As I've mentioned, my son has moved to Seattle. However, he has a house to sell here, so while he's been working in Seattle, his wife and I have spent hours cleaning, painting and staging it to sell. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it, in part because unlike, say, writing, when you're done a project like that, you know you're done. I'm rarely sure I'm "done" with a writing project.
A couple of observations from my recent home decorating/prepping experience:
On the advice of the realtor, Bride wanted to paint the kitchen cupboards. I confess I was sceptical. I thought it would be a huge task and might turn out looking, well, like a couple of amateurs had done it. But they turned out great, in no small part, I'm sure, because of the paint Bride chose - Behr's Paint and Primer in One. It went on really well and there was absolutely no odor! When you're doing twenty-three (!!) cupboard doors, plus trim, those two qualities make a huge difference.
I discovered a great product for cleaning hardwood floors - Eco Mist Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner. It's unscented, non-toxic, non-allergenic, and made with plant-based ingredients. And it, too, worked like a dream.
My cleaning lady (believe me, I know how fortunate I am to have this luxury) gave me a secret weapon - a product to clean chrome and porcelain she uses that she gets at a janitorial supply store. It made the bathrooms sparkle.
Best of all, our hard work paid off. The realtor, bless his heart, came by on one of the first cleaning days. You know how your bedroom looks when you decide to clean out your closet and you start by taking everything out? That's what the house looked like, because Bride was also de-cluttering. He didn't say anything, but I gather the look on his face said, "Bride thinks this is going to be ready in four days????"
However, when he arrived after we had finished, he was apparently rendered speechless. We got everything done and then some (Bride had even restained the grout in the kitchen). Never estimate the power of two determined women!
I only wish we had before-and-after pictures, but alas, we didn't think to take any. We were too busy working!