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Getting the momentum going

February 14th, 2013 at 03:29 pm

I wrote a long post a few days ago that went into the nether world as soon as I pushed the "Save and Publish" button.

Anyway, this last snowstorm really solidified my determination to sell this house, something I've been talking about for a while but haven't done much to prepare for.

I'm thinking next spring would be a good time to do it. I'm just getting too old for all the snow shoveling, climbing extension ladders and getting on a roof to shovel snow as well. And I'm too cheap to pay someone, I guess.

The thought of all that would need to be done around here to get the house in shape is truly overwhelming. It's all on me. Sigh.

To try to build some sort of momentum, I did, over the course of a few days, build a punch list of things that need fixing. I think I have close to 50 items. Some are very simple; some are more involved.

Then I recently learned that my friend M. is no longer working the contract job he had and is looking for work. He's helped his dad with a lot of handyman stuff on some rental units they have, and I suggested to him that he help me with my list. He could use some extra cash, I'm sure. However, I'm not sure that he's super reliable, so if he doesn't step up to the plate, my neighbors behind me who are putting their house on the market next month are using a really great handyman pretty much round the clock. I could also call him after March, I think. He charges $25/hr, which I guess is "reasonable" for handyman work and odd jobs.

Some of the things I can do myself but I've procrastinated on many for a long time becus I don't really enjoy doing them, mainly becus I'm not terribly skilled and often reach a point where I say Now what? or otherwise don't know what to do.

I'd like to try to do at least one item from the punch list each week; with roughly a year before I put the house on the market, that would give me about 52 weeks to get everything done, and as I said, I have just about 50 items on the list.

I'm still not really sure where I would go, but I would want to stay in the area. I'm leaning toward a small 2-bedroom condo rather than a ranch house.

One more day in the long slog of work at the p/t job. One thing I have really learned these last few years of scrounging for work is that just because a job is lower paying, doesn't mean it's proportionately easier to do. In fact, the last 2 p/t jobs I've had are probably more demanding than my usual line of work, which pays so much better.

What is so depressing is that I bust my butt at this p/t job and at the end of the day am quite wiped out, but i know I accomplished a great deal. Yet my miserly paycheck does not come close to reflecting the amount of energy put into the work. Bleh.

8 Responses to “Getting the momentum going”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I easily spent a year doing things to prep our house. You have a good plan.

  2. looking forward Says:

    It's probably for the best that you are thinking of selling now rather than wait until you are desperate to get rid of it.

  3. snafu Says:

    I went through the process of downsizing, selling house, buying and moving to a condo. DH had already left for China and DSs were only home weekends which was more headache than help.

    It has potential to be a satisfying project as you go through rooms shelf by shelf, cabinet by cabinet and drawer by drawer, looking to identify items that will move to your new condo. I used those mini stick-on dots, green on furnishings I expected to take, red on items I planned to sell, blue on items to donate, drag to the curb or trash. It helped to extend that system down to small items. For example, at the end of winter season, red dots remind you to sell all the outdoor equipment.

    It's a phenomenal amount of work and costs more than you imagine to pack up the stuff you need, use and love and then find a 'home' for them in an unfamiliar place where nothing fits! It's a horrid waste of time, effort and money to move stuff you don't like, need or use.

    You'll never believe how much stuff I sold/donated/tossed before move-in date. I can't believe how much more I've sold, re-gifted or donated since moving to this condo. The rule here is if it hasn't been used in 2 years, out it goes!

    Best of all, I can't remember what went, I don't miss it, it was just clutter.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I know, I know, I've always been so frustrated with people who think my job is easier than theirs because the pay is low. It's not! I have former in-laws who are pharmacists. Granted, they got a lot of training, but their daily job is basically customer service and putting pills in bottles. My job requires analysis, superior writing skills, and lots of diplomacy on top of a lot of data management. It's NOT easier and I make about 1/4 the money!

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Oh, and I think buying a condo would be a great idea. I worry about all the physical work your house requires of you!

  6. scfr Says:

    It sounds like a very good plan. $25/hr for a skilled handyman sounds reasonable, especially if he provides his own tools. Since you will be downsizing when you move, have you given any thought to getting a jump start on selling possessions by joining garage sale season THIS spring? You could use any money you raise selling things to pay the handyman. (If you have a friend who lives in a place where they have a community-wide garage sale, think about asking if you could join them. Those garage sales tend to generate a LOT of traffic.)

  7. patientsaver.com Says:

    Snafu and Scfr, yes, I'm setting aside things now for a spring tag sale. I have a spare bedroom where I'm collecting most of the stuff. You're right, it's a ton of work to move stuff to a new place, only to discover you simply don't have room for it. That's what I'm hoping to avoid. But I have to be careful not to allow myself to simply focus on decluttering and ignore all the deferred maintenance around here, cus it's the latter that would really hold up my putting the place on the market.

  8. snafu Says:

    Have you talked to a real estate agent to discuss prioritizing your fix-it list? You need to know which items are most important to generate a sale and which repairs reflect your views. What items are no cost/low cost fixes? What are the most expensive fixes? Can some items be fixed with gently used parts? Have you explored Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores? Which supplies go on sale seasonally? Would you consider tracking big box store flyers to work out best prices for fix-it products that will be needed?

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