Get Organized, Life

The Big To-Do List in Order to Sell the House

Now that I’ve decided I’m going to be moving to Auburn (actual date TBD), the time has come to get things in order at my little Ugg-Duck and prepare to sell it.

I can’t say it’s not bittersweet.  I’ve lived in this house for just over four years now, and only threw one party shortly after the flooring was installed.  Since then, my ex moved out and being alone changed the game considerably.  It’s kinda been too much of an under-construction mess to entertain ever again (with the exception of the occasional stop-by).  Which both makes me feel like a hermit and like there’s a whole lot of unfinished business in this house.

new house pic

Will I rent in my new city?  Probably at first, but for how long is still undetermined.  Maybe I can even find a property owner who likes the idea of having me work on some cosmetic upgrades ;)  But before I can even truly afford to move there, I have to free up the dollars and cents that I’m currently spending on a mortgage back in Atlanta.  Which means getting the house in “good enough” shape to sell (plus getting rid of all of the things I don’t want to move with me).  Putting all of my future planning for bigger changes aside, I’ve whittled down the list to the essentials (using the Wunderlist app on my phone, which made it pretty easy to meander around the house and jot down every last detail):

Must-Dos to Get the House Ready to Sell

  • Tidy up the front and back yards (pinestraw/cones)
  • New plantings (just for curb appeal)
  • Paint remaining trim*
  • Paint front stoop ceiling (I started painting it haint blue over last summer & never got back around to it… I will just paint it back to match the existing house color)
Stairs + Entryway

new stairs

  • Re-install & paint railing (removed when I first moved in & never put back up)
  • Stain & install the bullnose trim on the top step
  • Finish wall paint (will need scaffolding for this, just borrow from Dad)
  • Add shoe molding to finish off top step area
  • Paint the hall closet baseboards
  • Finish painting the hall closet door
Living Room
  • Paint last corner of the walls (the part I can’t get to right now with the dining room furniture stacked in there while I finish off that room!)
  • Craigslist the couch, coffee table, & side tables (it’s time for a new set anyway, might as well not move with it!)
  • Pack up my TV
  • Pack up the rest of the tree (yes, I may have just ignored this while focusing on the kitchen like a total hillbilly, coughcough)
  • Go through all of my books for donating (no sense carrying the extra weight if I won’t read them twice)
  • Paint & add trim around bow windows (since I added trim to both the kitchen and dining room, it would make the room look odd not to have it)
Dining Room (one of the easiest rooms to complete, IMO)
  • Finish sanding & smoothing the patched drywall*
  • Prime & paint the room above the wainscoting
  • Caulk the shoe molding
  • Hang curtains
  • Find a new light fixture that makes the room look a little more dressed up (the one I bought when I moved in is just soooo wrong for the room).
  • Move the furniture back in

sofa king excited

  • Repair drywall*
  • Prime & paint the walls (color already picked out)
  • Grout remaining tile behind stove
  • Caulk tile & around the window
  • Prime/paint doors & base molding
  • Add threshold transition piece between laminate floor in kitchen & tile in laundry room
  • Add shoe molding around the base cabinets (paint them too)
  • Paint the underside of the upper cabinets white (brings in more light, even without installing under cabinet lighting)
  • Prime & paint old ceiling stain from a leak years ago
  • Install breakfast nook light fixture
  • Finish upper cabinet door paint
  • Install cabinet hardware
  • Re-hang pantry doors
  • Fix sliding glass door track
Laundry Room

LG laundry set

  • Install missing sheet of drywall (also from that day)*
Powder Room
  • Add some art to make it look more finished off
Guest bedroom
  • Sand & paint patch from electrical work
  • Clear out all of the items not move-worthy
Guest bath

guest bathroom after

  • Finish & paint one corner of drywall I never got around to
  • Fix light fixture (one of the shades broke while trying to reconnect the back end & make it more flush with the wall… basically one fix causing new problems)
  • Paint the back of the bathroom door
  • Add missing piece of base molding near vanity
Office/second guest bedroom (formerly “Study-o” room)
  • Clear out remaining items for move
  • Pack remaining items
  • For selling: shelving unit that will make the room look more “finished”?
Master bedroom
  • Sand & paint patch from electrical work
  • Get rid of broken TV
  • New, more formal light fixture (nix the cheap boob light)
  • Rake & deep clean carpet
  • Stretch & reinstall carpet near bathroom hall
  • Add threshold transition piece between tile in master bath & carpet
  • Paint doors for master closet & bathroom
Master bathroom


  • Spray paint mirror frame
  • Tile floor , grout, seal (tile sitting in kitchen)*
  • Install toilet (sitting in garage)
  • Paint windowsill
  • Add blinds
  • Install baseboard
  • Install vanity (sitting in garage)*
  • Install & hook up sink (part of vanity)*
  • Install & hook up faucet (also sitting in garage)*
  • Clean & repair shower tile

* items I can probably hire help for to speed things along

Fact of the matter is, none of these items by themselves are all that difficult to do, or all that time-consuming.  And the stuff I’ve earmarked for hire are just in the interest of time, not because I don’t think I can tackle them on my own (and knowing that really irks me; it’s a matter of pride).  BUT, when you add them up, it’s quite a lot to do.  And I need to focus on what’s really important (like not dragging on a super-stressful event like moving), which would mean trying not to force myself to be the one to finish ALL THE THINGS.


And of course, I’m going to be a little sad about the things I never got the chance to do, like installing built-ins in the living room (covering the entire span of the wall that separates the living room from the dining room).  Or industrial-looking pipe shelving in the office.  Or a pegboard wall in the breakfast nook (to display all of my pots/pans).  Or build one mega-badass workshop in the garage.  And especially: creating a backyard oasis with a firepit & stepup deck around the trees.

me and charlie

I always knew this house wasn’t going to be my forever home.  I know that in time, I’ll simply look back and say that it was a great first house.  But the realization that I have to say farewell this year is still an unexpected shift.  The house will be an unfinished thing in my memories.  Filled with more potential than the time I had to spend on it.  But then again, there will always be another house.  I can fall in love again.  After all, I saw the potential in this one when I spotted listing photos like this:

living room before 2

And next time, I’ll learn even more.  I may even get a freaking awesome clawfoot tub out of it (something I’ve always wanted but have no room for in the tiny bathrooms in this house).

How about you guys?  What were the things you miss most from a house you used to live in?  What are you glad you left behind?  What if you had to move out of your home this year?  What projects would always be unfinished?

(P.S. EMAIL subscribers: I’m planning on moving you guys over this weekend to a new subscription service.  Feedburner is just kind of a bore.  I am hoping that it goes smoothly, and the email should look a LOT swankier, but I’m going to do my best to make sure it disturbs exactly no one in terms of whether or not they regularly get posts.  So if you find it buggy or something, please let me know and I’ll try to get that resolved asap!)

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  1. says

    Your list of things you need to get done is quite a long list! Just reading it, is daunting to me. Good luck and I’ll definitely check back in to see your progress. I’m impressed already:).

  2. Sarah says

    I know I’m late to the game on this, but have you considered renting your house instead of selling it?

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