The last month has been...hectic.  We put in an offer on my our dream home, only to find out there were several other offers and ours was not the highest.  Goodbye dream home. We looked at several other options, found another one that we could be happy in (same price, but 4 bedrooms - oh well).  But when we told our landlord, he made us an offer we couldn't refuse.  Upon closer inspection, the Builder determined it was only a small area of the attic that needs the insulation replaced and was in better condition than he first thought.  So we're buying our rental house!

I really debated back and forth.  We're a family of 6 and ideally, I would like a home with more space.  But the reality check is that my oldest is a teenager and most likely will not be in the house in another 10 years.  Sounds like a long time, but it's really not when you consider a 30 yr. mortgage.  So, we accepted the offer, yeah!  The first hurdle (we're pre-approved through our lender already) is to get the home to appraise for what my landlord wants.  Because of course, he wants needs to make a profit.  

So our realtor and lender both agreed we should stage the house as if we are selling it.  Look at it from a buyers point of view.  Freshen any paint that's looking tired, make the lawn show ready, and clean and organize the house. The idea is to spend as little as possible because it's not our house yet, so no major upgrades!

Organize.  So this is not really my strongest area of expertise.  Since the inspection can be scheduled at any time now, I can't put it off.  So this weekend, I decided to tackle a very big hot spot in my home (yes, I'm a Flybaby...when I get in gear and do it...) - my office space.  Sadly, this was my starting point (sorry for the grainy photo, best one I could get in the early morning hours!):
For the last couple of months, my desk space has become the family dumping ground.  And this is the first thing you see when you open my front door.  NOT attractive.  I knew it looked bad.  But with weddings and vacations and the end of the school year, I just let it keep getting worse.  

The first step was obvious.  Clean out all the trash and put anything away that didn't actually belong there.  My kids have dumped a plethora of paper with the end of school here for some reason.  My printer seems to be a stacking place too.  Some of that stuff needs to be there, but with a better way to organize it.  I knew I was working on this area this weekend, so I perused the clearance stuff at Super Target and came up with some baskets that I think really work.  Take a look at the after:

Yeah, pretty amazing what some serious cleaning will do and $20 worth of baskets.  The basket on top is empty.  I needed something to fill the space and it's the wire looks similar to chicken wire.  Love it!  The two small baskets down below are for notebooks (my kids love to draw, so I like to keep spiral notebooks handy for them) and the second one is for the printer paper.  Those were the only two my Super Target had, so I'm going to go my local Target tomorrow to see if I can find two more.  The plastic box holds important papers, which I need, but needs to find a new home.  But for now, it's better than being on the floor, as it was before.  I swear all I did was clean up clutter and add a few baskets.  It's not perfect, there are a couple things on my printer that I need that don't fit in my file cabinet or these baskets, but this is a HUGE improvement.  I also have plans to change out the artwork above my computer.  It's a print that has become tired in the last 2-3 years (I bought it 12 years ago at Walmart!) and doesn't work with my new computer.  I would change it out even if we moved. I think some more storage options might be a better choice, so we shall see.

OK, off to tackle a few more hot spots before The Builder and my boys return from camp!