ASCP Old White
House for sale, kitchens, Moving, Painting

I love how Chalk Paint transformed my kitchen!

Been a bit busy for the past few months. We have been wanting to sell our home and move west of the Mississippi for quite a number of years. FINALLY everything seemed to be coming together to allow us to take the leap and make the change.

But first, I had to sell my townhouse. Whoa. When you’ve owned a home for more than a dozen years, and that includes some years with renters living in it, sometimes you just accept things as they are. Until you put on the eyes of a new buyer. Get out the wallet! Money is going to disappear faster than you will believe.

We were fortunate to have gotten a tax refund and that was my budget. I didn’t want us to spend any additional money on sprucing things up…not only am I the Fix It Diva, I am the Frugal Diva as well. Our kitchen cabinets were the biggest concern: 1984 builder grade cabinets…blech…with the same year laminate countertops that were “supposed” to look like butcher block. Oh my!

I had a few contractors come in and not one of them gave me a quote for under $20,000…cough, choke, gag…are you kidding me? I had already upgraded my appliances to stainless steel – what in the WORLD would cost that much? Most of that cost was labor…and cost for upgrades needed to electrical panel. You see, in good ole Virginia, if a contractor touches your kitchen, then the electrical has to be upgraded…automatically. And that meant more breakers needed than what was in my panel already…and that meant heavy up and a subpanel box created. The electrical work alone was going to be $5,000.

Ok, so what if I do the work myself? I did lots of research and found some great cabinets at a great price. Check! Then I priced out countertops and new flooring (the floors were atrocious…so ugly it was sinful to look at them). Even with doing the work myself, it was way over my budget.

Grrrr. So instead of replacing the cabinets, I decided to paint them. Now let me state that I do NOT like painted cabinets. They are uber shiny and look so “fake”. Usually folks paint them white (I don’t like white cabinets – feel like I’m in a hospital). I did some pinterest searching and kept seeing people with pictures of their painted cabinets. Didn’t like most of what I found until I stumbled upon Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The pictures of the cabinets (and other objects) painted with ASCP were amazing. Ok. This might work.

Next I went to good ole YouTube. Man I love technology. I watched dozens of videos of people painting their own items with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Could it really be that easy? I took the plunge…no not on my cabinets but on a salvaged nighstand my sister and I picked up at a local thrift store. I was able to buy locally some paint (Duck Egg blue) and within a few hours, this HIDEOUS nightstand transformed into an adorable nightstand! We picked out some white knobs and some red/white drawer liner paper (my sister has such good taste :). POP!! Wow!

I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get started on the cabinets!

Because our kitchen was in use during the process (breakfast in the mornings and dinner in the evenings), it took me longer than expected – almost 4 weeks – to paint 22 doors and 16 cabinets. What a difference the paint made! The laminate countertop actually looked perfect for the cabinet color (Old White – which really isn’t white but more of a creamy pale manila folder color). We invested money in a new floor, new hardware, new faucet, new light fixture and our kitchen turned out adorable!

I wanted to paint more pieces of furniture but we had to pack and move quickly – our house sold within 48 hours of being on the market. I will begin painting again once we have fully settled into our new apartment…no piece of furniture is safe 🙂

If you are considering painting furniture or kitchen cabinets, please don’t hesitate to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. There’s a Facebook group you can join where folks, like me, post their work and ask questions. It’s a great worldwide community.

Happy painting!

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Decluttering, House for sale, kids, Organizing

Prepping your kids room before listing your house for sale

Prepping your kids room before listing your house for sale:

One of the many challenges with listing a home for sale when you have small children at home is “what do I do with all the toys?”  A related challenge is “how do I show my house when there are toys everywhere?”

As part of prepping your house for listing for sale, you will need to tackle the somewhat daunting task of toys – deciding which toys can be donated or sold and which toys can be discarded.

For toys that you want to hang on to and keep for DURING your house listing, the rule of thumb is to have toys in only one room – your child’s bedroom. This can be impossible if more than one child shares a bedroom and that bedroom is small. When this occurs, I recommend you designate a room elsewhere in the house (and preferably not on the main level where your entrance is located) as a “play room”. This might be just an area for the toys to reside in as part of a family room or guest room.

For toys you are going to sell, be prepared to take pictures and list immediately on either Craigslist or FB yard sale groups while you are sorting through them. Set a deadline for when the toy will be sold – for example, list the toy and give it 5 days. If it hasn’t sold, donate it. Otherwise you will not be clearing out space but instead will be in a holding pattern to make a sale…forward movement is what you want to maintain so you don’t get stuck.

After sorting and purging of toys, then come up with storage solutions for the toys remaining in the house. Don’t purchase any organizing containers until after the sorting and purging is finished. If there are more toys that you want to hold on to for AFTER the sale, but need to “hide” while your house is on the market, consider using plastic storage tubs (with labels on outside) and either storing the tubs in the attic or renting a storage unit while your home is listed. (Personal tip: I have utilized storage units while showing my home for sale. I rented an interior unit in a temperature maintained facility and rented the smallest unit/closet. If I had too many things to fit in there, then I had to do more purging. I also utilized plastic shelving units that I assembled and put into the storage unit so that I could stack tubs/items higher within the unit.)

Remember, potential buyers are going to know you have kids – that’s okay. What you don’t want to do is distract them with too many things or with a mess. When a potential buyer walks into your home, the first thing they notice will set the tone – if this is a pile of toys in the main entrance area; it will off put the buyer. This is why the toys should be removed from the main level if at all possible. You want a buyer to get a good feel for your home on the main level so that when they do see your child’s toys and room, it’s not the first room/sight they see.

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