The Home Illusion

When we were seeing houses, I always walked into them without thinking that “someone lives here and had to get out of our way to make this happen”. There was some point during our walkthrough that the thought came to me, like noticing a crockpot going that smelled delicious, or finding a car in a garage or seeing pill bottles on a countertop in the bathroom.

That feeling is distracting and feels a little bit invasive, like I’m seeing behind the curtain.

We are currently listing our home and going through the preparations to show it to people. I didn’t realize how much effort it takes to prepare a home to look that way. Taking down personal effects like photos, putting clutter away, keeping the laundry at 100% done (which is impossible) and not ever using a single dish or the stove or the blender or…

Keeping things this clean while you live somewhere is tough, clean enough so that at a moment’s notice, you can pack up 2 kids, a dog and leave the house in pristine condition at any time. It’s madness. But it’s worth it. I hope.

Giving total strangers access to your house to peruse every last nook and cranny feels incredibly strange. Also, posting pictures of your house online for people to scroll through also feels incredibly strange.

It’s all a show. An illusion. As soon as we come home, we bring the bananas out of the garage. We get out the peanut butter and the toys come back out. It’s a mess in under 30 seconds, but that’s because that is how you live. The image is not reality – it’s for marketing purposes only.

We took down a dry erase board that organizes our week, keeps our schedule, menu and any other reminders we need to operate. We put up 3 framed images from Homegoods in it’s place. It feels sterile and fake, but it’s not for us. It’s for the masses. It should feel like a place you can move right into and continue your life. You don’t want anything to distract them from imagining their lives in your home. It’s an illusion and it’s necessary.

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