe coffee alone in a coffee shop while blogging or catching up on emails / client projects. Surprise – I had a daughter in tow…with a cold. She was a trooper and came along to TCS for the appointment – found her way around the store fine and enjoyed scoping little things she wanted. 🙂

We went to lunch at Nordstrom, grabbed a few things she needed and then treated myself to a new pair of tennis shoes (on sale and with a Nordstrom note)…did I already mention my feet hurt? Here they are…in my newly staged closet…

( shoes )

They were a gift to me for ALL of this HARD work I’ve been putting into this home for the sale. Excited to wear them tomorrow!…New day.

The calls were coming in constantly, but I silenced my phone to enjoy the day with Natalie. Before heading home, we went to our favorite grocery store, planned a fun dinner, picked up my 14 year old early, picked up my middle guy and then headed home to see the house…which was suddenly VERY MUCH not our home anymore.

I wasn’t expecting such a drastic change.

But I can say they definitely nailed the de-personalization factor…this house is nearly there in terms of looking like no one lives here. Once my pod is loaded and leaves the house Saturday, it will really appear that way. I’ll bring you along of course to see how the garage unfolds, etc. That is essentially the last space to really remove the personal feelings.

Ready for some sneak peeks??? Get comfortable…

My new porch light is in!…

Entry table…

Here’s your first glimpse at my new counters…

You can see the leveled counter here…

My living room…

Heading the other direction toward the playroom, you can see the space here where the bar used to sit…

I’ll share more exterior shots soon but they moved my PB sectional from the patio to the backyard…they put 2 chairs in its place…

Sectional is now outside the living room french doors…

Pretty dramatic change in my master suite upstairs. They love my home office and didn’t touch it (thankfully!) but the master bedroom is a dramatic change…

My sweet friend let me have her bed and side tables for staging the house. I don’t think I’ll keep it but it is kinda growing on me. So pretty and feminine.

Sitting area across from my bed…

Other bedrooms…the 5th bedroom, which is now a real guest room…

Natalie’s room…

Graham’s room…

Aiden’s room…

Crazy, huh?

What a difference.

I wasn’t expecting to be exposed to these feelings so soon in the process. I’ve mainly been thinking about how I’ll feel with people walking through my house, looking at the space and then figuring out how I’ll manage the emotions of the feedback or low-ball offers or negative commentary. You know? I wasn’t expecting to feel like this already isn’t my house.

I don’t know. It’s a lot – I’m all over the place.

The rest of the week is equally nuts…but wanted to take a moment to check in and share these images. Certainly hope you guys are having a much better week than this girl.

Back soon with more!



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  1. Maggie says:

    Oh my, this must be so hard for you! Even without all the feelings it would have been a lot to deal with. Wishing you all the strength you need. Once it’s all over it will be a new start for you and your kids and that will be great.
    I can relate to the feeling after depersonalizing your home. We sold our home in the Netherlands to move to the Caribbean, which is all our own choice. But I was homesick on the island in November and when we got back into the staged house for the holidays in December, I started crying, because it didn’t feel ilke home at all. When we really had to leave the house in March though, I had already worked through all that and that final goodbye was rather easy.

    • Samantha says:

      Yes, it is so hard – trying to keep it together! And thank you for the thoughts and strength – I am going to need it. Especially when people start coming through the house to see it. Ugh! Not going to be fun.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story – means so much to receive these awesome, supportive comments!


  2. gee dodds says:

    Your home is looking magnificent – the new owners will be very lucky to live in a house that has received such love and thoughtful care! X

  3. Jessica says:

    Rip the bandage off, Sam! It must be so draining to be so busy with an unpleasant task. Hang in there!

  4. Lisa Marie says:

    Hi Sam! Your strength and focus is so admirabble
    I would recommend you Sage the home your bedroom and the kids rooms after your open house. You will feel better and negate all old energy and what people bring to your home…
    Blessings Lisa

    • Samantha says:

      Awe thank you, Lisa! So sweet!

      Such a great idea! My friend already gave me a sage stick thing…so maybe that will be a good opportunity to use it!!


  5. Lori Meneghetti says:

    Well this all sucks☹️. I’m sorry you’re going through all this. Wish I was there to help you…I’m a great organizer. I think if I were you, I might have to go to the neighbor’s house during the open house. I just wouldnt want to be asked anything or hear any negativity. Good luck to you and your kids. When God closes a door……..????

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Lori – it does suck. Truly. Am really trying to make the best of it and stay positive. Hard to do…but what challenges us makes us stronger, right?

      In a turn of events this morning my agent asked that I not be at the preview open house today. She was worried I might hear negative feedback and be upset about it. Little sad to not be there….but. Ah well. I will definitely NOT be here for all upcoming open houses.

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment!!


  6. hrhpenny says:

    I read your blog with tears in my eyes! If I had the money I would buy your house. I have loved it from the first time I saw it — so many memories, so much fun with family and friends! You are amazing and awesome and I am so blessed that you are my child. I wish you a very happy birthday on the 20th and I wish I could celebrate with you. I know you are overwhelmed so we will celebrate on Aiden’s graduation day. So proud of him and you! I love you to the moon and back! Love and hugs, your devoted mom!

  7. sindee says:

    What color did you paint the interior of your house.

    • Samantha says:

      There’s a variety of paint colors…but you can find them all by searching “interior paint colors” in the search section on the blog sidebar 🙂


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