This Old House

What happened this summer? I usually go through a big blog posting surge in the summer, with fresh produce and longer days, and not as many piano students to teach. I haven’t run out of new recipes to try, but we’ve been pretty busy getting our house ready to sell. We moved here a little over 6 years ago, our first house in Minnesota.


We loved the location of the house, and the neighborhood, and the charm of living in a house built in 1935 house that felt like it had been updated just for us. We welcomed two babies into this house and created hundreds of beautiful memories here. Over the past 6 years, though, our needs have changed, due not in a small way to those two beautiful babies that are growing into active big kids. We’ve tossed around the idea of moving several times over the last couple of years, but the timing didn’t feel right until this year.

We consulted with a realtor at the beginning of July. She has a lot of experience in our neighborhood, and had some ideas of how to stage the house for potential buyers. So, we spent the summer packing a lot of our belongings into portable storage units, cleaning, organizing, and contracting to have some minor repairs, touch-ups and inspections done. Our kids have been infinitely patient with us, and I think they even enjoyed the process. They are now on a first-name basis with the handyman and show him their Lego creations whenever he comes over. We put a lot of faith into the process – packing up your winter gear in Minnesota and hoping you’ll see it again before the snow flies takes some measure of confidence that everything will move quickly.


We had part of the kitchen flooring replaced, due to some cracked tiles from a DIY project completed by a previous owner of the house. We also had a good deal of the interior of the house repainted to repair and cover several years of toddler slime and destruction. Cleaning up and mulching all the landscaping beds (and there are plenty for this size lot) perked up the curb appeal. And there were countless little repairs that had added up over the last few years, and so we had an electrician and a handyman at the house for a few days, too. All in all, the improvements and cleaning took almost two months to complete, and I don’t know if we’ll ever feel like it’s finished.

You can see all of the photos of the house here:

We’re pleased to report that our hard work paid off. We put the house on the market last Thursday at 11:00 am. By 11:00 pm on the same day, we were sitting around our kitchen table with our realtor, discussing the offers we’d received, and we signed one that evening. We are relieved and thankful that it all went so quickly, and that the inspections went so well this past week. We are set to close at the end of October.

We’re also excited that soon I’ll be cooking and posting from a new kitchen. We will have pictures of that soon, too, but we can’t make any big announcements yet, so stay tuned. We will miss our lovely neighborhood, but we are excited about our new adventure. Prepare for shameless posting about the glories of suburban kitchen storage! 

If you are local, you may be interested in some of our contractors and contacts:

Sheila Cronin, Edina Realty – If the results I described above don’t speak for themselves, I don’t know what does. Sheila knows her stuff, and is well connected in the area. She is also helping us navigate the purchase of our new home. I’m also not sick of her yet, so that says something. The kids are a little confused in that they think that she’s buying our house, but that’s OK. She has been great at every step of the process. I don’t know when she sleeps.

Robin Roberts Renovation and Repair –, 612.790.9046 – Robin is not only a great handyman, but he’s also a great communicator, which is no small thing in my world. He fixed our whole laundry list of repairs, and we never wondered when he was going to show up. He will do small and large repairs, and he’s also just a really nice guy.

Magic Carpets Kitchen flooring – we contacted them through Costco, and they dealt with some unexpected challenges with professionalism and courtesy. They deal in carpet, hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate flooring.

Exclusively Yours Carpet Cleaning These guys were incredible, came in under their estimate, and were extremely kind and easy to work with. And quick! I use a steam cleaner on our carpets on a semi-regular basis because of the kids and the dog, but there were some stubborn spots that a home steam cleaner wasn’t going to touch. These guys made the carpet look brand spankin’ new.

Ruth Movers, Inc. We’ve hired this company in the past to move furniture around the house, and to move our piano. They originated as piano movers, and as you can imagine, moving pianos takes a special kind of care. That level of care shows in the rest of their work, too. Our realtor was especially impressed with the care they took with our belongings and our home, and with their communications with us. They moved what felt like half of our belongings into SmartBoxes (portable storage units), and wrapped our furniture in moving blankets and shrink wrap.

Bagster (dumpster bag): You’ve probably seen these giant dumpster “bags” in people’s driveways and front lawns. I always just assumed they were for contractors/builders, and didn’t know they were available to the general public until I started tooling around on home improvement blogs. As it turns out, you can order one from amazon, and it comes delivered to your door, folded up in a neat little package until you’re ready to use it. Even though we had the use of the neighbor’s garbage can during their summer travels, we still had a fair amount of extra trash with the move, including large items like a cabinet from the basement and a huge (nasty) rug from the screen porch. Taking everything to the dump would have been time-consuming and expensive, and we were all about saving time and money with all of these projects. With the bagster, you can do everything online – order it, and even order the pickup (through Waste Management). Then a surly guy comes and uses a giant claw to dump the whole (filled) bagster into the back of his truck. It was worth its cost just for the entertainment value alone. Pretty exciting to two little boys!

I can’t say enough good things about all these folks. I can’t say that getting the house ready with two small kids was stress-free, but they made it so much easier than it otherwise would have been.


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  1. Pingback: Summer of Fun! | The Contessa-Curessa Project

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