Putting on the dog

I’ve been putting countless hours into prepping our house for sale.  If you’ve ever undertaken something of the sort, you know what I mean – you get used to living with your house a certain way, with the furniture in a certain arrangement, you stop noticing how horrid the closet really looks, and so forth.  But when you start making changes for other people you find yourself saying “Wow, I really wish we had made the effort to clean out that closet years ago, it makes an enormous difference.”

My grandmother calls this sort of thing – going to a lot of extra trouble to make an impression on people you aren’t really that close to – “putting on the dog.”  I’m not sure what that means but I say it too because it’s colorful.

We’re definitely putting on the dog at our house these days and we constantly say “Well, at least we get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks.”  It does make me think though, about how many areas of my life would benefit from putting in, not a false or exhausting level of effort, but just a little more effort, and what a benefit that might be for the people around me that I do care about.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying my newly beautiful bathroom, gorgeously decluttered and open closet, and newly whiter baseboards while I can.

6 thoughts on “Putting on the dog

  1. It is funny how that works out. We finished re-doing our bathroom about 3 days before we moved out! Such a shame! I always say I’m going to change my habits and start keeping a spotless house, but it’s always harder than I think and so easy to loose sight of that sort of perfection. Most days, not tripping over toys down the hall is success for me.

  2. We moved last year, and a few months before putting our house on the market we finished up lots of little projects that we’d been wanting to do. Some of them since we’d moved in originally seven years earlier! Hope those new owners enjoy the improvements, because we didn’t get a lot of use out of them.

    I also had staging help because I am so decorating-challenged, and it also made me wish I’d gotten some help much sooner. The difference it made with the curtains and artwork they picked out was astonishing!

    And we’ve been in our new house 10 months and I still have no curtains or artwork up here. Decorating-challenged and it’s-just-not-a-priority combine to make it look like we just moved in. 🙂

  3. We have had our house on the market for 29 days, now (not that I’m counting.) My husband refers to putting on the dog as “putting lipstick on a pig.”
    Good luck! My patience has been sorely tested with trying to keep a neat house with three small children….

  4. We have done this several times; moving that is. After the first house, were we finally got around to staining the fence right before putting it on the market – yeah, the fence we had been hoping to stain for about 2 years – we decided we would never do that again. Now, we try to do things so that we too can enjoy them.

    Hope you enjoy the “new” house for a while before moving. Maybe it will give you motivation or new ideas for the next place.

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