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  • Writer's pictureJessica Bursi

Memphis Mid-Century Marvel, Part Two

Now that you have the background of the family home from Part One of this post, I'll share a little more about how I found my way down to Memphis in the midst of a pandemic.

Like many folks, my longtime job was eliminated due to COVID-19 earlier this summer. When you work in an industry that thrives on shared communal indoor experiences, well - this just wasn't our year. It's never easy be let go, but I was beyond fortunate to take a little time to rediscover my passions and priorities.

And so, that's where I found myself in Milwaukee - literally writing down my honed in areas of interests like "organization," "photography," "Air BnB renovation and management," when I got a call from my uncle Raymond who in this order needed: some work clearing out the house, staged photos of the home, and how about some research on AirBnB feasibility for a downtown Memphis property? Check! Check! Check!

I set out for Memphis in September - armed with a cooler full of pre-made roasted sweet potato burritos (big tortillas + black beans + corn + rice + roasted sweet potatoes = carb heaven!), a case of soda water, lots of iced coffee and creamer packets, and whatever vegetables were left in my fridge.

When I got there, my work was cut out in 2 clear goals:

  • a) clear out the two showcase rooms, the Living Room and the Den and

  • b) help separate out things into three piles: 1) Keep, 2) Donate, 3) Sell (?).

On night one, I told Uncle Raymond that I wished we could just do all the work in a montage sequence. But time is funny that way, writing this a month later now - the memory feels no longer than a montage sequence. Wake up and have breakfast by 7am, work until 7pm or later, with breaks for snacks and meals and of course an afternoon happy hour. How else were you going to mark the passing of time than a whiskey or wine at 5pm?!

To clean out the Living Room and the Den, well, I don't know how to describe it as other than like a puzzle. We'd get one area cleaned out and then use that as a staging space for the other room. And back and forth until the rooms began to resemble their original splendor. We cleaned off shelves for the "Keep Items," set aside space for the "Donate Items," and I took a lot of pictures for the potential "Sale Items."

And slowly but surely, we accomplished the 2 goals. Pictures of the home and its treasures can be found here with some before & after clean-out below. I hope if you're reading this, that you love before & after photos as much as I do.

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