Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It won't heppen overnight but it wull heppen.

Multi-tasking whilst starkers can be a bit of a challenge and a rather thrilling (yet private) way to 'live life on the edge' when such a thing is needed. And thrills of any kind are definitely needed when trying to sell a house that you still live in.

Take this morning for instance. Waiting for the conditioner to work its magic, I grabbed the scourer and bent down to have a good clean of the shower's floor tiles, hoping that no stray Jif was going to find its way up my party pooper or towards the still-oozing injury under my left boob.

As Seinfeld once noted, no-one looks good crouching in the nude and judging from the reflection in our now always-clear glass shower screen, no-one looks good bent over vigorously scrubbing either. I saw moore jiggling and swaying than all the navy sailors' hammocks on the good ship Trafalgar.

Even clothed, the multi-tasking continues to an almost obsessive compulsive level. Holding the electric toothbrush firmly in my cakehole with my left hand the right is carefully wiping down the stray gobs of paste and spit that dot the mirrors and re-aligning the towels on the chrome rack to make sure they're all at right angles.

All dirty clothes are immediately placed into the washing machine or hidden, neatly folded, at the bottom of the wardrobe and the every day flotsam and jetsam of bills, car keys, partially-useful junk mail, rubber bands and two dollar coins are placed inside one of three small cane baskets shaped like ducks.
The bed is made with hospital corners and the quilt cover is more tightly pulled than Madonna - all ready and waiting for that much-dreamed of impromptu inspection by a buyer with long arms, short pockets and an ability to fall in love with a home whose toilet directly looks out towards the front door.

Even my beloved laptop is now closed down instead of merely on 'hibernate' and folded up underneath the desktop; out of sight and with no suggestion of needless clutter. Milly's bed is carelessly flung into the shed despite her puzzled, limpid-eyed appeals and the rabbit's hutch is taken from under the pergola (too many stray 'bunny beans' to sweep up) and artfully placed under the bottle brush tree with additional shade provided by an old golf umbrella.

Doing any form of 'real' writing has been impossible when, out of the corner of my twitching eye, I can see fluff bunnies lurking by the skirting boards (but I only vacuumed yesterday), finger prints on the coffee table and a film of dust on the telly screen.
"But Kath, buyers aren't noticing that sort of thing, they're looking at the room sizes and hoping that 1976 mission brown and burnt orange isn't your internal colour scheme," is what I've heard too many times. Maybe yes and maybe no - it's also important to keep everything clean because it is the grime that they do notice that reminds them, "Oh, there's leaves everywhere: clearly this garden is hard work," or, "Hmmm, by taking out the carpets and polishing the floorboards, they now have a three inch gap under their doors that cats can limbo dance under and the wind can blow McDonald's thickshake containers through," or, perhaps even more worryingly, "Is it just their shoes under the bed or does this house smell like wet flatulent dog?"

And I'm not alone in this kind of fanatical fetish - a friend in Melbourne tells me that she hid the dry cat food bowl in the dishwasher before every Open House and another mate admitted to spraying rose toilet spray on her flowers in order to make them more authentic and cottage gardeny. We (blush blush) are using our clothes dryer because the trampoline is wedged up under our outside clothesline to hide it and not interrupt the space and lines of our lawn. As such, what isn't allowed in the dryer is pegged onto two tiny clotheshorses ferreted down the side of the house by the taps and fuse box.

Most of us know that there's no point shoving all the unattractive clutter into cupboards because the bloody buyers open them up as they walk through each room: "Oh, so that's where they've hidden the second couch and the breeding parrot aviary." Our plumber told me that he turns on every tap to see how they work and another veteran investor literally shifts stuff like shelves, bed heads and dodgy art works to check for hidden cracks.

Crikey. At least most of those are on my face and not on our walls.


franzy said...

I'll take your house off your hands, Kath.
Do you accept good character?

Catherine said...

Where did you find that fabulous picture. I know someone who might be in need of a new wife and this could well just be his dream woman!

squib said...

There's nothing more stressful than living in a heightened state of limbo like that (sorry didn't mean to remind you about the doors)

Kath Lockett said...

Franzy I do accept good character. With a large, non-bounceable cheque.

Catherine, apparently 'Fifi' charges very affordable rates and her laundry bills are very low.

Thanks Squib :)

franzy said...

Right then. No bouncing. It will just flutter safely to the ground and stay there. With the other dry, summer leaves ...

River said...

I hope you find a buyer soon. Maintaining super high standards for such a long time is very wearing. Nerve-wracking even.

Helen said...

Wow, I think if I ever buy a house I'm going to have to live with the fact that I will never ever sell it! I can't imagine keeping everything clutter-free for more than about an hour!

Homo J. Sapien said...

I love inspecting stranger's houses. It always makes you feel better about your own taste. Hmmm, nice house, but the first thing i'd do is rip out the lime green and pine kitchen and make the place look less like a 1970's casino.

Baino said...

I can do hospital corners, clutter and general tidiness but if anyone opened my wardrobe they'd risk an injury from falling objects! I don't envy you one bit! Fingers crossed the perfect buyer is on your doorstep soon!