Moving Abroad: Prepping the House

Since finding out we’d be moving, we’ve been getting the house ready to be rented.  While it’s mostly fine, we realized upon looking around more critically that we were living with little things that would need to be fixed before the house was rent-ready.   I think we’d stop noticing some of the minor stuff–the master bathroom needs a coat of paint, the upstairs trim needs to be freshened up with white, the doorbell cap is broken and needs to be replaced.  Little things.  Fairly easy to fix.

And then we were living with things we (I) hate and wanted to change, but either couldn’t justify the expense, or we’d decided to hold off until we saved enough money to REALLY redo things.  Replacing the upstairs carpet, for example.  Major update.  Not easy or inexpensive.  But necessary before we can rent the house.

We bought our house eight years ago from a retired couple.  They had wall-to-wall white carpet in every room except the kitchen and front hall.  Do you know what white carpet looks like after 8 years, 4 kids, a cat, and a dog?  Basically like garbage.  Worn out garbage covered in stains.

We replaced the downstairs carpet with hardwood floors years ago, but had left the upstairs carpet alone.  Although I’d been wanting to replace it for a while, it just hadn’t happened.  We waffled between re-carpeting and going with hardwoods.  We also knew that we eventually want to put an addition on the house above the garage, so we didn’t want to spend a lot on new flooring upstairs just to redo it a few years down the line.  And so we just kept steam cleaning it periodically and discussing our options.

But with the new plan—renting the house when we move—new carpet upstairs became the only feasible solution—and a priority.

I called a few places to get estimates.  A week before Christmas, the final company came to give their pricing and offered us 10% off the cost, plus they would waive all the fees if we would have the carpet installed the next day.  It seems the week before Christmas is slow in the carpet installation business, so they’ll really cut you a deal if you get new carpets then.

Which is why we spent all evening one week before Christmas moving everything off bookcases, dressers, and out of closets in all three bedrooms upstairs.  We brought everything downstairs and stacked it all in the den.  It was a LOT of stuff.  And hard work, actually.  And it made a huge, ugly, chaotic mess in the center of my house.

But, in the end, it was a blessing in disguise, because the only things that went BACK up into the bedrooms are things we plan to move with us overseas.  We purged all those stacks and boxes before moving anything back up, and we have SO MUCH LESS CLUTTER up there now.  We would never have done all that quickly and thoroughly if we weren’t getting the carpets done, so even though it was a ton of work, it was well worth it in the end.

Several HUGE items checked off the To-Do list, plus brand new clean carpet for the holidays.  Winning!

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5 thoughts on “Moving Abroad: Prepping the House

  1. Mish

    I just de-cluttered my basement so hubby could paint the floor. I had to do it myself because he’d throw everything away and give me a hard time for wanting to sort some stuff. His job was to keep him and the kids out of my hair for one full day. I got it done but it took me about 15 hours.

    It was a lot of hard work in a short time but, like you said, soooo worth it.

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