“It just doesn’t feel like my house anymore!” lamented Sally, a client who was in the midst of preparing her house for sale. Sally’s decision to pursue a life dream to buy a farm and raise alpacas necessitated her selling her split-level house, a place that she had made her sanctuary over a period of ten years. At this time when houses are slow to sell, it is especially important that they look almost perfect. Her realtor had advised her to paint the entire house in shades of buttery yellow. Gone was the brilliant blue office and the peaceful blue dining room. “I feel like I’m living in a margarine stick!” she railed.
Sally was also agitated because creating a peaceful, neutral space that a prospective buyer could view without distraction and easily picture himself inhabiting, had required that she move many of her belongings to a storage unit. Preparing her house for sale had also given her the opportunity to sort through her belongings and clear out anything that she no longer needed or loved. She was left in a shell of her former home, a place that she no longer recognized, nor did she feel comfortable inhabiting.
Sally was between selves. She had moved beyond the self who had painted those blue walls and had tolerated a packed attic, to a self who was prepared to make a huge leap of faith, buying a farm and finding a new job in a new location. When she began clearing out her house, sending things to storage, the trash, and a local charity, she was physically ripping up energetic roots that had helped her feel comfortable and grounded. She was adrift in unfamiliar territory. Painting the walls in colors not of her choosing effectively wiped away evidence of her individuality. Everything became neutral. Of course Sally had reason to rail against the injustices of the real estate sales process! She was feeling like a stranger in her own home. She was grieving the loss of her things and already grieving the loss of the home that had been such a comfort to her.
Is this a normal reaction? Absolutely! Preparing a house for sale is a stressful and exhausting process. If, like Sally, your home has been your haven, transforming it into a strange place devoid of evidence of your energy can only be disturbing. At a time of high stress you crave stability and familiar, safe places to retreat. Everywhere Sally looked was upheaval, strangeness and work to be done.
Was making all those changes imperative? Given the current real estate market, and given that Sally’s house has no special features like a water view or new garage, making those changes were the best steps to take to increase the probability of a fast sale.
Is there a way that Sally could have avoided the grief and stripping of her energy from her house? Unfortunately, change often comes with a cost. In Sally’s case, she paid the price by having to strip her home of specific evidence of her existence, leaving her feeling sad and mad and frustrated. To her credit she put words to her anguish, which helped her deal with her mixed feelings. What a healthy response!
Wouldn’t you be troubled if your influence was erased from your home and you found yourself living in a place of your own making that was not an outward reflection of your inner self? And, all those changes also came at great financial cost. They speak volumes about the price Sally was willing to pay to go for her dream!
© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie
“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in your life. If you’re ready to finally clear the clutter from your life and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.