Even before we decided that I was taking the San Diego job, Tara and I had determined that before we could put the house on the market we needed to get a lot of stuff out of the house to make it ready to show. To that end we ordered up a POD, which is taking up more than half of the driveway, and are starting to fill it up. We are putting in most of the books and CDs, the contents of the crawlspace and garage, some extra furniture, and anything else that is contributing to clutter. This has already hit my least favorite stage of packing (or cleaning), where it feels like I've been working forever and nothing has been accomplished -- in spite of the now nearly empty office and the empty bookshelves.
Yesterday, I also got some of the electrical projects done that were needed. I got the light hung in the now nearly completed upstairs bathroom, replaced the outlet and switch in the master bathroom and installed the light I bought for myself two or three months ago to put into my office. I still need to replace the GCFI breaker for the bathrooms, but haven't wanted to shut down the house to do that yet.
There was some minor drama with the bathroom project. It turns out that the electrician who wired this house 30 years ago commonly used outlets to double as junctions (probably a more common practice than I'd like). As a result, when I replaced the outlet in the master bathroom one of the white (neutral) wires didn't get properly terminated -- it was pushed into the outlet instead of wrapped around a screw since I didn't have room for all of the white wires around screws. As a result the light and fan in the other bathroom wouldn't work, and the outlet tested as having a "Reversed Hot and Ground." Once I got that wire properly attached (which required stripping it to make it long enough) everything worked. The only thing I'm slightly worried about is how I was getting voltage from the ground to the neutral while I had the wire missing, and do I have a potential fault -- which won't show until I fix the breaker.
The office light was a bit harder, but not because of electrical problems. The existing light did not have a box in the ceiling. Instead, a BX cable was tied directly into the fixture (the base of a track light system). My first attempts at adding a box consisted of attaching a low profile box to the celling using drywall anchors. However, the anchors kept pulling out because they were too close to the hole for the cable. Finally, I went with overkill and got one of the T-bar braces that is rated for celling fans and put it spanning two joists. The only problem with this was that I used the dremel tool to cut the drywall -- an order of magnitude easier and quicker than using the keyhole saw, but also an order of magnitude more messy. As a result, my office was covered with a layer of drywall dust. Fortunately, the computer equipment was off, and mostly covered. But it was a mess.
Now we've got to finish the bathroom -- clean up and finish staining the door, cut the hinge slots and hang the door, put the shelf and doors on the vanity and hang a couple more shelves -- and do a bit more packing before we can put the house on the market. If we can survive this, then I just have to survive while the house is on the market; then hope and prey that it will sell quickly (but not too quickly -- I don't fancy having to commute from Rockford for any substantial period of time.