In a move to downsize, my husband and I have put our home of 14 years on the market. As an interior designer, I knew what to do to de-clutter and attract the right clients, so when the realtor brought along a professional home stager, I figured, “No problem. A couple of tweaks here and there and we're done, WRONG!
We get so used to all the things around us that hold our fondest memories, that we look right past them. They had to go. I admit it was a big deal to let go of those mementos so that strangers could walk through our home. Letting go of family pictures, books, art, even food items was like saying goodbye to family members. I now realize that I've kept some things because they helped fill a void. As empty nesters (with an occasional boomerang adult child temporarily living with us), we've felt the comfort of having our children's "things" with us as substitutes for them being with us.
The home stager was kind, but ruthless in telling us what should be put in storage and what could stay while showing our house to potential buyers. She even offered to help me pack for a small fee. And though I turned her down, it might have been less painful.
Who knew that emptying a curio would bring tears to my eyes? For instance, packing my angel collection brought sentimental thoughts of the gift giver or the vacation when I made the purchase. Taking down art pieces to my "designer's gallery" wall was like painfully moving me out of my home before actually selling it.
As I sit in my home now, I can think about the future more clearly. The anticipation of what could be in my husband's and my future is exciting. I am being forced to let go. It is time for the next family to make memories here.
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