Clear Signs that the Woman Who Sold You a House is Crazy…or a Genius

This post is about helping a friend get her new place ready to move in.

No, wait, it’s about moving out the previous owner so the friend can move in.

This post is about patience.

Usually, after a buyer closes (takes ownership, gets the keys, the address is hers, she owns a mortgage—you get the idea) on a home, she gets to move in. This is what one of my BFFs (Tara) thought. It’s what we all thought when we made plans to help her strip 1980s wallpaper and paint. Painting Party!

Was Rome built in a day?

Did I write my masters thesis in a semester?

Can you harvest carrots a month after planting seeds?

Can you pack up and move out an entire house and two-car garage in less than a day?

No is the answer to all those questions. A big fat NO.

Last Friday, I brought lunch to Tara and my hubby and another friend who were supposed to be hard at work preparing the rooms for the painting party on Saturday.

The looks on their faces said something was going down (and I don’t mean the popcorn texture of the ceiling that was all over the floor). The stuff Tara was taking out of the linen cabinets and packing made me think I was in rewind mode. Why was she packing stuff into boxes? Someone had pushed a rewind button—it was the only explanation…

Then I noticed the strangers in the master bedroom. They were also packing……….


Had the previous owner made an agreement at closing to have a few more days to pack?


This woman also managed to pack her purse (that’s another story), so she didn’t have any money to buy more boxes or get a hotel or…

Buy a brain? (Did I say that out loud?)

Sheesh. She was squatting. The place wasn’t that big, but the entire living room floor was covered in her junk. The two-car garage was filled with stuff and boxes waist high.

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Photo courtesy of Tara

Wow. Just wow.

“Thank you so much for helping me,” she said to my husband and our friend.


They weren’t doing it for you, honey.

Tara gave me a tour of her cute new home. Really, I had to look beyond the 1980s-dated décor, but still super cute, just like Tara (who is, by the way, one of the most patient and generous people I’ve ever met).

“Here’s the powder room with the gaudy red ceiling that has to go.” Tara flipped on the light. I think she did, but the light was so dim it was hard to tell. “Oh, she took the light bulbs. There were bigger, brighter bulbs in here earlier.”

Really? The light bulbs?

The bulbs must have held some very sentimental value to her, because they were packed.

Either this woman was clueless about her behavior, or she’s more clever than we gave her credit for. Maybe it was her master plan to wait until there were people who would pack for her so they could get her out of the way. It’s not easy to strip wallpaper and sand ceilings with strangers and stuff under foot.

She had no one to help her, except her useless, unshowered boyfriend who thought the guys were just hired workers and was shocked that they would do all this work for a friend.

Corrections: The woman really had no one to help her. Also, Tara is family.

Perhaps she knew Tara and I would buy her packing boxes because she didn’t have any money (even if she could find her purse that was hiding in a box somewhere in the moving truck—or in plain sight…).

As procrastination goes, this was the epitome of procrastination, a supreme case of total lack of planning, an estimation of work that went horribly wrong, a case of not knowing the rules of engagement.

OR, it was the ultimate devious plan to get assistance. (“Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?” ~Pinky)

Either way, Tara had to serve her with a notice of eviction to be out in three days or the sheriff would take care of the rest.

I’m glad it didn’t come to that.

How long it takes two people (OK, one and a half people) to empty a garage?

Three. Exactly three licks. Oh, wait, that’s a Tootsie Pop. 😀

It takes a few days, not a few hours. Don’t wait until after the closing date to start packing. That was one of the many life lessons we learned that weekend. That’ll have to wait for another post. Yep, lessons learned and blue phones that match the tile grout…Stay tuned.

Your turn to share! Have you ever had an unbelievable experience with moving or renovating? Maybe it was a lesson in generosity, patience, and tough love?

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