Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Château de Chamerolles and Clutter Buddy Shirts!


Bonjour mes amis!

We are going to visit another Château again today, but I also have a fun story to share...

This is Château de Chamerolles.  It is located in Chilleurs-aux-Bois, France.  It is the Château known for Perfume.  My Dad and I visited here together one pleasant day.  I've taken you here a few times on the blog, but I believe I captured some new sights inside, and different views on the grounds, to include the gardens.  I hope you enjoy it!

Now, on to my story!  Have you ever had a Clutter Buddy?  Do you know what a Clutter Buddy is?  Well, I found out a few years ago, and I became one to my Father-in-LawLove.  I'll call him Dad O here to make it easy.

Dad O had become a widower and decided it was time to sell the family home he'd lived in for 35 years.  Can you imagine the stuff in a house you've lived in for 35 years?  Yes?  Well, that's when he contacted me.  He had read an article about finding a Clutter Buddy to help you de-clutter your home, in particular for selling, and he thought I could help him with this.

Of course, Dad O intrigued me with the article and buttered me up to say, yes.  So, I did!

It actually sounded fun to me, but I also could tell that it was going to be a lot of work, too, so I thought it was important to make this fun for us.  Dad O has a pretty good sense of humor and he loves to laugh, so I got busy...

I went and bought two t-shirts, one in my size and one in Dad O's.  I also bought iron-on black felt letters to add to the shirt.  I got to work.  Each shirt got personalized on the front with the following...


I was so pleased with how they looked, but then the STINKER fun gal in me came out, and I turned over MY shirt and added the following on the back...


And then, I turned over Dad O's shirt and added the following on the back of his...


I was beside myself with laughter, anticipating presenting this to Dad O when I arrived for our first Clutter Buddy session!

Even Dr. O thought it was hysterical, and he anticipated his father taking this well!  I sure hoped he would!

So, I traveled to Chicago (perk for me, since then I could visit my family, too) and got to Dad O's house for our first day together.  Out came the shirts, front side only.  At first, Dad O thought they were very clever and fun.  What a great idea!  Then, I showed him my shirt and put it on to show him the back.  Uh oh!  If that's what mine said, what did his say?

And as Dad O turned his shirt over, there was uproarious laughter, I tell you!  Dad O took this in the spirit it was meant, and he proudly wore his apprentice shirt as we worked together side-by-side each day!

We spent days together, going through closets and drawers and even the storage/furnace room.  We pulled things out, and Dad O and I reviewed and hauled all the large items that would go to the Thrift Store...and then we even tackled the garage, too!

I have two sisters-in-love that I was concerned about.  This was their Mother's home, too, and I didn't want to be making decisions about things they might want.  So, after speaking with Dad O about my concerns, we called the sisters about a few things, and then made a plan for the future.

We would gather things, and display them on tables in the finished basement, and then we would review everything with the entire family over Christmas.  In the meantime, Dad O would decide what things he wanted to keep for himself, and we would set those aside for moving.

Whew!  It was a lot of work being a Clutter Buddy!

Christmas came, and we all gathered at Dad O's and we took turns making choices of things we would each like to have.  The Grandchildren participated as well.  Many things brought back sweet memories of their dear Grandma, so it was a sweet time of reminiscing as well.

Next, we moved on to Christmas decor.  Dad O didn't anticipate decorating a large tree anymore, and there were many beautiful handmade ornaments to divide up.  We took turns one by one.  Very fair, and a very simple way to disperse things!

My sister-in-loves were given notice to look at all their childhood toys and games, because the next time I would return as a Clutter Buddy, the house needed to be almost empty, down to the bare bones of what Dad O would keep!

A new profession was developing for me.  I was becoming a Home Stager.  I always liked decorating, but now I began to study how to stage a home for sale, and I discovered that it really was a talent of mine, and perhaps in the future, I could do this as a job!

I started to discuss this with Dad O.  If I could stage his home, it would likely help his house to sell faster.  He listened, and got on board.  I started to make recommendations about different rooms in the house, and I took some measurements, and then I went back home to Texas to work on my plans to stage the house!

I asked Dad O if he would purchase me a plane ticket to return within a month or two, and he obliged!  Free help is so hard to find, right?  I began planning and shopping and sewing.  I used a very tight budget and made new drapes and a coverlet for the master bedroom.  I purchased new towels and shower curtains for the bathrooms.  I put together inexpensive, neutral art to hang in rooms.  I grabbed paint samples, and contacted Dad O about removing wallpaper...and then I got my plane ticket to return to Chicago!

But, it was the dead of winter there, and the snow came down.  At first, we were so busy with big works in the bathrooms that the weather wasn't an issue, but then, I insisted pleaded with Dad O that the finished basement needed to be painted a lighter color.  The walls were covered with a very dark brown rough sawn cedar, and it was always so dark down there.  I was sure that a nice creamy color would so improve the space!

I was right! was a real hassle!  It took 3 coats (one of primer and two of paint) to cover those walls, and that meant numerous trips to Wal-Mart during a snow storm until we finally had enough paint to get the job done.  We painted for days, all the while listening to the weather radio and all the warnings about the severity of the snowstorm going on outside.  We were cozy, but working hard.

One of the days we were working on my first visit, Dad O's neighbor called.  He wanted to show us something...

So, we put everything down and trudged across the street.  The neighbor was having a raccoon problem, and he had gotten a trap and had caught a 40 pound raccoon!  This we had to see.  Wow, that sucker was huge!  The neighbor was quite proud.  After a little visiting, we made our way back across the street, and as we got to the back door of the house, I realized...

We had our Clutter Buddy shirts on!  Did the neighbor notice?  Was he smirking inside that Dad O was the apprentice?  He hadn't said anything. This was the first time we'd stepped out in public in these shirts, I think.  Or, did we wear them to Wal-Mart?  I can't remember!

I certainly hoped someone had seen our awesome shirts and was in awe of me being the foreman!  I wore the title proudly, and Dad O was a really good sport!  He atleast let me believe I was in charge!

And on the evening of the last day of our work together, he took me out for a deep dish pizza at Giordano's, my absolute favorite place for dinner in the Chicago area!

The best part of being a Clutter Buddy was all the fun that I had together with Dad O...

Oh, and I really enjoyed all the compliments from the Realtor when she came by to see all the work we had accomplished!

Dad O's house sold for a good price, and I believe there is a nice young family living in the home now...

But, I wonder if they have anticipated how much they will accumulate after they've lived there for 35 years!

Guess they may have to find their own Clutter Buddy!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing all these views at Château de Chamerolles!

These guys are leaving, so I guess it's time for me to wind down, too!

Until next time...

Have a "jewel" of a day!

1 comment:

  1. I love this story :) I didn't remember about the matching shirts! So spectacular!


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