Personal items are boxed or tucked into drawers. The shades are pulled to the same length, toiletries and Kleenex boxes are next to the razors and toothbrushes in the bathroom closet. Cat bowls and scratching posts are in the basement next to the boot tray, and the cats are off site. Rooms are clean and tidy. Other than the books on the shelves and food in the cupboards, there are few traces of the people who live here. We have done our best to create a space where potential buyers can imagine themselves living because this house is for sale.
I am keenly aware of the particularity of the places I’ve called home, and how traces of my family are evident in almost every corner of every room – things we’ve chosen to put on the walls and tables because one or more of us find them beautiful or useful, things that say something about who we are and what we hold dear. Our personalities appear in them, making our home as unique to us as our neighbors’ homes are unique to them. And that is as it should be.
Clearing all the living spaces so that new people can imagine calling this house home is a lot of work, but I’m happy to do it. It’s time for other people to hang their own pictures on these walls and set their chairs on the back porch. Removing things that get in the way of their coming is, in its own way, is the best welcome I can offer.
[Photo by David Fredrickson]