Episode #14: How To Prep Your Home To Sell For Top Dollar

Hello friends! As you know, we’re listing our home soon (we shared details of our upcoming move in Episode 12). We’ve been prepping our home to sell and I enlisted my realtor, Daniel, for his advice to how to best prep and stage a home to sell. We also try out three new segments at the end, so let us know which one is your favorite!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

This week’s episode is sponsored by Agility by Therapedic. We are so excited to work with them after Emma switched to their mattress, sheets and pillows. You’ll hear a bit more in this week’s episode, but you should definitely check out the giveaway we just kicked off with them in this post too! One lucky entry will receive a set of pillow and sateen sheets from Agility in the color of their choice! More details are in the post.  In addition, Agility is continuing to offer our readers $200 off a mattress purchase with our code ‘ABM’ (can’t be combined with any other offers).

Show notes:
-Elsie and Emma’s Nashville realtor is Daniel Long. We love Daniel because he is super honest and not shy about making a low-ish offer, which was trickier to find in a realtor in this area!

If you’re in the Nashville area, you can find Daniel on Instagram or email him here … daniel AT jdlproperties DOT net

Daniel’s Tips: How to prep your home to sell for top dollar. 

1. Fresh paint.

Remove bold colors, freshen base boards and trim to make your home feel “new.”

2. Declutter + Staging.

Remove personal items (family photos, sports, political or religious items).

Remove oversized furniture. Leave minimal furniture.

3. Check major mechanics.

If you don’t know the condition of your roof, HVAC, or water heater, you need to find out before you list your home because people will want to know.

Tips for outside: New mulch in flower beds. Fresh paint on shutters, gutters, and trim. Paint the front door and mailbox a fun color. Buyer’s tend to name the houses they’ve seen to help them remember. “The yellow door house …”. You never want to be “the cat house …”

Common mistakes: 

1. One common mistake is thinking the buyer will want to choose their own finishes. Like carpet. Seller offering an allowance instead of replacing it. Even though the seller has offered a solution to the problem, it’s still a problem to have to overcome.

2. Prior to listing, remove any light fixtures, draperies, or anything attached to the house that you intend to take with you after you sell.

3. Don’t make major renovations without consulting a real estate professional. If you have a budget to make improvements before listing, your realtor may be able to point you toward the improvement that would add the most value to your home.

Here’s a pic of us with Daniel last September. Thank you, DANIEL!

Next, we chat about our pet peeves and preferences when viewing real estate including:

-staged vs. unstaged (and unfurnished) homes.
-low quality renovations that are brand new (aka waste).
-when the seller or the seller’s realtor stays for your tour.
-homes that are not clean when you view them (especially swimming pools and bathrooms!)

3 New segments—which one is your favorite??? 99 Problems, What Am I Even Looking At, or Sparks Joy?

Links: Good Girls TV show, Attack Of The Clones lol, and Glassy Baby glasses. This is the set I got. I also think it would be cool to do rainbow collection where each one is different. And here’s a link to our Habitat for Humanity project a few years back.

One of our big goals this season is to grow our podcast audience to a certain size, and we’re already getting close-ish, but we need your help! If you are enjoying the podcast, please share it with your friends on IG stories this week or text it to a friend you think would enjoy it. We are only interested in organic growth and the best possible way for that to happen is for you to share it with someone you think would be into it. Thank you so much!!! We have big plans for the podcast and the more we are able to build it into a biz, the more TIME we will be able to invest in it. Thank you so much for supporting us!!! We love you!

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 14 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. This week’s episode is all about how to prep your home to sell. We’ve got tips from our realtor as well as mistakes that sellers commonly make. We’re also going to rapid fire three new segments. This week’s episode sponsored by Agility Bed. We’ll talk more about them in the episode.

Emma: Can you tell us, Elsie, how many houses have you lived in that you had to sell?

Elsie: We’ve basically sold two houses. We’ve sold the one in Missouri that we lived in before we moved. It took a while to sell. About a year, I think, which is way longer than you would hope for. And then we sold our first ever BNB in Nashville earlier this year after our permit was taken away and we decided the best course for us was to sell it and reinvest the money into a property that could qualify for a permit. And that’s what we did. And it took about four months to sell. But it…that even felt like way too long. For me, it was stressful. We had over 100 showings, which is high. Yeah. And there was kind of constant to dos during that time. And I even sent pictures of it in the listing to Sherry from Young House Love because, you know, she stages houses as one of her side jobs. And I was like, what? What’s wrong with this? And she was like, it’s not the house, it’s the price.

Emma: Oh, no!

Elsie: I know, I was like, dang it. That’s like the worst. So, yeah, we did end up selling it for a little bit of a lower price. Which, you know, whatever. I’d rather shoot high and go down a little bit than not shoot high at all and sell it the first day. Right. But yeah, it was frustrating. So we’re about to list our home that we currently live in in about a month. And it…and I’m nervous. I’m super, super nervous because we’ve never sold a home like the first week. That would be amazing. That’s what I’m hoping for, obviously. So this whole episode is about things to do to get prepped. Also things that we’ve like, crazy things we’ve seen when we were house shopping that kind of turned us off from different homes. And yeah, I just kind of I think it’s definitely worth a whole episode because getting your home ready to sell is such a big thing. And you can just tell when you house shop online that some people spent a lot of time and energy. Some people even hire a professional stager to come and kind of redo their house before they have photographed and some people have four iPhone pictures taken in the dark and that’s it. So, you know, there’s a world of differences between those two people. And that’s kind of what we want to dive into today.

Emma: Yes. So your realtor, Daniel, gave you some tips. So let’s maybe let’s start with some of those.

Elsie: OK, yes. So Daniel is my realtor. He sold me my last couple houses, the new air BNB we have and then the one we’re planning to move into soon. So I’ve been working with him for maybe a little over a year and we’ve seen a lot of homes together. And he is just a gem of a realtor. So we recommend him if you’re in the Nashville area. And I will link him in the show notes and he’s sent over some tips. So I want to just kind of read them and then we can say agree or disagree because there is actually one in in here where I don’t know if I agree with that, but for the most part, it’s…

Emma: Well, it’s definitely a bit subjective, but he’s coming with a perspective of a realtor, so. I definitely want to hear his tips.

Elsie: That’s true. So much of it just depends on like what where your house is to start with. Some people don’t need a lot. Some people need a lot before they sell. This list says how to prep your home to sell for top dollar. Number one is fresh paint. Painting is relatively cheap. It makes your home feel fresh and clean and can get rid of unwanted odors, painting baseboards and trim makes a huge difference in making the home feel like new. And I would say I strongly agree with that. I don’t think that people should list their home with crazy colors. I mean, I know that people often do. But I think that for the majority of people having just like a fresh white blank slate, it’s easier to imagine your own style in that as opposed to like a purple room. Do you agree about painting?

Emma: I have enough imagination that if someone didn’t have the time and budget. Yeah, then just don’t do it and just see what happens. But if you if you have a small amount of time and budget, this is the one thing I would do. Yes. Is paint at all. And I would paint it white. I know not everyone wants a white house, but the point of it is that white is going to allow for better light. It’s gonna make your house feel bigger and airy and just clean. And I think that that feeling, even if you’re like, I don’t want white walls. I’m going to paint everything black when I move in. I still think the photos are just going to like help people visualize the space.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s still a better clean slate. I agree. The second tip is to de-clutter and stage the home so it says remove personal items from inside the home, which includes family photos. Anything that has to do with a sports team. Anything political or religious. Which I thought was kind of funny. Like are people seriously leaving her political memorabilia out around the house? And anyway, this will help your home appeal to the masses. And then it says, when cleaning out closets, make sure that the entire floor of your closet is clean so that they can see how big it is. I, for the most part, agree with all of this. I will say I personally don’t care about family photos. I think unless you’re one of those people that has the giant family photos, like I probably won’t take down every single one of my family photos before we move. I just think it feels kind of normal.

Emma: But yeah, the only thing I would say about it for other people is pretty much all of us have cell phones and we take pictures with our cell phones. This is pretty obvious. I’m not telling you something you don’t know. So if you’re leaving your family photos up in your house, just know that probably whoever is viewing your home, they’re probably going to take photos in your home with their cell phone.

Elsie: Oh that’s a good point.

Emma: And it’s not that they’re going to put them online. Like I would never put someone’s family photos online. I’m just taking if I’m looking at a house, I’m taking the photos because I want to remember and I might show my sister or something, you know, to get advice. So I’m not going to post it online or anything. I don’t think you have to be too worried about that. But I just think, you know, there is a certain comfort level there. If, like, do you want strangers taking photos of certain things in your home? That’s up to you. But it’s just something I would consider because people are definitely going to take photos.

Elsie: That’s true.

Elsie: Like this is a very Nashville thing, but almost every home we looked at had gold records. Yeah. Like the whole basement is like covered in gold records. And yeah, my mother in law was like very into like zooming in on the records and like trying to, you know, know things. Yeah. And that is interesting. I always check to see who’s gold records they were in each of the homes, too. So anyway.

Emma: Yeah. I mean, you know, I just think you should…you’re letting strangers into your home. So and they’re coming to look at your house. So you should expect a certain level of snooping. So anything you have out, you need to be comfortable. So if you don’t want people to have photos of your family, photos of your children, you know, maybe take those down.

Elsie: Yeah, I agree. The next thing is when staging, make sure that you remove all large oversized or heavy furniture and that you only have minimal furniture in the home that photographs well. I think that is great advice. And so many homes like with the super oversized sofa. It kind of makes you feel like you can’t tell if the living room is a good size or not, but it feels like it’s not.

Emma: Yes, I totally agree with this tip, especially if any of your furniture blocks a window in any way, like a headboard or anything like that, because it takes some of the light away and it just makes the room feel smaller and kind of a little bit sadder to me…more sad because of the light. But also, yeah, if people can’t tell the layout because your furniture is so big or you have so much furniture, that’s a real turnoff for me, because then I’m like, I don’t even know what this space feels like. So and then one other little thing I would add about furniture is and I don’t know what his next step is going to be maybe this is it? But if you have pets, I would recommend having a friend come over who doesn’t have the same pets as you, and just seeing if anything you own might smell a little bit, because if it does, you might try to remove that too. Because if it’s just your furniture that might smell a little bit like you’ve had cats and dogs for years or whatever, you know, that’s cool. I have dogs. I get it. But you don’t really want people coming into your house the first time and thinking your house smells. If it’s just your couch, you could remove that. So…

Elsie: I agree with you like any kind of overwhelming smell in a home that we tour bothers me.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Even if it’s candles or air freshener. I wish that people would just simply open up the windows for a little bit and let it air out. Like if you have a smell problem. Yeah overwhelming scents…I actually like Daniel’s tip about the paint because yeah, it does kind of like cover it for you. Yeah. You don’t want to smell a dog and you also don’t want to smell like 40 scented candles.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Okay. And then his little bonus tip is to use a company like Pods or Pack Rat so you can just get one of those little pods brought to your house. Load a bunch of stuff into it, they take it away and then your home will be more minimally staged, clearing out closets and things like that. I remember Laura told me when we were both selling our houses in Missouri. She told me that she was like putting all of her closet stuff into storage so that each closet had like three things on it. And she had her kitchen counter totally cleared and a couple more things like that. And guess what? She sold her house super quick and I sold my house super slow. So I’m going to try that stuff this time.

Emma: Yeah, that’s a good tip. Laura’s pretty smart.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Yeah, I would do anything she says. Pretty much, yes.

Elsie: So the next tip is major mechanics like roof a water heater, HVAC, and he’s just saying if you don’t know the condition on these things, you should get it checked before you list your house because it’s a thing that people will ask about. And if it is problematic, you might want a little bit of a warning.

Emma: Yes, I agree. Yeah. If you can get just even get a home inspection on your home before you move, because if there’s minor things like if you could spend five hundred dollars or less and just get all the minor things done, and then if there is something major at least you know, because then you might want to consider that when pricing the house or you might want to know probably someone’s going to find this issue and then they’re going to want a lower price. And I need to just be prepared for that in my own mind and my own budget, because, you know, that makes sense. If there’s a major issue.

Elsie: Yes. Strategy.

Emma: Mmhmm.

Elsie: OK, I’m going to read this next one word for word, because I really like the way he said it. It says, tips for the outside: new mulch and flower beds, fresh paint on shutters, gutters and trim, painting the front door and the mailbox a fun color. Buyers tend to name the house they’ve seen to help them remember. The yellow house. You never want to be the cat house.

Emma: He’s right. You don’t you don’t want to be the cat house. Oh, no. Yeah, I totally agree with that. I’m not even a landscape person. Like I don’t really care that much about landscaping. I’ll be honest. It’s just maybe I will someday, but I don’t right now. But I definitely, like you get a vibe right when you pull up to a house and if it feels rundown or not cared for that’s sort of the number one, you know, you get a feeling right away like I don’t know if I like this house.

Elsie: It’s true. Having the yard mowed, even if it’s winter and just doing fresh mulch and replacing like two dead plants could be like a make it or break it for the first impression. After that, there is a section called common mistakes, and there’s three.

Emma: OK.

Elsie: One common mistake is thinking the buyer will want to choose all their own finishes like carpet. So the seller, instead of replacing it, offers an allowance like do you ever see house listings where it’s like, you know, $2000 carpet allowance or $10,000 window allowance? Even though the seller has offered a solution for the problem, it is still a problem to overcome. Most people want a house without a problem. So, yeah, so that’s great advice, I think. Yeah. Actually, I. Because I’m a DIY person and I love renovating. I don’t even want to look at a house if it was just renovated, it doesn’t need renovation. But that’s not normal. I think it’s important to remember that most people want a house that doesn’t have problems they have to fix right away. And if you are selling your house knowing that there’s this big problem that needs to be taken care of, maybe just take care of it before you list it and, you know, add whatever costs that is to your price. So this is the one where I don’t think I agree with it, but I wanna hear what you think. Prior to listing, remove any fixtures, draperies or anything attached to the house that you intend to take with you after you sell. If it causes damage to the house being removed, go ahead and take it down, fix the damaged area before you list the home. This will help clear up any confusion for what you intend to take or leave. So I feel like this one’s kind of complicated because on one hand, I think if you’re going to take all of the curtains in your home or something you wouldn’t think of. You should write that in the not the listing, but in the disclosures like you should make it clear. I think it should be communicated, but I don’t think that you have to literally take down everything that you’re going to take with you, because I think that it’s a big part of staging. So I think it just maybe needs to be communicated like, for example, if you were going to take your fridge or your washer and dryer. I don’t necessarily think you need to photograph the house without them there.

Emma: Yeah, I agree about the fridge and appliances just because I also think those are so easy to imagine. Not there like you know, but actually curtains and especially…so. The main thing I thought of as you’re saying that tip is chandeliers is if there is some kind of. Beautiful, interesting chandelier in a house in someone’s gonna take it. I would. I mean, even if they totally put that in the notes and my realtor tells me I still would rather see the space without it. If at all possible. OK. So actually I do agree with that because when we started working on getting our house ready to sell, we did take down and replace three chandeliers in the house and actually four. And it’s not noticeable. Like I don’t even think most of our blog readers would catch them. But I took down the ones I wanted to take with me and replace them with something in a similar style that, you know, worked for the room.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: So I agree with that. But I think that on like other things, I’m not sure. I don’t know.

Emma: Well, curtains, like this makes it seem like you should even take down like art and mirrors and everything. And like, I don’t know, I think that would be good to have up.

Elsie: Yeah, I think it just depends because I think like, I have a pretty good imagination. So, and I like to change things. I’m like you. I like DIY, like renovation. So like, I’m good to see a house that’s completely not my style. And I’m just like imagining it different. But I think my husband has a harder time with that. So if there are a bunch of grandma drapes in the house. No offense to grandma drapes, but it’s gonna help him visualize the space better if those are removed. And it’s not a big deal if people leave them up because they’re not planning to take them or whatever. That’s cool. But I do think it kind of helps some people visualize better when more things are removed, when it just feels more bare.

Elsie: I heard before the rule of thumb is like if you can pick it up and take it, it’s OK to take if you have to use tools to get it off the wall. It’s not okay to take.

Emma: Oh, see, I always assume and would prefer if people removed all of their curtain rods from the wall.

Elsie: Really?

Emma: Most people hang them wrong. Or at least hang them different than I would. Let’s put it that way at least. But sometimes just straight up wrong.

Elsie: OK, well, I would too, but I feel like that’s not normal. So. And then the last one is just simply don’t make major renovations without consulting a real estate professional first. So if you’re going to do something just for the purpose of selling, then just at least take the time to call your realtor and make sure that they agree with you that that’s the best place, especially if you’re going to spend, you know, more than a thousand dollars. Like what if you were going to fix up a bathroom or something, you know, and it’s $5000. Your realtor might be able to just, you know, give you a suggestion of how that $5000 could go the furthest. And it might be something different. So unless it’s an unfinished project, I do agree with that. Just leave it. I think so many people renovate their house to sell and it doesn’t necessarily help the buyer. You just don’t know. Yeah, I agree. Do we have our things we love and things we don’t love?

Emma: Yes. We’re each gonna say like two to three things that can kind of annoy or distract us when we have looked at houses in the past. So this is kind of as the perspective of a potential buyer.

Elsie: Okay. I love this one because Emma and I have really different opinions about like Emma likes an unstaged house. Emma likes an unfurnished house.

Emma: Yeah. That’s my first one is like if at all possible, I would rather see a completely empty house. I don’t want to know where your furniture was. I want to like, I just want it to be completely empty. I have looked at houses that clearly they’re living there and furniture is there. And so it’s not like I wouldn’t look at a house unless it was empty. It’s just I greatly prefer it. I don’t really want to see a staged house. I just generally think I am very picky and like have my own opinions. So I just don’t even want to see, like, where you put the bed in a bedroom. I want to decide for myself because maybe I’ll want to put it in the same spot. But I just I don’t know. I don’t really care about your staging. So…

Elsie: That’s interesting. Okay. Because I am pretty much the opposite on this point. I want to talk more about this, but let’s take a quick break and hear from our sponsor.

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Elsie: I prefer to see a home with basic furniture in it because I feel like if I can see a living room with a sofa and two chairs, then I know how my stuff would fit in that room. Or if I walk into a bedroom I can tell what size bed is, then I’ll know what size it could fit. So sometimes I’ve noticed that when I look at homes that don’t have any furniture, they kind of shrink in my mind because I’m afraid that they can’t say fit, you know, normal sized stuff just because I haven’t seen it in there and I don’t if I don’t have the measurements.

Emma: There you have it, folks. Keep the furniture/don’t keep the furniture. It is truly pretty subjective.

Elsie: I know why you like looking at them totally blank. Yeah, I get it because it’s it’s more of a clean slate. You don’t have to think about the person’s stuff at all. OK. So my biggest pet peeve on house looking, I think yours is when the sellers stay.

Emma: Yeah. Well I kind of have two more I guess. So OK say yours.

Elsie: My biggest pet peeve. This ruined more houses for me than anything is when the home has been quote unquote flipped or renovated. But it’s in a generic low budget way. So, yeah. If all the bathrooms are redone with, you know, generic low budget supplies, that to me makes a worse house and ruins the home for me. I feel like I’m paying for the flip. And, you know, it’s taking away from my budget double because I’m paying for their flip and I want to do those rooms again.

Emma: Yeah, I pretty much agree. Plus, I always feel terrible if I redo a space and I know that the previous owner had done it in the last few years. Like if it’s obvious just by the tile choice…

Elsie: It’s wasteful.

Emma: It’s very wasteful. And I try to donate as much as I can to our Habitat for Humanity Restore and other places. But there’s times you demo a space and there’s nothing to save. You’re just ripping it apart. And it is wasteful and it makes me feel so guilty. But I’m also like, I don’t want to live with this. I don’t like it. I didn’t choose it. You know? So it’s just like tough. So it’s when I see a house that’s clearly been recently renovated and I just hate all the tiles all of the countertops…I’m just like, oh, man. Because I just think about all that going to a landfill. And I’m like, oh, I don’t want to do that. But I also. Does that mean I have to live in a house I don’t like? All right. I want to buy this house, you know?

Elsie: Yeah, it’s pretty complicated. And I know I’ve said this before on another episode, but yeah, I just beg of you, like if you fancy yourself as a house flipper, do it the quality way, please.

Emma: Ok. So here’s two more little ones for me. So one this one is super, super obvious. But I still feel like I want to say it, is just make sure your house is clean. One time Trey and I looked at this house and it was like Trey’s favorite house we’ve looked at in a long time. It was right around half a million dollars. It was a big, nice house and the pool was completely green. And here’s the thing. You can clean a pool. I’m not an idiot. I know you can clean a pool. I know the pool wasn’t ruined. But here’s the thing that it signals to me. It signals to me that, one, nobody’s living here and they haven’t for a while. So are there other underlying issues that haven’t been noticed and two this person doesn’t care enough about this home just to get the pool cleaned or just to clean this little thing. So what other things have they let kind of fall to the wayside? And it just gives me that feeling of am I buying a house that’s a lemon. And I’m going to be spending a bunch of extra money fixing stuff that somebody would have fixed if they had lived there and loved it. That I don’t even know if that’s true, but that’s just what it signals to me when somebody doesn’t take the time to really clean their house or like just have something decently put together doesn’t have to be perfect. But just like when something’s clearly just like dirty, I’m like, no, I don’t like this space because I don’t trust the seller basically. Okay. Yeah.

Elsie: But when people have it perfectly clean and you walk in it, it’s pretty impressive, honestly, especially when you can tell that they’re living there.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: It’s like How many times a day did they have to do this? I do. I have so much respect for people who have an immaculate house for you to view at like 8 a.m. and they’re still living there. That’s amazing.

Emma: Oh, yeah. That’s definitely amazing. And that’s above and beyond. I’m not even…I don’t think it has to be that level, like aim for that. But, you know, I get it. People have pets. People have children. It’s not always possible. But I just think, like, just look at your house through if you’re having a guest over. And if you would be embarrassed of your home to have a guest stay you need to clean it more to show it to sell. Okay. Yes because it’s not there. And then the last thing I would say, and I think we’ve said this in a previous episode, I don’t remember when it came up, but I really don’t like it when the seller of a home is at the home and they stay there while I’m viewing it. There is one time Trey and I looked at a home and it was a very nice home. It was probably a little out of our budget. And the other realtor stayed the whole time and that was kind of strange. It was almost like there was a bodyguard for the house, but that was fine.

Elsie: What was the reason for that?

Emma: It was an expensive house than I think they had some expensive artwork. So it was just a…

Elsie: Come on!

Emma: …Just making sure. Yeah. I don’t know. I wasn’t gonna take the artwork. But. Yeah. But that didn’t bother me so much. It was kind of weird, but it was fine. I also thought, you know, honestly it’s kind of smart because that realtor, she could gather feedback, whatever she heard us say. And then she could frame it back to the seller in a more positive light, you know, or whatever. But when the seller’s there, I just feel like I can’t even look at a house. I can’t I feel like I can’t talk to my husband at all.

Elsie: You’re literally opening their closet in front of them.

Emma: Exactly.

Elsie: It’s a terrible feeling.

Emma: Yes. And I can’t point out anything that I want to change because I feel bad. I don’t want it, you know, and sometimes I’ve had this happen where the seller’s there and they’re like explaining all the new things they’ve done the last few years. And in my mind, I’m like, I want to rip all that out. So I can’t say that right now. I don’t want to make you feel bad. So, yeah, I just I don’t like it when the seller’s there and I think it’s a mistake. So I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you’re selling your house. Don’t try to give a tour and like explain things. I really don’t think it works well in your favor. Just leave.

Elsie: Just leave.

Emma: Yeah, that’s what I would do. Let people talk about your house behind your back.

Elsie: Are we gonna do the rapid fire?

Emma: Yes, we’re gonna do three new segments, so we’re gonna do them kind of fast. We’re gonna try to not be so chit chatty like we are. The first segment is called Ninety Nine Problems. And the idea is just simply we’re gonna share something we’ve been having a problem with. It might be something deep, might be something lighthearted, just random, random problem. We’re gonna pour our hearts out and when we get to ninety nine we’ll stop this segment. Just kidding. Okay. But here’s mine. I’ll share my first. So my problem lately is my dog has been getting older. I have a pug named Love Love. He’s 13 years old now and he has really bad arthritis and back legs and he’s been losing control of his bladder. So I’ve transitioned to…he wears these like washable diapers most of the time. I currently only have three. And I found out yesterday I need to buy more because he went through all three of them fast. So. Yep. So. And he used to sleep in our bed. And our other dog still sleeps in our bed, Steve. And we’ve transitioned him now because of the bladder issues to sleeping in a kennel. And it’s actually been hard because he doesn’t like it. And so it’s been a transition in that way. And then also, it’s been really sad. All of it’s been really sad because I get really frustrated with him all the time. But then I feel bad because I know he can’t help it. And I also like one of my greatest fears is that my house smells like dogs. And I feel like my fears kind of come to life because I do have dog urine all over my house. I clean it everyday all the time. I feel like. And it’s still just is what it is. And so it’s been this really frustrating thing. But then the other side of me is like, I feel guilty for feeling like I’m angry at him because I know he doesn’t have that much more time. And he’s like, my best friend. I got him when I was 21. I’m turning 34 this month. Like, he’s my best little buddy and I love him so much. And he doesn’t seem to be in pain. And we’ve been to the vet. You don’t need to if you want to send me thoughts on my dog you can. But we go to the vet. We have a vet like I’m a pretty responsible dog owner. Yeah. And I do what the vet says generally. And, you know, I think we’re doing what we can. He has some arthritis medication he’s on and he did get a UTI and we went through the medicine for that. He’s we’re probably going to go to the vet again this weekend. Anyway, it’s just been this really like, heartbreaking thing that’s like kind of a big part of my day to day life right now. And there’s no real…I don’t know. I know I don’t talk about it that much because some people just don’t want to hear about other people’s pets. And I totally get it, you know? But I’m like, this is kind of what I’m spending a lot of my time on right now is putting diapers on my dog. So, yeah, poor little guy.

Elsie: Oh sister. You’re doing a good job. You’re doing a good job.

Emma: I’m trying. Don’t come to my house right now it smells terrible.

Elsie: My problem is little kid clothes. So obviously, I have two kids. They’re ages 4 and almost 2. So their age gap is not very big. And OK, there’s two problems that come with this one. They’re constantly growing out of clothes. And like, I just wasn’t prepared. I think it’s something that you have to get used to, how often you have to buy new clothes for little kids because it feels it feels like way too much, but it’s actually just covering their basic needs. And, but we’re just now getting to the point where we can start recycling some of Nova’s first clothes for Marigold. So we are going to get to a little bit more of a cycle. But then I have to organize it all. So anyway, it’s a lot it’s confusing. And I’m just like so like hoping so much that they will be the same size by the time they’re in elementary school. So I can just buy them a lot of that. Like, I’m just like, please, please, like the oh. The other problem is that when we fold and put away the laundry, we get them in the wrong drawers a lot because they have a lot of matching clothes, but their sizes are different, but they’re not as different as you would think. And sometimes it’s hard to tell who, and you have to look at the tag every single time. Anyway, this is definitely like a micro problem. I know, but it’s a problem. I’ve texted my friends numerous times, like how do I store and keep organized with all these different sizes and seasons and I just can’t get a hold of it. So if anyone has a tip and it’s not psycho, I’ll try it.

Emma: Yes, send it to what is our email? Podcast@abeautifulmess.com

Elsie: Yes, yes, yes. I would love to hear if there’s an easy solution. Yeah, because I just cleaned out Nova’s room over the weekend for the clothes that don’t fit her. And it was more than half of her clothes and there was like three different sizes in there because it’s it’s really complicated, you know, because there’s all these different brands and some are big, some are small. Some of the clothes we could take straight into Marigold room, some of them need to be stored anyway. You get it. It’s a real problem. It’s a dumb problem, but it’s real news.

Emma: New Segment: This one’s called What Am I Even Looking At? And the idea is simply like to share some TV show or movie or book that we’ve been looking at lately. That’s it. That’s all it is. Do you have one?

Elsie: I have one. OK. So we started watching this show called Good Girls. Have you heard of it?

Emma: No

Elsie: It has Christina Hendricks. Good Girls. It was setup to us by our friend who I’ll let them remain anonymous as this show is like Breaking Bad, but with women.

Emma: Oh, OK. I love Breaking Bad. Yeah, OK.

Elsie: So it’s not like Breaking Bad. It’s like if Breaking Bad was for 14 year olds, maybe like totally appropriate for 14 year olds. So it’s very young. It’s very PG but it is good. I’m not going to lie like I’m enjoying it. I love the characters. It’s a fun little marathon. It’s just two seasons. But it’s totally like I was thinking, if you had like kind of like a kid like Penny’s age, I think that you could maybe even, like, watch this with them.

Emma: Oh yeah?

Elsie: I guess it depends on like your personal like boundaries of what you think is appropriate…

Emma: Our niece Penny is 10 years old. Yeah, she’s 10. Just so everyone…

Elsie: I think if I had a 10 year old, I would probably let them watch the show. It’s it’s definitely OK for teenagers to watch. In my opinion.

Emma: So it doesn’t have cussing even?

Elsie: Maybe a little. But like not really kind of like our podcast.

Emma: Well, but we’re explicit!

Elsie: Yeah. It’s on that level. Like they. It’s nothing that bad. And yeah it has violence but not really it has suspense but kind of not it’s just I don’t know. It is…so I want to give one spoiler. And like, please, no one hate me. I don’t think that you’re going to watch it and you don’t want to spoiler. Don’t listen this part. Maybe just. Yes, skip ahead like one minute or less. But OK. So this is how crazy the show is. So there’s a character line where the husband was pretending to have cancer, to get the wife to stay with him. And then at a certain point she discovers it and they don’t even have a big fight about it. It just keeps moving forward. And it’s. And then after that, it’s like it never even happened. Like it just moves really…it moves really quickly. Kind of like a teenager show. Like when we were teenagers, we used to watch Smallville.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: It’s kind of like that where the storylines are really, really crazy and like kneejerk or whatever, like whiplash,.

Emma: Sounds Kind of like the plot of a soap opera to me. Like Days of our Lives

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Well, I’ll tell you mine. So mine’s much shorter. I recently rewatched Attack of the Clones. It’s the second Star Wars Episode 2. And I hadn’t watched this. I think they came out that the new ones, which is Episode 1, 2 and 3, it’s so hard to talk about Star Wars because the episodes are out of order. Anyway, those ones came out when I was like in high school or early college. I think high school. I can’t really remember.

Elsie: So these are like the ones with Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor.

Emma: Yes. Now. OK. Yep. They’re both in this one. And yeah. And I hadn’t watched it since it was in theaters. I love Star Wars. Let me say that. Love Star Wars. And I love. I like blockbuster movies, generally speaking, anyway.

Elsie: People were so mean about these movies. I remember.

Emma: Oh, yeah. People were very mean. And that’s why I wanted to rewatch it, because I was like, I just finished Mandalorian, Trey got me Disney Plus for Christmas. And I was like, I should rewatch those for those Star Wars because I remember when they came out in theaters and I saw them in theaters because I love Star Wars and I remember everyone hating them. I didn’t really think that much about. I didn’t like think they were as good as the old ones when they came out. But I still liked them, you know. So I was like, I’m gonna rewatch it. Maybe everyone was being mean. So I rewatched it. I think it deserves what it got back then. And also, I totally forgot how insane the CGI is in that movie. Like, just watch it just for that because it’s like a cartoon in many scenes because it’s so…the technology I don’t know if it was just like just starting back then or what, but. Whoa, whoa. The CGI. It’s crazy. Next segment, this segment is called Sparks Joy. And it’s simply where we are going to talk about something that we’ve loved lately. So something we’ve done or something we bought, whatever. Just anything that sparks joy. You hold it in your hand and you get that little Konmari.

Elsie: I love it. I want to do this segment every episode. OK. Do you want to go first?

Emma: Yeah. OK, I’ll go first. So mine is in the a couple episodes ago we did a section on hibernation wisdom and one tip Elsie gave for the winter is to clean out your house. Just work on de-cluttering. And I’ve been doing that because I also love that tip and I love doing that. And I’m kind of stuck in the house when it’s cold. So I recently cleaned out my kitchen shelves and I don’t have a pantry in my house. I just have kitchen shelves. That’s where we keep all our food that doesn’t go in the fridge. There’s like three different shelves. And I cleaned all that out. And I apparently I hadn’t done it in a long time because I had numerous items that had expired and. Twenty eighteen, twenty, eighteen. It’s twenty, twenty. Yes. So I was intending to clean it out and like donate most the stuff to food pantry. But I realized I only had like one thing to donate and most the stuff I cleaned out was just expired and I was very embarassed for myself.

Elsie: That’s gross but you’re probably fine, right?

Emma: I wasn’t eating it. It was just stuff I’d been leaving in the pantry because I just hadn’t cleaned out the pantries in a long time. So just sitting in there for no reason. Anyway, that sparks joy for me, though, because, one, it was hilarious, but also now I opened my my kitchen drawers and there just are not drawers, cabinet and every single item is something I know we’re going to use. And I can see it all. It’s not cluttered and it’s also very minimal. And I’m like, that’s good, because I know we’re gonna get through all this. We’re not going to waste it. I can be sitting on the shelf for two years after it expires, hopefully. So anyway, that was something I did lately that sparked joy.

Elsie: Nice. Best feeling ever. Mm hmm. Mine is a purchase. So. Ok. So I wanna talk about this little glass brand. So I first heard about them when we did our Habitat for Humanity house, which we can link in the show notes because it’s been a lot of years since that happened. But when we did the big shoot with them for Real Simple magazine, they restaged our house. And so they brought in a ton of stuff. And at that point, we learned a bunch of new brands that we still like today.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: So this is one of them. It’s called Glassy Baby. And it is a glass company. And they make these beautiful hand blown glasses and they’re a little bit pricey. So I got four of them as sort of like celebration gift for a new house. And I was going to save them for when we moved to use them. But I couldn’t wait. So excited. So I’ve been using it every night. And I’ll link the exact color. I spent like a long time choosing which color and everything. And yeah, they’re just so high quality and amazing. Like, I don’t know if anyone, like cares about things like this, but I always have a favorite glass. Always have a favorite. Everything. A favorite coffee mug. Favorite glass. These are my favorite glasses right now. I just love them and the company. So a big part of their mission is donating back to people who are unable to pay the costs of their cancer treatments. So I love supporting them and I want to give them a shout out. And it’s just beautiful. Like, if you want to buy something that’s kind of like a piece of art for your kitchen. Very special. Sparks joy! Thank you for listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast this week. If you have a minute, please give us a shout out on Instagram stories. I feel so cheesy asking you. But it really helps us grow and we’re trying to reach a big goal right now. So thank you so much for listening and for supporting us.

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  • Hi there,
    Catching up on your podcast and loving it… Just wondering… Elsie, now that you have prob caught up on Good Girls.. you don’t still think its ok for kids right?? I really enjoy watching it but never thought it was a kid friendly show… just wondering if you still think so?

  • This was a great episode! Loved the tips and completely agree with you that if an area of the house is dirty or uncared for, I question how well the house has been maintained. Love all the new segments!

  • Hi there! Love this podcast SO SO much! Question for you in your expert opinions. I know you both mentioned disliking when the seller is at the home, however, what if I am selling without a realtor. I’m selling my first home as “for sale by owner” and since there’s no one showing our house for us, my husband or I need to be there to allow any potential buyers in. Our plan was to let them in and then say “we’ll be over here if you have any questions” and leave them to it so as not to intrude. What are your thoughts or suggestions for making potential buyers feel more comfortable in a situation like that?

  • Please do blog posts on staging your house to sell!! we’ll most likely list our home this spring/summer and could definitely use some inspiration!

  • Hi Elsie – I have 2 girls, 19 months apart (currently 5 and 3.5). I struggled as well until I found a solution that simplified everything: common closet ! They are not the same size but some clothes fit both (a bit large for the young one, but for some pieces it does not really matter). So now everything is in my oldest’s big closet. It’s divided in 3 from left to right (with the hanging rod in the middle, with shelves above and below the hanging space). Formall columns, sweaters at the top, then tshirts, then skirts, bottoms and pajamas at the bottomon. In the right hand “column”, stuff that only fit the oldest, in the left hand column, stuff that only fits the youngest, in the middle column, stuff that fits both. That way if it’s ever put in the wrong column, you just switch it to the next one, easy as it’s the same closet. So much easier when putting clean laundry back in the closet, or prepping the next day clothes. And above the closet, 2 boxes, 1 for stuff still too big for the oldest (I check it every other month), 1 for stuff too small—> to give away when friends with younger kids stop by. And two big boxes under the bed for off-season clothes. I’ve been doing that for a year, it works perfectly and .is such a time saver ! hope it helps!

  • Just chiming in on the older dog :). I also have a geriatric dog with similar issues and I just appreciated hearing someone else feeling so conflicted. Love the heck out of him, but I’d sure love if he didn’t pee all over my house. I know when this season is over, it’s not going to be the years I remember about him though.

  • Hi!
    Another great episode (and I am not even interested in selling my house, haha). Congrats!

    On the subject of furnished/unfurnished, for me, when house hunting, I prefered to have both views: either the listing must have furnished photos and the place be unfurnished, or the other way around. That way, you can imagine the space but also get some kind of a reference. I like a blank canvas, but am crap at sizing a room at a glance.

    Elsie, about the clothes! My kids are 2 years apart and, granted, not the same gender, but they use basically the same clothes. While #1’s are small but do not yet fit #2 I store them in ikea skubb shoe boxes with a tag with the size on it (they fit more stuff than one would think and stack up pretty good).
    About marking them while both use the clothes, have you considered iron-on stickers? You can get very small colored stickers, or order a plain colour and cut them up in small squares or circles. They stick very easily and don’t come off when washing. That way you can put a color square, for instance, inside Nova’s items, where it is easy to access (collar, waist…) so that you don’t have to look for the size. I use a Spanish brand called Stikets, but surely there are plenty in the States.

    Keep up the good work! I can’t wait for the next episode! <3

  • Hello!

    If you ever decide to discuss listener questions in the podcast or on the blog, I have one that’s itching me: when it comes to tidying/Konmariing-how do you handle things from your childhood and youth? I think it’s such a challenging thing to do because a lot of it gives me joy but at the same time I don’t want all of it to always be displayed (which is what the Konmari method suggests; or at least the way I interpret it-treat mementos as mementos).

    I’m in the process of moving all my things from my childhood home after having lived with parts of my stuff here and there the last fifteen years.

    Thanks! – R

  • Hey Emma…ONLY because you mentioned you noticed yourself treating Mr. LoveLove differently, I thought I’d share my similar experience. I have a 3 year old pup that has had leaky bladder issues since he was a pup. I was “dealing with it” using belly bands but found I wouldn’t heavily cuddle with him or want to lay with him like my other pups because of his body would always reek of urine (and our house, also we bathed him at least once a week). Once I registered that my behavior and demeanor to him was different, and I wasn’t giving him the best parts of having a human friend, I sought alternatives. We have been giving our pup Proin (usually reserved for older pups with bladder problems) and it has completely changed our family for the better. While I felt nuts for putting my dog on medication he didn’t “need” it has really allowed us as a family to live a full life together (I’m officially an insane dog mom with that sentence!). Whatever you choose to do for your pooch is the right choice but I so related with your experience of internal conflict/guilt on the experience that I wanted to share in the off chance it might be a fit for your pup.

  • This was such perfect timing for this episode as our house goes on the market this March! So thank you!! I think you guys had such great tips.

    Ps. Emma, as another 13 yr old dog haver, my heart goes out to you! I could relate to how you felt so much. Its heartbreaking to see them change and struggle. Sending you and your sweet boy lots of love and comfort.

  • I love all the new segments and totally can’t choose a favorite! Emma, I am sending so much love and well wishes to you and your pup! Elsie, whoever described Good Girls to you as the female Breaking Bad was so so so wrong. I love the show so much but definitely can’t imagine describing it that way. I mean maybe I would say “if Breaking Bad was a comedy that aired on NBC” but even that is a stretch. It’s such a good mix of comedy and really deep and heartfelt stuff!

  • Thanks for another helpful & fun episode! One recent Lazy Genius episode on kids’ clothes is wonderful if you want a system for sorting, storing, and passing it. http://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/lazy/kidclothes

  • Emma— I have a 16-year-old spaniel mix who hasn’t been able to walk well for the past 2-3 years and thus has had to wear diapers. I think the key for me in dealing with it is to just lean in and invest in making the problem easier to solve. I started with 3 dog diapers and now I have 21 so I never run out. Also suspenders in various designs to keep the diapers up and also to make me laugh. Also a doggie speedo for full body diaper support. Also washable pads for him to lay on, pad and nail grips to help him walk better, walking harnesses, fur wipes for pee stains, etc. At first I think I was kind of in denial and hoping it wouldn’t get worse. But I let go of that disappointment and now I’m free to continue to enjoy his company and I think he is happier too.

  • Emma- we have a dachshund pug mix who has a bladder problem. we use a belly band on him ( male diaper) but we use super woman’s menstrual pads (without wings) and put them in the diaper too and change it out alot. We keep them outside in a trash can that we empty once a week. We’ve been doing this method for over 4 years and they help so much!

  • Love the tips! I’m looking to sell my first house in the next year or two, so these are super helpful! Also, I NEED Emma’s sweater in the Agility ad above–any idea if its still available?

  • Not selling our house but still super helpful info! I always look forward to listening to you girls every Monday. I really liked all three segments and Emma it just felt so raw when you opened up about your dog, I just wanted to give you a hug ???? our dog is older as well and her build is really goofy (she’s a German Shepard/corgi) she has amazing yoda dog years but she’s been having a really hard time with her hind legs and has been falling a lot going up and down the step to get outside.We are doing everything we can (vet,meds,etc) and now through out the day it consists of lifting a 50 lb dog up a step to get in from outside. You are doing great caring for your guy and he’s so lucky to have you as his owner!! Thanks for opening up ❤️

  • Thanks for yet another interesting podcast! So helpful as well! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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