Do you ever feel like your life is a runaway train? This lady’s world went from placid to insane, and she hated every moment of the churning chaos.

Who could have predicted a simple after-dinner conversation with family during a weekend visit had the potential to change this writer’s life?

She made the mistake of confessing the enforced COVID isolation made life too lonely. Since the housing market was so hot and volatile, perhaps it was time to consider moving.

“Where would you like to live?”

“On a beach.”

The guests flew into an online search mode frenzy and found several homes on Galveston Island.

“Okay. Let’s explore what realtors have to offer,” the lady said.

Within a couple of days, a local realtor contacted her, and soon after their first meeting, she signed a contract. And that is when things turned terrifying, in the formidable persona of the “staging person.”

If you never dealt with staging gurus, they are ruthless. “Get rid of everything personal. Pictures and Knickknacks.”

“Where am I supposed to put everything?”

“Shoved them under the beds. There is plenty of room,” the woman proclaimed as she snooped beneath every bed. “Put everything else in the closets,” the demanding creature flippantly stated.

The lady of the manor complied. Before long, and channeling her inner magician, she became adept at making things disappear. Her formerly organized closets teemed with ‘personal’ clutter. Beneath every bed hid a plethora of belongings which, heaven forbid, might disclose that this house belonged to people other than the potential buyers.  Then the lady went on a shopping spree, purchasing boxes (as in plastic containers) which she promptly filled with books and other treasures.

It is incredible how much Hubby and his wife accumulated in their 50+ years together. She unearthed countless items neatly tucked away and forgotten.  You may find it surprising, but this lady found wedding gifts unwrapped but never used.

Hubby’s wife came from a family who believed in giving quality presents. As a result, there is enough crystal and silver to please a queen. Although the gifts are beautiful, they are not practical (primarily because of the extra care required to keep them in company-perfect condition). Also, they were rarely or never used.

Consequently, part of the downsizing preparations included taking several carloads of donations to various needy places.

An informative phone call from her daughter tells her that closets must be clutter-free, according to the realtor in her area. Why? It seems the 360 pictures taken inside the home include closet interiors.

At that point, Vesuvius (also known as the lady of the manor) erupted. And it was not a pretty sight, nor was the accompanying shrill soundtrack.

This writer and her partner in chaos, the daughter, made hasty arrangements for a sizeable climate-controlled storage unit. The mother also reserved a moving truck for transporting all packed boxes, including the ubiquitous and frowned upon personal belongings hidden in closets.

Suddenly, this lady realized she did not want to move. She loved her home, and most of the time, she enjoyed the peace and solitude of her life.

Following a flurry of telephone conversations, this writer slammed on the brakes and stopped the process. They canceled truck and storage reservations.

This woman was getting her life back.

One of the demands made by the house stager was to replace all bulbs and light fixtures, so their brightness matched. She also wanted lots of orchids and fake greenery because live plants did not make a statement.

Now that your humble writer is in the process of putting her life back in a newer, better, and less cluttered way, the house stager’s “suggestions” make sense. But do not tell her that.

The most noticeable changes are a lot less clutter. Rearrangements that never occurred to this lady before. But you know, when it comes to life, all is flux. Decluttering is good otherwise, we would hang onto useable but never used possessions.

Our nephew adopted our rarely used Tupperware, leaving a much tidier Tupperware cabinet.

Downsizing is a pain in the rutabaga, but the results are worth it.

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