As we’ve been slaving away at the new house, it’s been interesting to get a glimpse into the decorating/home improvement/maintenance life of the previous occupants. We’ve appreciated much of the work that was done before we got there– new roof, new electrical wiring, new hot water heater… but many of the choices that have been made in the past have made our lives exceedingly difficult. I’m sure that no one wants to be judged by those that come after you in your dwelling, so for the sake of all of you fellow transients out there, I’m compiling a list of the advice I wish I could have given these folks.
1. Remove nails from the wall before you vacate. This is especially thoughtful if you have used nails to display collections of knickknacks across vast stretches of open walls, and if you like use nails to secure garlands across the top of every doorway. If you want to really be nice, go ahead and putty the holes.
2. If you begin a painting project and realize that the original layer of paint is oil-based, do not continue to paint without using an appropriate primer or sander. SOMEONE will have to scrape off all that paint, and it’s a mean project to leave for someone else.
3. If you insist on using your Fry Daddy in the kitchen near your white-painted windows, go ahead and clean up after yourself. It’s sanitary, and besides, it’s not like grease gets easier to scrape off the paint the longer it is left there. Furthermore, make sure to take your Fry Daddy with you.
4. Don’t let your kids affix stickers to the hardwood floors.
5. (Especially for you dudes) When you shave in the bathroom, go ahead and wipe up the spare whiskers. If you are living in your house, your wife doesn’t want to have to clean those up. If you are moving out, cleaning up your own whiskers is really a must. Leaving them for future occupants is in bad taste.
6. If you don’t want that wooden mallard, chances are the next person won’t either. Go ahead and toss it, don’t hide it in the laundry room to become someone else’s problem. Ditto for the faded curtains.
7. If you have a nice wooden floor in the kitchen, don’t cover if up with laminate stick-on tiles. Hardly anyone uses cheap laminate flooring unless they have to. If you have wood floors, you do not belong in that category.
8. Almost everyone understands if you have to put cheap countertops in the kitchen- hey, renovating is expensive! However, fewer people will understand if you choose to pick out the brightest green shade fo the cheap countertops. Not everyone is into decorating kitchens in a leprechaun theme, and such a bold choice can be hard to work around.
In other news, if anyone is interested in a wooden mallard, a Fry Daddy, or some pale curtains, let me know. I can give you a great deal.