I can’t imagine what it’s like in your household with so many kids but I am sure it’s a wonderful kind of crazy!


We sold and bought a house about 18 months ago. I didn’t have a lot of kids to deal with but 3 aging, think geriatric, pets to deal with. We followed DR’s advice about getting the pets out, to help sell but also to cut down on them getting let let out accidentally and to prevent bites and/or scratches (2 cats and a dog). We had to kennel up the cats … not easy as all while your hands and arms are getting scratched up. The dog just had to be leashed but was hard no him too. The dog and one of the cats was about 17 or 18 years old, so very much like a 90 year old person.

Our agent is/was top notch. She always scheduled an appointment, no “drop by and let’s see what happens” kind of thing. She knew the pets were an issue and agreed that getting them out for showings was the best idea. It worked okay for us. We were always given enough time to load up and get away from the house.

We never had an open house for the public. The only one we had was for the agent’s real estate firm. I think we just put the cats in their kennels and the dog in the fenced yard. Not sure where the cat’s kennels were put? It was only a couple of hours though.

Our agent was top notch, as I said. She took very good pictures of all the rooms. One week from the date the pictures and our listing went live on the web we sold our house!

We did do a LOT of decluttering to the point if renting a 10×10 ft storage unit. We did touch ups such as touching up paint, fixing some boards on the porch and repainting it, putting in brighter light bulbs, cleaning windows, etc. None of it was very expensive but I believe it helped sell the house.

Every day I swiffered the floors primarily because of the pet fur. I kept laundry done so the hampers were not full of dirty clothes. We prepped by wiping down blinds and keeping the cat box scooped, etc. While we did not have a showing every day, I got up and prepared as if we were going to have one. That way it was easier to get out of the house if we did get the call.

You wrote about decluttering. I believe this will help sell your house & it won’t cost you a dime. We used to have a good bit of clutter. Our decluttering actually started when we moved into the house we just sold. A decluttered house looks bigger, cleaner, and allows “breathing room” so to speak.

We did not have a garage sale for several reasons. One, I hate doing them and that is the biggest reason. We asked ourselves several questions:


2) Do I have a “home” for this (place to store it)?

3) Do I have something else that can save the same purpose?

4) If I get rid of it, could I easily replace it if I need to later? IOW, easily replace it financially, find one, etc.?

5) Does it still work & is it in good condition? It doesn’t have to be in perfect condition to keep but must be in good condition. Take socks for example …. they may not be faded but the heels may be worn. This means the condition is not good enough to be kept. This is just one simple example.

Hope this helps and best wishes in getting it all done.

I think ya’ll are right..

plus the thought of dropping $25000 on an RV seems silly when I’d rather spend it on property! I don’t want to be mortgaged to the hilt! We have a loan on the van and I really don’t want to have another one going (2 house loans plus the van is more than enough). The message I’m getting in all this is that we will need to find the most amazing realtor out there! Someone with tons of recent sales who is willing to do the work to get our place sold as quickly as possible. We’re looking at maybe next year for that. So my goal is to get the house purged of all extra stuff this year!

Jolene (who still dreams of odd things like RV living, short term missions trips, and other travel dreams that will not happen because its not the right thing for my family…but maybe when I’m retired?)

First of all

you do not have to show the house every single time a realtor calls you. I’ve been through this, and to be honest, they can be rude and persitent. They are not always showing your house because they think their clients are necessarily interested in your home, but merely because they want to compare your home to another house they think is actually a more favorable house for their clients. So, realize, you can say no, and you should say no if it’s not convenient, but suggest a time that’s more convenient for you and your family. Next, you do not have to buy a trailer and move your family into it. It’s kind of nutty to tell you the truth considering all you’ve got going on. I understand your desire to make this an easy transition, but really, open houses are NOT every weekend. Again, you have the power here. You can say “yes” and you can say “ummm, this isn’t a convenient time, but I’d be happy to have the house available for you xyz…” Whenever you deem xyz to be, then load the family up and go to the zoo or the movies or whatever. You have too much going on. It sounds as if Sunshine needs a lot of extra care so put your family first and let the realtors work around your schedule. Don’t stress out so much about this that it’s going to affect your family. Most people who look at homes realize a family lives in it. Just keep it clean, minimize the clutter, and just go with the flow, and pray… :0) Oh yes, my last house has about a half a dozen St. Josephs buried upside down all over the property. I can’t attest to whether or not he really works, but I do feel guilty that I’ve no idea where a single one of him actually is buried, so I’ve not been able to retrieve any of them (ditto for my second to the last home. Poor St. Joseph!). You might want to give him a go, but be a better homeowner than me, and for goodness sake, please dig the poor statue up when you sell the home rather than leave him forgotten, buried upside down in the dirt as I have a history of doing (and truly feel quite guilty about).

Jolene, you can’t be the only household to ever face this, and your own realtor might be the best one to talk to

If he/she has been in the biz for long enough, they’ll not only have faced this situation, but seen a lot of different solutions to it (some that worked, some that didn’t). Talking with him/her and getting some options on paper, will help you figure out what will work and what won’t, before you spend any money. If your realtor thinks that’s dumb or blows off that concern, perhaps shop for a different realtor who understands how big a deal this is, and is willing to work WITH that reality, rather than AGAINST it. Remember, that realtor’s salary will be paid from your house’s proceeds, so you’re signing their paycheck. They work for you. If they’re working for you but not with you, find someone who will do both.

One additional option I thought of while writing this, was to rent a nearby house so that you could LIVE there, rather than camping all the time. If kiddos have a hard time with sudden change, visitors or whatever, the RV might not be much of an improvement. But a solid home with their specific bedroom assignments, might make the whole thing easier. And depending on your real estate market, it might be cheaper than buying an RV.

I think I also got us on this tangent

I just don’t like shopping there. The employees are rude, the customers are rude, and the store is too small.
The city tried to block them from coming in and being a super wal-mart so wal-mart agreed to be a smaller wal-mart. Sure…. No, they put a super wal-mart into the size of a regular store. Too small, no variety, no parking, not enough cashiers. I just think it’s a disaster. Too many people in too little of a space.
We only go there if we have to. Other wise we drive to some other store or go to a different Wal-mart.
If others want to shop there then that’s their choice and that’s okay. I just choose not to.

I know some do because they point him out doing it

His favorite little one was in a line at “It’s a Small World” (sorry for putting that song in your head for the rest of the day) She was about 2 and crying. She looked over her Daddy’s shoulder and saw dh. She immediately stopped crying and said “Papa Noel!” Then held her arms out to him. The family was there from France and spoke very little English, but managed to convey they wondered if he’d hold her for a minute to help calm her fears of the ride. He did and she quickly fell asleep on his shoulder. He then gave her back to her parents. It seems the trip from France had been just too much for the toddler. He still talks about that gorgeous little girl and she’s a teenager by now.

I have to admit, I’m smiling here

Only because either me or my brother had most of those same conversations with our folks when we grew up, and got pretty much the same answer. We both turned out. I’m here on the list because I still hadn’t learned some lessons about managing money, but at least by the time I got here I’d figured out it was my doing, not because my Mean Parents deprived me back in the day. My bro is doing quite well financially, despite some even harsher Mean Parent Moments in that regard. And yea, we know now that our parents did the right thing back then. Hard to admit it back then, of course. A young person’s pride being what it is. Glad she’s still in school, hope she sorts some things out, and here’s to sticking to your preferences for how that money is, or isn’t spent.

She’s in school still – for the remainder of the semester at least

She has about 3 weeks to go. I guess she’s attending class, or that is the informationshe’s telling her father and I. She still lives with the boy/man whatever….She’s working, he is not. She has managed to pay March and April’s rent and put gas in her car (which he’s driving everywhere). I imagine she’s managed to pay other household bills and food. I’ve washed my hands of it.

She does want her college fund though – I’m sure to help her pay bills and such, but MY money is earmarked for her college or it can go back into my account for my purposes 🙂 She’s not too happy that she has been unable to convince her father or I to just fork it over. She is of the opinion its her money and since we don’t agree with her choice we are withholding it from her. She stopped talking to us for a few weeks….its been peaceful 🙂 She did text on Monday… so she’s fine, and I suppose learning to be a grown up!

On the subject of complimenting well behaved children

All three of us are quick to do that. One of our favorite things to do is when we go to WDW. You will quickly see the best and worst of child behavior there.

Prior to going I will go to $1 tree and purchase several glow in the dark necklaces and similar items. These I take to WDW with us—they sell them for a ghastly price there, so the trip to $1 tree prior makes this a less expensive reward.

Once there during the day we often see the same children over and over because crowds tend to move in the same direction during the park hours. Then right at dark we approach the PARENTS of children we’ve noticed have been well behaved throughout the day. Trust me after you have stood in line with hundreds of kids you will notice the good ones fast. We tell the parents we have been impressed by the child’s good behavior and would like to give them a small reward. We NEVER approach the child. Then we give the parent the glow in the dark item for the child to have. The look on the parent’s and children’s faces is priceless. We often see the child later that night or even the next morning wearing their glow in the dark treasure with a big smile on their face.

This is particularly great when we are there during the Christmas holiday season, because many children are certain dh is Santa Claus (we dress him in a lot of red then). It’s a fun and simple way to compliment both the parents and the children.

On that same front, the holiday season is also a good time for dh to discipline unruly children without saying a word. He will shake his head at them and take out a small notepad and pencil. You’d be surprised how quick those brats settle down when they think Santa is putting them on the naughty list. LOL!

Undisciplined children made me retire from teaching

There are other ways of discipline besides spanking as you indicated, and parents who abdicate their responsibility to discipline, just because they are against spanking, give me great pause.

I gladly wear the title of “mean mommy”, she says that now, in the fact that I won’t write her a check for what she terms “HER educational fund” but this too will pass. She is a well behaved, well spoken and I never had a problem taking her out in public and wondering if she was going to turn rogue in the process. I think what she disliked most and what got her attention the quickest was when she would act out in public. I believed in where you did the crime, you did the time. She HATED the great unknown of how discipline was going to be metered if she misbehaved in a restaurant or in a store, or in church etc. She also wasn’t keen on the “village concept” and the fact that others who I left her in their care could discipline her AND tell me about her indiscretion for another punishment of my choosing. She once mentioned: “Is there anybody you don’t know?”

The schoolteacher in me, will make me comment to other parents when I’m out and about in reference to their children. I’m quick to tell a parent that their children are well behaved and how nice it is to see mannerable children, and I’m just as quick to tell them otherwise.

Yep, not Wal-mart’s fault at all, but it is one of the reasons I don’t like shopping at Wal-Mart

We seem to have a lot of “I’m just an older friend, parents” in this area.
True story: My kids call me the “Magnificient Mommy Monster” for numerous reasons. They were raised to the terms of please and thank you, do as you are told, and respect your elders. Misbehave in a public place and you would be asked “do you want to go to the car?” and of course they did not. We did not beat our children, but they were both spanked about 3 times in their lives. We handed out sweat labor (chores they detested and had to do until they did them right). My kids would have never even dreamed of running and screaming around a restaurant of any type, fast food or sit down. Both know the proper forks to use, no elbows on the table, chew with your mouth closed etc. And quite frankly at times they thought I was the meanest mom in the world because of the these rules.
It all was made worth it one day when we were in a fast food restaurant and the kids were both teenagers. I had gone to get our condiments, napkins etc as they sat at the table near some very unruly children. When I got back they had their heads together talking. When I asked what was going on one of them looked at me and said “Mom, we use to think you were so mean because you made us sit quietly in a restaurant, but now we understand WHY you did it. It was because you love us and respect the rights of others, unlike those kids parents.”

I’ve started and restarted this thread a half dozen times…not sure why!

Ok, so we have 7 kiddos (and 2 cats and a small tortoise) and currently in a 1500sqft house. We desire to sell and buy something with more land. But with several children with varying special needs, including severe anxiety and having difficulty with adjustments/change. We are concerned about what selling the house while living here would do to them. I can’t just get up and go whenever someone wants to come look. I know that’s etiquette but with our family its just not possible.

We are thinking of selling our popup and buying a larger RV trailer (bunkhouse style). My thought was to live in it while selling the house (and have everything in storage). My husband says to just live in it while folks are looking at the house? He’s clueless as to the house selling process. We can’t do open houses every single weekend…And we can’t run off to go camping because someone randomly wants to take up an hour or so on some random night during the week. He’s still not understanding my point.

Any suggestions or ideas? I really do get concerned about living here while trying to sell this place. We have no way of “staging it” while still living here with all our stuff and 7 children! And the inability to just jump and leave when folks want to see the house is going to cause a problem.

Help me think this through….the need is selling the house somehow (next year?) while NOT living here…with a new(er) RV…Maybe I’m just going crazy and asking too much!

Last weekend we got the “official” notice that our account for Best Buy had been sold to Citibank

well duhhh, I knew that about 3 months ago. It stated in big letters our account would stay the same as far as minimums due and interest rate for now. But down in the fine print it basically said Citibank could change the interest rate at their whim. This of course encouraged us to pay even faster on the BB card because at 8.9% it’s way higher than anything else we have and it was our pet snowball bill anyway.
About 3 weeks ago I started paying on the bill twice a week as money came in from little places here and there. Most of the payments are of decent size, but today’s was only going to be $10. I’m waaaaaay ahead of the minimum monthly due and imagaine my surprise when I went to pay online and they told me “NO” you’ve already paid 5 times this billing period and you can’t do any more until after your statement cuts off on Dec. 3!” Yeah right, like I’m going to stand for that when they are threatening to jump my rate and interest is compounded daily and figured on an average daily balance. Even if I can only pay $10 today, there are still three other payments (payday loans online) I want to make between now and the third that come to much more.
So I called them, it takes longer to do, but I paid via phone for free. They can run, but they can’t hide. This gazelle is chasing the cheetah!my loan
I figure they do that 5 transaction cut off to slow people down on making the payments who are trying to pay them off like I am. Gotcha! It won’t work, I WILL be free of BB by Christmas if it kills me!

Yes, you would include your mortgage payment in your zero-based budget

Spend every dollar on paper, on purpose. But it isn’t part of the Baby Step 2 snowball. It would be in Baby Step 6,

1 – BEF
2 – Debt Snowball
3 – FFEF of 3-6 months of expenses
4 – 15% to retirement
5 – Saving for college(if applicable)
6 – Pay off mortgage early
7 – Become very wealthy and give a bunch away

All bills you are paying as part of the snowball

and those that are not part of the snowball (utilities, life insurance, etc.), are included in the zero based budget. Even the mortgage is included in the zero-based budget. The mortgage is not included in the snowball calculator, to my understanding.

Mortgage question

So do I include the mortgage as part of the Snowball calculator? Or does that go onto the zero-based budget instead?