Cleanliness is Next to Craziness

I've done everything within my power and budget that my realtor asked of me – except hide the coffee maker. I just can't live without it handy and accessible.

I’ve done everything within my power and budget that my realtor asked of me – except hide the coffee maker. I just can’t live without it handy and accessible.

I had two showings tonight, there’s one tomorrow and one on Sunday, along with a two-hour open house. While I am eager to sell my house so that I can buy another, I’m more eager not to have to keep this one looking (as much as possible) as if no one actually lives here. I know many people have to do this for months on end. I also know that I will not be able to survive this for months on end with my sanity intact.

Here’s the crazy-making top-10 list:

1. Having to wipe down the entire shower, including the floor, every morning. God forbid a drop of water would make someone realize that the person who lives here has the temerity to bathe.

2. Getting rid of the hand towels that usually hang on a magnet on the refrigerator door.

3. Keeping the paper towels, dish sponge, hand soap, dish soap etc. hidden away under the sink. It is particularly vexing after having washed the dishes to find that one has nothing on which to dry one’s hands, because of 2. and because one was too forgetful to pull the paper towels out from under the sink along with the dish sponge and soap.

4. Having to constantly wipe the soapy fingerprints off the handle to the cabinet under the sink because of 3…which again requires the towels inside.

5. Keeping the kitchen counters free of absolutely all things. (I balked at hiding away the coffee maker. That’s a bridge far too far.)

6. Having to hide the two boxes of litter (one for the first floor box and one for the second floor box). I get this; it’s bad enough that a viewer has to see litter boxes (and for obvious reasons, the litter boxes simply have to stay). So when I clean the litter boxes (which right now is twice or three times a day) and top them off, I have to haul the litter from hiding places in other rooms, which inevitably results in litter spills from hiding place to litter box.

7. Vacuuming constantly due to 6. (And cat hair)

8. Making the beds to high-end hotel standards every morning…then smoothing out kitty footprints in an OCD-like manner just before skedaddling (all the while knowing they’ll jump right back on as soon as I’m gone).

9. Making sure the flower vase on the mantel is full of fresh blooms, artfully arranged. (Which are then immediately dis-arranged by Miss Viola.)

10. Coming home after a showing to discover that, while in general the house looks pretty darn nice, one of the cats has hacked up a gargantuan hairball in the middle of the living room floor. Please let that have happened after the viewers left.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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9 Responses to Cleanliness is Next to Craziness

  1. Patrick says:

    Here’s an idea for you: Bury St. Joeseph upside down in the front yard. ( See details here: ) Get out of the house. Head on down to Barnesville, GA. Do a story for the magazine about a bunch of talanted knuckleheads making a bunch of copies of a French bench. No house worries and maybe it will sell while you are away. (Don’t forget to dig hm up when it sells.)

    • fitz says:

      I wish! I did just have a lovely dinner with Jeff Miller, who is on his way to Georgia; I’m afraid that’s as close as I’m going to get.

  2. You’re a much more dedicated seller than most people. You should sell fast

  3. bsrlee says:

    Ah, your realtor is not OCD enough. My former neighbours had an ‘expert’ through, and she demanded that all the books be arranged by colo(u)r and size, not by subject, title, author or any other sane method known to library science. Take a look through a few furniture or home catalogs/magazines and you will see it is popular.

    Or did you forget to mention that one……….

  4. Frank says:

    Love it, going through the same thing, remember all has to be clean, all in order and no smells, have cats also, know all about litter box problems. Yes the OCD seller syndrome its not only you…

  5. joemcglynn says:

    I hate trying to sell anything, a house is like a worst-case scenario. I hope it sells fast and you can move into a house with a spectacular shop!

  6. Gerald Jones says:

    Just maybe….. Your trying to hard with the OCD cleaning. RELAX a little and if things aren’t perfect…..Well,….. screw it. It will sell if it’s clean or NOT… eventually

  7. Mark says:

    I blame the realtors, those tv house hunting shows and a gullable public for buying into the unreality that a home is a spotless place where everything is organized and in its place. The only people I know who live like that are generally known by all to be otherwise nutz.

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