To quote our song, "There's got to be a morning after." And so it is with showings. A house showing is another form of the gift-and-curse syndrome. Of course, we welcome showings because they give us a tiny bit of hope once again that our house will be sold. On the other hand, showings are a true pain.
Oh, it's not just the fact that strangers are traipsing through my house, although it is that too. It's not just the fact that those very strangers are making negative comments (OK, call me paranoid) about our decorating or cleaning abilities, although that certainly comes into play. It's not just the full-blown cleaning mode we are in right up until the showing, although that is indeed exhausting and stressful. When I got ready for work this morning, the morning after last night's showing, I realized the true problem I have with showings.
It's my memory.
I'm one of those folks who constantly writes notes. If my memory is this bad at age 51, no telling what it will be when I'm 80. Nevertheless, the way I cope is to write notes. I keep an index card by my desk at work for my notes. I have sticky notes. I have calendars. I have all the necessary accoutrements of someone this age who needs little reminders.
I have found security in my piles. Oh, yes - I have them scattered around. You might call it clutter, but to me, they are piles. I keep them in plain sight because I'm afraid I will forget them if they are filed away or shoved in a drawer. I discovered decades ago that I operate mostly on a visual level (as opposed to auditory level, which might make one understandably question my chosen career of listening to dictation). If I see it, I can remember it.
Right now, my "filing system" consists of various piles of papers on our dining room table, along with a giant calendar in which I have marked paydays and bills due. One pile is for current bills. One pile is for ongoing bills. One pile is for papers that need to be put in my 2006 box of whatever. One pile consists of catalogs and magazines I have yet to read. And then there's the pile everyone has, I suppose. It's called, "I need to keep this but I'm not sure what to do with it." Restaurant coupons, sale flyers, reminders that I need to make an optometrist appointment - that sort of thing.
If any of the above gets filed away or shoved in a drawer, I will forget about it. I will forget to make my appointment, I will not have the JoAnn Fabric coupon when I go to Bangor, and I will forget that I already paid half of the radiology bill. I have to see these things, and I have to see them daily.
Over by the computer, there are more piles, though not as big. Instructions Matt sent me on how to download a certain software. Ideas for a greeting card. Another to-do list. Some Borders coupons. A reminder from the bank about fee changes on May 31st. It's also the repository for my load of index cards from work which I have scribbled reminders on.
These papers are an important part of my life. I can't function without these piles. Because they are "messy clutter," they are the first things to be hidden when we have a showing.
The house looks great this morning. Every surface clean and bare. I know I have to go to work this morning, but as for the rest, without my piles to consult, I'm at a loss. I think I'll be spending the afternoon retrieving and organizing them. That is, if I even remember to.