1. Don't let your possessions possess you.
2. Always have your compassion out and ready to use.
3. If something is too overwhelming, take a walk and get some air. It will still be waiting for you when you return, but you'll be ready for it.
4. It will take at least three times as long as you think to settle an estate.
5. Be prepared to be knocked on your ass by the memories that will be triggered by the things you encounter -- no matter how unattached you think you are.
It really has been a long slog, but once the house sells, our shoulders should be even lighter. Work on the house included: getting the front of the exterior painted, taking up the carpet and polishing the existing hardwood floors, replacing the carpet in the den (now called the family room), repainting each room, repainting the trim, repainting the fireplace, painting the kitchen cabinets, putting down new linoleum in the kitchen, taking down wallpaper, replacing the kitchen appliances, replacing the hardware throughout the house, gutting both bathrooms, treating and fixing termite damage, laying new lawn (which was done early on), and before anything else could happen, clearing the house.
It's been emotional, a major burden, tension causing, but most of all, it's been a great learning experience, and I'm so glad we're almost at the end. I hope whomever purchases The Concord House has many happy years there and that the rooms echo with laughter.
*All photos in this post are from James, our real estate agent.