Not really Before - that was too too dreadful to expose to the world - but During, i.e. after I'd boxed up a lot of assorted stuff in Ikea's incredibly good-value Samla boxes, and thrown a lot of assorted tat out.
There's so much stained glass and equipment! And a large box of Lego. And many photographs to sort and scan before throwing out. And the Lovely Son's school reports......
There are the head-injuring shelves and their ill-matched supports.
With all the clearing out, the truly shameful carpet re-emerged. With bald bits, torn bits, and ...er....stains. The kind that tom cat owners would recognise. I used to have quite a number of cats, more than I do now. Even neutered ones like to spray a little eau de Tom when feeling under pressure, although so far, no one has told Hamish and Scooter that this appealing little ploy is theirs to command.
But at this age, and having been dirt cheap in the beginning, this carpet owed me nothing, as they say. Underneath:
And now, the After.
I knew there would be no way of making this room look like a bedroom, but I could make it look purposeful, and not simply an outpost of the city dump. So after a bit of scrubbing, painting, shifting boxes around, injuring my head on sharp corners, and buying some more cheap carpet, with (so far) no eau de Tom embellishment, I've settled for this: the boxroom/workroom look, a room with potential to become a second bathroom or even the bedroom it was intended to be back in Edwardian times. Probably for the skivvy.
The sewing machine on the old kitchen table was a cunning touch, I thought; no one need know that it is rarely used, and lives under its cover; the unavoidable stack of boxes opposite might even suggest that an organised, practical person lives here, who could move out in double quick time should a buyer be keen to move in.
Inside the eaves (behind that cute little door that the Lovely Son made for me) are a stack of other boxes, but no one need know about those either.
What was that? You thought you saw something unusual on the shelves? Well, of course.
It's the Project Manager. And a dog.
We think we did all right with some unpromising material. Next: wandering round the house with small paintbrushes, touching up scuffed and chipped things. Oh, and getting the carpets cleaned. The Project Manager may have to hide for that last task.
As an Army family, we grew up with my mother's edict that you always left your quarters cleaner than you found them. I can't do otherwise. It makes for a slow process, but helps me to feel that whoever buys this house won't find too many unexposed horrors after I've left.