I'm taking a momentary break from the regularly-scheduled cleaning spree that precedes a house rental weekend to tell you something important: my house normally doesn't look like this.
Essentially, prepping for a rental means that we stage the house to make it appear as if we don't live there. For example, when we actually live in our family room, we don't normally see those aesthetically pleasing vacuum lines on the carpet that you're seeing below.
Let's be real. Sometimes we don't even see wide expanses of the carpet. More often, the floor is scattered with little plastic figurines that make you wince when you accidentally trample them.
Our kitchen counters typically aren't bare.
Our dining room table typically isn't empty.
More regularly, these spaces serve as a catch-all for the day's mail, our paperwork, a pile of school worksheets, craft projects made by the kids, and some random plastic knob or metal thingy that somebody found but nobody knows what it belongs to.
More regularly, we live here.
This weekend, if you look over your house and wonder how it got to look the way it does, the answer is pretty simple: it's where life takes place. Life is messy. Life isn't staged.
Staging is nice for the weekend -- and trust me, I'm relishing it until our renters arrive -- but it isn't real.
As for that drawer that's crammed full of the kids' artwork that we took off the refrigerator and the clutter that we cleaned off the countertops? Now, that's real.