Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Merry Maid

While I'm waiting on hold at Old Navy customer service to ask them why my 30% off code won't work....

I have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, fixing, repairing, packing, and cleaning like a mad woman the last 8-9 days, ever since I realized I needed to get my house ready for viewing. Let me share one of my observations with you:

I have become a victim of Mess Blindness. This occurs when you have a certain mess or item in disrepair in your house and you no longer see it. It's like it doesn't even exist. At first you notice it all the time. It bugs you whenever you pass it. But you know it is going to take more time than you have to clean/fix/deal with it, so you keep putting it off. Soon you forget about it more often than you remember it. In fact, usually you don't notice it much at all until your spouse points it out and asks when you're going to get to it. But you still don't have quite the time it will take, so you put it off some more. After a while, you only notice it when you are expecting guests. And you think, "I should have cleaned/repaired/dealt with that. But I can't do it now. I've got a whole house to clean! So I'll just ignore it/cover it up with something/stuff it in a drawer." Finally, you don't notice it at all. That is when you can be sure you have full-fledged Mess Blindness.

But don't worry. There is a cure. Decide to put your house up for sale and suddenly Mess Blindness will go into full remission and you will see ALL of these things anew. Those chips in the moldings and woodwork? They will stand out like sparklers on the Fourth of July. That hole you cut in the drywall to see what was behind it (two years ago, ahem)? It will look like the Grand Canyon. The worn paint and perma-dirt on the stairs to the basement? They will suddenly pop out at you like a Jackson Pollock painting. Everything you forgot to notice and pushed out of your mind for the last 8 years in your house will suddenly be very apparent and, unfortunately, completely unavoidable, unignorable, unpushawayable.

The one upside? When you are done spackling, painting, scrubbing, bleaching, packing, sorting, caulking, regrouting, dusting, sanding, storing, and polishing all the things you ignored under the influence of Mess Blindness, you will find that you suddenly like your house...A LOT. Not enough to stay! No, let's not get crazy here. But enough that you can invite strangers into your house without fear of what they might see that you don't. Call it the gift that follows the disease.

I'm so glad I'm finally cured. The treatment was painful, but, yes, worth it.

Now...nobody touch a thing!

7 comments:

Tiffany said...

You are so right. And also? "Unpushawayable" is my new favorite word.

rae said...

This post made me miss my mom (our home-improvement guru) SO MUCH! We have a running joke in our family (which moved many times while I was growing up) that no house is ever "done" until the day we move out of it!

Hope you sell quickly! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures.

just call me jo said...

So true! I love your imagery. Having sold a house a little over a year ago, I know the symptoms. Good luck with every showing. Please keep us posted. I want pics of the new place too.

Charlie said...

Good luck with all the cleaning! And the moving!

I also have suffered from mess blindness, and yes, it took a move to cure it. :O

Mia said...

And this is why I may never move! I would much rather not see all that stuff that needs to be cleaned/put away/repaired... Good luck with selling the house! Can't wait to hear about the new place.

Mrs. Organic said...

Just you mentioning Mess Blindness has snapped me out of my haze. Crap! there's a lot of work to be done around here.

L. said...

That was a TERRIFIC BLOG! Insightful and funny. You should submit it to the Herald or a magazine. SO TRUE!!!