For Sale: 2 Bedroom Flat, scuffed paintwork, full of love

It’s strange how – when you know you’re going to be moving – you start to look around where you live and see things in a completely different way. Even before the For Sale sign has gone up outside, and the first potential buyers have stepped in the door, it stops being quite so much of a ‘home’ and starts turning back into just ‘a house’.

You refer to it, in emails to estate agents, as your ‘property’. You start to notice the cobwebs in the corners, and immediately add ‘long-handled duster’ to the shopping list in your head. You spot the scuffs in the paintwork, the cracks in the cornicing, and all those trails of spilled smoothie on the cream carpet. You realise that you still haven’t fixed the hole where the neighbour’s hamster chewed through your wall. You wish you’d had the time and money to do the bathroom, the den, and the windows.

Jeez, you think. Where are we going to put all these books? And paintings? And rugs? Maybe, you think, it’s time to get rid of all the old baby clothes.

You try and remember how the wardrobe comes apart, what angle you have to hold the dining room table at to fit it through the doorframe, and where you put that special screwdriver; the one you need to disassemble the bed.

You start to become very objective, about it all, very distant. And then a draft of the particulars arrives in your inbox – all adjectives and professional photos.

Gosh, you think, what a lovely house.

There’s the dining room, where you sat with friends over long dinners, drank wine and whisky in front of the fire. There’s one bedroom, where you were helped into your wedding dress; and there’s the other, where you stood over your new son in his Moses basket, and leaned in to hear him breathe. There’s the kitchen, cosy and cluttered; pureed blueberry spattered on the wall, music always playing on the radio, family photos pinned to the corkboard. There’s the den, where you took family naps on the sofa; and the hallway, where entire cities were built out of Lego.

Gosh, you think, what a lovely home.

Haven’t we been lucky to call it ours? We have warmed up the old, stone walls and filled the rooms with laughter and love. We have tended the garden, mended the fence, and added a beautiful piece of stained glass to the entrance hall.

There is an advert for something – I forget what, perhaps a watch – that says ‘You never own it. You merely look after it for the next generation.”

It’s a good way of thinking about material things. We have never really ‘owned’ this house, just made it our home until it was the turn of another family. I hope they don’t mind the scuffs in the paintwork. I hope they keep the walls nice and warm. I sure hope I remember where that screwdriver is.

17 responses

  1. An exciting time for you though – I remember when we moved a couple of years ago – I suddenly had to scrutinise our home – it was a lot messier and knackered than I thought !!!
    Have you had any one round to view it yet ?

    • Yes, a few folk round, with more lined up this week. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, but it still feels odd. One person loved one of the rooms that we haven’t done any work to at all, and another person didn’t like one of the rooms that we only had done up a couple of years ago! Funny how different tastes can be! x

  2. When you saw the particulars did you think, ‘ooh, I’d like a house just like that’?! Onward and upward, you will find a new house, a new home and bring your memories with you x

    • I really did! Funny, isn’t it?! And I got so crabby when there were people in viewing at the weekend and I overheard them talking about which bits they didn’t like! Wanted to scoot them straight out the door again! Thanks for the kind words, am looking forward to finding that new home 🙂 x

  3. We love moving house my 13 year old has lived in 7 houses …we bought and sold them all…lived in our present house longest 4 yrs and getting itchy feet but would be lucky to sell a doormat the way the market is round here!

    • You crazy nomad you! You probably like camping too 😉

      Sorry you’re feeling a bit stuck just now – I hope the property market picks up soon so you can move onto your next place 🙂

  4. It’s funny, but I’m the opposite. I’ve not been settled in this house since ever we moved in, but now we are getting ready to get estate agents round to value it and thinking seriously about putting it back on the market, I’m getting all attached to it! Good luck with the move, I hope someone falls in love with your place soon so you can find somewhere new x

    • Oooh! Sounds like you’ve got some big changes coming up soon too then! How exciting – I’ll be keeping an eye on the blog for progress reports. Good luck – property stuff is never fun. x

    • Aww, Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time to come over and comment here, I really appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the piece, I’m so chuffed to be featured on Offbeat Home for the first time 🙂 x

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