Monday, October 31, 2011

But it's a garage!

The continuing saga of  downsizing...

...moving closer to the grandchildren, reducing Karen's commute to work, getting something with less yard work demands, etc.   I think I made the mistake a few months ago of saying, "Yes.  Maybe that's a good idea," when Karen suggested it was time to sell our house and buy a smaller one in the country.  

First of all, I have learned that subdivisions in the Country are exactly like subdivisions anywhere else.  Secondly, I have learned that prices in Goose Creek are cheaper than prices in Mount Pleasant and I fear that downsizing may be the wrong word.  So far, I'm seeing bigger houses and bigger yards. 

Mostly I've learned that putting our house on the market means trying to make a 25 year old house look new.  We could have already bought a place in Goose Creek with the money I've spent on paint. 

But last week, I began to see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.  The upstairs has new carpet, new sink fixtures, new air conditioning registers, and freshly painted walls and ceilings...and baseboards and doors...and my shorts, t-shirts and 90% of my body are freshly painted as well.  

Karen has agreed to actually hire a professional to paint the downstairs livingroom in order to reduce the risk of having me fall off of tall ladders.  The livingroom has a huge vaulted ceiling -- one of those architectural stupidities that we Americans like enough to ignore how much fossil fuel we waste to heat (or cool) air that we can't reach without tall ladders.   

So I was looking at a ToDo list that was actually shrinking until last week when she said, "You know, we really should paint the garage."

My initial reaction was to wonder how she knew it needed painting in the first place.  We have so much junk piled up against all the walls that you can't see them.  Which, of course, means that if I am going to paint the walls, I first must move tons of old boxes, baby carriages, bicycles, pressure washers, generators, boogie boards, beach chairs, coolers, freezers, not to mention 436 old and rusty, half-empty paint cans from distant projects.

"But it's a garage!" I exclaimed. 

"Make sure to be careful around the baseboards."

"But it's a garage," I whined, realizing I was going to lose the argument.

"Women notice these things when they are looking to buy a house," she explained.  "And it probably hasn't been painted since it was built."

Since we are the third owner of the house, I wondered why she didn't notice it when we bought it, but I knew better than to ask that out loud.

"And while we are moving everything out, let's go through all the boxes and see what we can throw out."   Then she went to work leaving me to wonder why she was using the word "we."

So after throwing out 436 old paint cans and buying 110 new ones, I moved everything out of the garage, creating a pile in the front yard that looked like the Great Pyramid of Egypt.  It was only after I moved it that I realized that if I had moved it closer to the street the trash truck might have just hauled it all away when I wasn't looking. 

Of course, the housing market sucks so much the house probably won't sell anyway.  But if it does and if Karen finds a new place in Goose Creek, I'm easy.  I'll go along with whatever house she likes.  But I'm refusing to sign the closing papers until the owner has put a fresh coat of paint in the garage.


  1. So, you have at last learnt the importance of fresh painted garage walls! :-)


    (Once again, there is a profile problem, si I'm "anonymous".)

  2. if my friends could read this and understand why my hubby never wants to buy another house, easier to rent and let the slumlord do the painting and're much more of a handyman than he.

  3. Well I think I would just stay in that freshly painted neat familiar house. Moving is a disaster to us.

  4. We are also putting our house on the market, kind of. Actually going to use the blog first to try and appeal to some of my readers from the D.C./VA/NJ area. Lots of them have vacation homes here, and this is a great vaca-spot. I am dragging my feet because we have so much that needs to "be gone." I think our next house will have a bed, couch, computer desk, and a table and chairs for dining. What the heck else to I need? Imagine all the important writing and editing I could do with the time I spend on dusting and cleaning? Just walking up and down 3 levels takes up my good time, especially when everything I need in always on a different floor. Did I say downsize? Good luck on selling your house.

  5. So far I have never lived in a house more than 10 years. this is the only way to keep the saving of junk as a minimum. I try to get rid of something that is broken / obsolete / disliked as they get into this condition.... clean out and throw away stuff in boxes. don't take it to a new house. and I agree, the garage should be painted.

  6. Yup, freshly painted garages (and don't forget the garage floor) are a turn on for women. We envision garden tools sparsley hanging from hooks, rakes, shovels out of the way. We can dream, can't we? Good luck in your endeavours.

  7. Ouch. Good luck to you. We'll be putting my parents' old house on the market perhaps in a year or so but we're still dreaming of finding buyers lining up who'll just fall in love with the location and can think of nothing better than doing the whole house up themselves and start a new garden and...