Home Staging and Loss: What I Know for Sure
One of the biggest surprises people have about being a Home Stager in Westchester County is the sense of loss that’s part of most every job. Sometimes in wistful threads, sometimes much more dramatically, but it’s almost always there.
One of the biggest surprises I find in others is their resistance or unwillingness to factor in the emotional component our space and our stuff plays in our lives.
Feelings of loss are not always logical. They can be perplexing. And it can sneak up on you in the most subtle, and confounding ways. Like when you really, really would like to be happy .
As I reflect on the last 96 hours of my life, all this, and Gene Siskal’s touchstone ‘what do you know for sure?’ query to Oprah Winfrey has been bouncing around in my brain….
- Five properties I prepared for sale either went to contract, or were at the closing table
- We celebrated a wonderful, warm and loving wedding with friends
- An interview I gave months ago appeared in its full glory in the Fall issue of the very prestigious Westchester Magazine HOME (print AND online!)
- And the neighbor I consider a sister I never had moved away
Not far. And it was a great move for her, the right thing to do. Had helped her get her place ready, and knew the agent she chose, so no surprises. And I handle these kind of feelings every day, for a living!!! So why did removing the turkey I had kept in her freezer, or the ‘last’ time I fed her cat STILL make me so feel so sad? Why did the sight of her welcome mat in the trash, or her name off the mailbox hit me so hard?
Waaay deep down, our cells know for sure that our relationships are our most precious entity, the most enduring testament of our time here on earth. Things are the tangible connections to relationships…so when they threaten to change, actually do or go away, our synapses connect the two, so we fear, and experience loss.
“Understanding”-or even being a Stager does not automatically lessen, or make these feelings disappear. Had written on this before, about parting with the outfit I wore the night Doug and I got engaged.
Clearing away personal things is a very real and necessary part of getting a property ready for sale. The Refreshed Home counsels agents, executors and family members that going through (not around) this issue is the way to get the job done. Acknowledging, and honoring the feelings moves you forward.
OK, as a Home Staging professional I knew all this…but this week brought it home, and reinforced what I really, really do know for sure.