Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jack of All Trades, Master of...

Seems like I should give you an update of my current employment situation. By "employment," I mean hobbies that occasionally pay a little bit when I run into someone who has a great connection and then I run with it for a year before moving on to something else.

Since living in Colorado, my jobs have been:
1. stationery business owner
2. tutor
3. textbook company researcher
4. medical research subject (numerous times)
5. nanny
6. preschool teacher
7. brownie & cookie baker
8. home stager

8 jobs in 5 years, NOT BAD! Oh, we're going for income potential, not quantity. Anyway, I have quite the entreprenuerial spirit and love to try new things. Basically, when I come across a hobby I try to see how I can make money doing something I love. Seems like great overlap, right?! My top 2 job problems are that I a) lose interest or b) can't actually make money in the vocation. Then there is Brad who has been with the same company since the day he graduated college. Opposites attract.

I have very recently retired from making brownies and cookies for a local pizza place. It was a great deal while it lasted thanks to my fabulous friend, Holly, but it was time to move on. (What, OH WHAT will I do with my beautiful double ovens in our new house that I bought with the Lillybean Bakery in mind?!?! Oh well, I will be forced to continue to use and love them).

they were super good

So here is the latest: I am a home stager! Are you familiar? When a house goes on the market, a home stager, such as myself, comes over to make the house more appealing to a potential buyer. i.e. "Your 22 year-old son's 1,000 piece Star Wars collection must be put away if you want to sell your house for $500K. "

Actually, I am learning that home staging is a lot more finesse and psychology than actually helping people effectively arrange their home.

The first thing I try to get through their INCREDIBLY THICK SKULLS IS: If your house is on the market, it is NO LONGER YOUR HOUSE. I could write ad nauseum about how people don't get that. They want life to continue to be convenient and uniterrupted, thinking that strangers understand why they have dirty laundry sitting around and dishes in the sink, because you know, "people still live here." Seriously.

If you are going to buy a house, do you want to think at all about the people that still live there? No, you do not. That is creepy, if we're all honest. But I will be the first to tell you, nobody gets that.

So to save myself some cyber-breath, here are some things to put away if you want to sell your house quickly (these may or may not be based on personal experience):

1. Figurine of your bull terrier with a cute sunflower around his neck

2. 300+ DVDs displayed in the open for all the evaluate your personality based on your terrible movie selections

3. Products in the shower. Buyers will know you are bald, dandruffy, have limp hair or require special skincare products. Mmmmm...other people's greasy/bald/scaly skin all over the house!

4. Family calendar appointments (Gyno on the 7th! Psychiatrist on the 12th!)

5. Anything that makes your house "SOOOO YOU!" (like your child's combo Winnie-the-Pooh/Dinosaur room or your ginormous collection of formerly-living wild game spread eagle--pun intended--on the game room wall).

I could go on and would actually love to show examples from houses I've staged, but I'm too new at this to risk lawsuits.

And just so you know, if you are going to sell, PLEASE call someone to help you stage. You are not objective about your own house. Trust me on this one.