In my last post, I shared the news that we were moving to North Carolina for a new job. Once we made the decision to go we had to take the next big step, which was to put the house on the market.

Ready to put your house on the market? What every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. |

We’ve sold 6 homes during our 30 year marriage, and they’ve all sold pretty quickly, so I’ve done this enough times to know what you should do to get your home ready to sell. This isn’t about picking a great realtor or setting the right price, which are important steps to consider when selling, this is all about getting your home ready to put on the market.

front of house pic 4Before we even sign the papers for the realtor to list our house, we always go through a checklist of things to focus on to get the house ready. If you need to sell a house quickly like we did, and even if you don’t, you have to make a list of the most important things that should be done. This isn’t the time to build a deck or start a big remodel, you are just doing essentials to get on the market.

How to get your home ready to sell


  • This is probably the single most important thing you can do before you put your house on the market. It’s a great time to get rid of things that have been sitting in the basement collecting dust (hello old Christmas tree) or cluttering up the closet. Do a quick sort, you don’t want to think too much about it, and anything that hasn’t been used in a year or two, and you know you won’t use again, goes in a donation or trash pile. You need to do this in every room. Prospective buyers will come into your house and look in every closet, and even the kitchen cabinets, so you want them to look as uncluttered and neat as possible.

Cleaning up clutter is one thing that every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. |

Make Repairs

  • Do you have a railing that needs to be painted, kitchen cabinets that need a quick touchup or a temporary shade in a bedroom window? Now’s the time to get all of the little cosmetic jobs done that never seemed important enough to finish. Your house will be put under the microscope when buyers come through, so you want them to see your house in the best light possible.

Clean Up the Yard

  • Whatever the time of year, you should try to do what you can to make your yard look it’s best. Put away the shovel or broom that is leaning against the house and pick up the sticks scattered around your yard. This go-round, we set up the deck with our patio set and outdoor rug, even though it’s winter. You want the outside to look as good as the inside.

Cleaning up the yard is one thing that every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. |

Give Your House A Good Cleaning

  • Once you’ve decluttered and made necessary repairs, it’s time to give your house a thorough cleaning. That means dusting, vacuuming, cleaning all of the bathroom fixtures, cleaning dirty rugs, washing windows and dusting light fixtures (I’ve even cleaned the bulbs). Your kitchen should be spotless too. Spend the extra time to clean the oven, replace drip pans and make sure the fridge is presentable and smelling good. Remember, buyers look at (and in) everything when they come into your home, and stoves and refrigerators are not exempt from scrutiny. A bit much? Maybe. But I think that showing a clean house, even if it has some flaws, is more likely to sell than showing a dirty house.

Staging Your Home

  • One very last thing you should do before the “For Sale” sign goes up in the yard is to stage your home. Take down personal pictures, don’t forget to repair the holes, declutter countertops and tabletops and keep decoration to a minimum. I approach this step completely differently than I would if I was photographing a room for the blog. For instance, if I’m shooting the kitchen for a post, I’ll put bottles of San Pelligrino out along with a cutting board and maybe some fruit or a loaf of Italian bread.

Simplifying is one thing that every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. |

But, if I’m getting ready for a buyer to come through, I’ll make sure all the countertops are completely clear. You want them to see all of the awesome space they’ll have when they are cooking a meal in their new kitchen. I may add some fresh flowers or a throw on a bed, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

Keeping kitchen counters clear is one thing that every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. |

See the difference? Yeah, it may be a little boring but you want buyers to come into your home and see themselves in there, not you. You need to go through and do this in every room. Make them look pretty but not personal. Simple is best.

Showing Your Home in its Best Light

  • Your home is ready and it’s on the market when you get that first exciting call that someone wants to see it. There are a few things you need to do before you walk out the door to let the prospective buyer in.
    • make all the beds, clean up the bathroom and clear your kitchen counters
    • turn every light on in the house, even in the closets and basement
    • make sure your house smells it’s best, if I have fair warning I’ll light a couple of candles (just make sure you extinguish them before you leave)
    • remove pet toys and bedding (mine goes in the basement or a locked armoire, I’ve even put them in my car)
    • take your pet with you (it’s not always convenient, but not everyone likes pets)
    • lock up or take valuables with you (I pack a bag with my expensive jewelry, computer and any personal papers that are laying around)

One last look around and you’re ready to show your home knowing that it looks it’s very best.

Keeping your decor simple is one thing that every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. | chatfieldcourt.comWhat every homeowner should do to get your home ready to sell. | chatfieldcourt.comPutting  your home on the market is definitely stressful and a lot of work, but if you follow these simple steps to getting it ready, you may get an offer quicker than you thought. Ours went under contract less than 24 hours after it went on the market, so it is possible.

Have you ever sold your home? Do you have any tips on how to get your home ready to sell?

In case you missed it, I shared the reason why we’re moving here…


Change of Plans…

…and 7 helpful tips and tricks for moving.

7 useful moving tips and tricks that will make your move easier. |

7 Helpful Moving Tips and Tricks 



Hello and welcome.

Today is a special day on the blog. It’s special because it marks the first anniversary of Chatfield Court (to celebrate I am going to host a giveaway so keep reading for details). It was one year ago today that I posted for the first time and I remember it very well because it’s the same day that we closed on our little house.

My First Year of Blogging | Chatfield

The day we moved in…

Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I made it through and lived to tell the tale. So much has happened this past year with this little blog and I’ve learned so much about myself and about blogging, and I have loved every minute of it. Sure, there have been some bad days here and there and some projects that didn’t turn out like I hoped but I’ve enjoyed it all from painting walls and miles of trim to learning about seo and html. I think the best part of all of this is reading the comments and emails I get after I’ve shared a post. All of those thoughtful and supportive emails and comments are what keep me going. I truly appreciate it when someone takes time out of their day to stop by to read or to read and comment. 🙂 Thank you!! I also want to give a shout out to Mr. C²- my main squeeze, my helper, my model, my idea-bouncer-offer, thanks for all of your support (and for not calling me crazy when I know you really wanted to).

My First Year of Blogging | Chatfield

My model for photos…Mr. C.

I’ve never shared with you the reason why I started Chatfield Court and I thought that today would be a good day to do that. I have loved reading blogs for many years (I started out reading makeup blogs…my guilty pleasure) and I always felt that, being a lover and doer of diy, decorating and home improvement, I had something I could contribute.  I also felt that blogging would be good for me because it allows me to be at home and work on something that I love at my own pace. Fifteen years ago I suffered a pretty bad back injury and ended up having 13 back surgeries. Unfortunately none of the surgeries relieved my pain, although my back is stable for now. I’m in a lot of pain all the time and it prevents me from being able to work outside the home and to do a lot of other things I love to do. My activities are limited but finding the blogging world has given me a purpose again. Something I’ve been looking to find for 15 years. So, I can’t do every project myself, Mr. C² helps me with some stuff, and I may take a really long time to paint a room, because I can only work for an hour at a time, but I am busy again, mind and body. This isn’t something that I share often (sometimes people treat me differently after I told them because they don’t understand chronic pain) and I’ve struggled over the past year whether or not I should share it on here. After all, this is a blog about diy and home improvement and not about health, but I really feel like it’s part of who I am and why I do this and it’s time to be open about it and to move on.

Phew…that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. 😉

So, to thank you all for supporting me and Chatfield Court this past year, I thought I would do a little giveaway tomorrow. This comes from my heart (and my own pocket ;)) so I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to enter and to see how far the house has come this past year. I’ve got so many plans and plenty of projects to share this next year, including a whole kitchen redo to tackle. So much to do and so much to look forward to. Here’s to another great year!

Thanks so much for stopping by.



Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend.

Until we moved into this house, my husband was the one that usually did the caulking. In this house though, I’ve done it all and I’ve learned how to do it without making a major mess. I did make some big messes in the beginning, but with some instruction from Mr. C² and some practice, I’ve gotten better so I thought I’d share some of my tips.

Tips on Caulking | Chatfield

The first room I redid when we moved in last year was our bathroom, which had dark trim and woodwork that I painted white. When you paint something that’s dark a light color you see every hole and seam, so caulk becomes an important tool. I think I ended up using 3 tubes in that tiny room, and I’m sure that I wasted a lot, but I’ve gotten better with each room I’ve redone.

You can buy caulk in small squeeze tubes, which are good for small jobs, or you can get big tubes and a caulk gun. I like the big tubes and caulk gun because we are always using it for something. There are so many different types of caulk out there and right now I’m liking Big Stretch, I am not affiliated with Big Stretch, I just like it!

Tips on Caulking |

It’s a great general purpose, easy to use and easy to clean up caulk that I use to fill holes, seams and cracks. We had a lot of trouble with splitting, shrinking caulk this winter and scraping out old caulk to recaulk is no fun, so after some research, I found BS and I’m hoping it will last. So far so good. I’ll let you know if that changes.

OK…to start, you need your caulk of choice and a caulk gun.  You want to make sure the caulk gun plunger is pulled all of the way out, I use on older caulk gun but newer ones have a release button for the plunger. Then simply place your tube of caulk into your caulk gun and push the plunger back into the tube, nice and tight.

Tips on Caulking  | Chatfield Court.comUse a sharp utility knife and cut the tip off. You don’t want the hole in the tip to be too large or too much caulk will come out.  Now you are ready to caulk. My older gun has a ribbed plunger that you turn to release the caulk.

Tips on Caulking | Chatfield Court.comFor my older gun I turn the plunger so that the ridges are facing down toward the floor. Hold your gun right on the area you want to caulk at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze the trigger a few times to get the caulk moving and slowly work your way along your crack. When you’ve reached the end, release the trigger and turn your plunger the opposite way so that the ridges face the ceiling. If you don’t spin the plunger so that the ribs are facing up, the caulk will continue to ooze out of your tube.

Tips on Caulking | Chatfield Court.comYou should have a nice thin bead of caulk over your crack. I then take a small bowl of water, dip my finger in it and run it along the bead to smooth it out.

Tips on Caulking  | Chatfield Court.comPlease excuse Mr. C²’s not so clean fingernails. He was working hard in the yard right before I asked him to model for my pictures. 🙂

Tips on Caulking  | Chatfield

The water really helps your finger to move along the caulk smoothly. I find that when I use water I have less of a mess and it’s easier to work with the caulk. Next I take a wet towel and lightly wipe along the smoothed out bead to clean up any extra caulk.

Tips on Caulking  | Chatfield Court.comThat’s it. Caulk is great for hiding all kinds of flaws and mistakes. Just make sure it’s completely dry before you paint. To keep the caulk from drying out, we usually put a nail in the hole in the tip until we are ready to use it again. Something that has a head on it that’s bigger than the hole.

Tips on Caulking | Chatfield

Besides caulking, I have been busy doing some other projects in the guest bedroom…painting the ceiling, painting all of the trim and painting 3 doors (front and back). I also painted a coat of BM Gray Owl on the wall where the planks will go and I put up 2 paint samples. The top one is BM Palest Pistachio and the bottom one is BM Horizon. The open windows washes out the color so it’s hard to see the difference between the two in this picture.

Tips on Caulking | Chatfield Court.comWhile trying to decide what color to paint the walls, #worstjobever, I bought wood and had it cut into planks for the water damaged wall. The next job is to put up the crown molding and then we can work on the plank wall. I also have something planned to replace the futon. I’ll need Mr. C²’s help, who is really busy at work right now, so who knows how long it will take to get it done. A lot to do yet, but we’re moving along.

Do you have any caulking tips to share? Do you find it as difficult as I do to pick a paint color? #worstjobever

I hope your week is great!

You can find me at …Between Naps on the Porch | A Stroll Thru Life | Savvy Southern Style | Sand and Sisal | The Shabby Nest | The Dedicated House | The Style Sisters | The Everyday Home | Cozy Little House | Dwellings | Coastal Charm