Moving On …

Hello again! Well gosh, that year went by fast! What I intended to do last year:

  • Blog more
  • Start writing a new book or two
  • Continue feeling stronger and healthier

What I actually did last year:

  • Move

Yep, that’s right.

That was my whole year: Moving from our home of 22 years into a new home.

I really had no idea it would be so hard. Mostly because I don’t have a lot of experience with moving. My parents still live in the same house they’ve lived in for 47 years or so — the home I grew up in. And although I moved into a dorm room once, an apartment once, then (with my hubby) one condo and one small house, we were traveling super light in those days. We only had one small baby, a couch, a bed, and a crib. We didn’t even hire movers — we just paid our brothers in pizza and beer.

So this move — 22 years, three children, and a bajillion trophies/ stuffed animals/ video tapes/ books/ vases/ linens/ file cabinets/ dressers/ sweatshirts/ frames/ dining chairs/ office chairs/ accent chairs/ photo boxes/ desk supplies/ arts-and-crafts/ lamps/ end tables/ pots-and-pans/ glasses/ dishes/ mugs/ couches/ couch pillows/ pillow cases/ guitars/ wall hangings / yearbooks/ kids’ art/ baskets/ magazines/ gardening tools/ roller skates/ DVDs/ electronics/ computers/ bicycles/ baseball bats/ board games/ coffee tables/ coffee-table books/ beds/ mattresses/ bed pillows/ shelving units/ bathing suits/ winter hats/ hand towels/ beach towels/ baseball caps/ placemats/ table runners/ candlestick holders and casserole dishes later — took us some time.

Holy moly, we had a lot of stuff packed into that little house!

But with our children all adults now, it was time to go through all that stuff, right? I mean why were we keeping that box of broken trophies? That wire bench basket of size four roller skates and deflated basketballs? Baskets and baskets of old stickers and worn-down crayons? (And, oh my gosh, all those musty stuffed animals?)

(Not to mention our own strange stuff from the ’80s and ’90s, including an exercise “step” shoved into the back of a closet, some cassette tapes, and a bright yellow “Sport” Sony Walkman.)

Anyway, we started about a year before we planned to move — just very slowly, one big cabinet area at a time. I started with a “craft cabinet” that had become sort of like a junk drawer. (Only a junk cabinet instead — which held lots more junk!) That one cabinet took me about a week. (A lot of sweet kids’ art was in there, though, with lots of photos that belonged elsewhere, so I spent another two weeks building memory boxes of the items I wanted to keep.)

A few weeks later, I moved to the below-the-sink cabinet in the master bathroom — you know, the one where you keep all your old cleaning supplies, first aid stuff, grooming items, etc. (I had old blow-dryers, two sprain “boots,” hardened shoe polish, and a diffuser in there from 1997.)

That took me another three days.

Then I moved to the kids’ bathroom cabinets — same deal, only mostly dried-up containers of acne creams and old prescriptions for contacts.

Then the linen closet.

Slowly, I made my way all around the house, giving away, throwing away, packing, or leaving be (if the item was still useable, and we needed to use it within the next six months).

I “Marie Kondo-d” the heck out of my house, before I had ever even heard of Marie Kondo. (Then Rene bought me Kondo’s book for Christmas that same year, and I loved it!) Done slowly (whenever I had a free weekend), the whole thing took me about nine months.

But then … the worst part — the garage!!!

Oh my goodness, the garage alone took us nearly two months, when you factored in all the dump runs, charity runs, renting the trucks, getting rid of paint/ electronics/ medications all in special ways, etc. I still had six large boxes of desk items from three old corporate desk jobs — from when I had left each job. We had two large boxes of items Ricky brought home from college that he apparently never wanted, and that we had just shoved into the back. Plus five or six boxes of stuff we packed up from way back when we had a slab leak and never unpacked back into the house. Holy cow, that garage was a mess! Chris had an entire tiki lounge set up that needed to be dismantled, plus a drum set and a wall-full of pictures (stapled) and stickers (stuck) that took one whole day in and of itself. Plus a couple of bicycles, that wire bench filled with roller skates, a random chair that needed fixing, just SO. MUCH. STUFF.

SO … once the garage was finally sorted and organized, we started in on fixes to the house to sell it, which took another six months. We painted walls, fixed plaster, fixed pipes, replaced faucets, painted doors, swapped out door fixtures, fixed a fireplace, cleaned carpets, redid the back patio, painted the entire exterior, got all the windows washed, replaced screens, found a storage unit and started moving excess furniture and boxes there, etc., etc. WHEW! We were exhausted.

But it all paid off. We sold the house in only three days, with five competing bids that were all over the asking price. Happy dances ensued.

We found a new house, began paperwork on that, started packing up in a serious way, and then finally made the move in July 2018.

But then — no rest for the weary. We started the work on the new house! — Painting a couple of walls, installing ceiling fans, fixing up the yard, putting up shelves, hanging frames, decorating, organizing new cabinets and closets and drawers, setting up guest rooms, adding storage to the garage, etc, etc. And WHEW! We were exhausted again!

Between our move-in date of July 2018 and this past July 2019, we slowly brought boxes over from our storage unit as we made room for the contents (adding shelves, mostly.). And a couple of weeks ago, we officially closed our storage unit! YAY! Now we feel truly “done”!

I mean, I still have boxes in the garage, but they are not imperative — I can slowly empty them on free weekends. And I still have a lot of blank walls (plus boxes and boxes of frames and wall hangings from our old house that could go on them), but those are “projects” I can do slowly over this next year.

Overall, I feel officially “moved in”! And now I understand why moving from a house of 20 years or more is considered a “major life event”! Wow.

How about any of you? Are any of you downsizing, upsizing, empty-nesting, nesting, moving, and/or Marie Kondo-ing the heck out of your lives?

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11 thoughts on “Moving On …

  1. Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! I have moved quite a lot actually, with kids and without, but have been in my current home for 20 years and can’t even imagine how long it would take to move from here. I am a very anti clutter person and go through things and donate several times a year, especially clothes! If I haven’t worn it in 6 months, I get rid of it…but the attic, garage and storage shed are a different story. I am not looking forward to that “some day”! Congratulations to you for taking it slow and not getting overwhelmed! Congratulations on being done as well!! I’m looking forward to more posts now too, now that you have moving off your list!!

  2. Holy cow, what a project! I missed your blogs! Did you still stay in the same area, or just downsize the bedrooms as an empty nester? Good for you guys!

  3. We could not be more different. My husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage and moved to…Fullerton, Diamond Bar, Anaheim, back to Fullerton, Placentia,back to Anaheim (2 different houses), back to Placentia, Yorba Linda (2 different houses), did I saw back to Placentia (two houses that trip)? Yes 12 times. I do not have alot of “baggage” to deal with. I get rid of more and more with each move. I’m down to 4 plates, glasses and a set of utensils. Ha!

  4. Debi, that’s such a good idea to do it slowly, over time! My parents are good about that, too, in their house of 48 years. I’m hoping that — going forward — I can keep things more manageable and not have to face such a huge project ever again! (But who knows?!?! Ha!)

  5. Kristi, yes, we stayed in the same area — still in south county, only 15 miles from our old house. (But this house has a better configuration for our growing adult family [where we’re adding significant others these days], including a less-closed-off dining room where I can have an extended table if I need it, plus an office that can be converted to a guest room pretty quickly!) But I do sort of miss RSM, and I still go there at least once a week for grocery shopping, prescriptions, walks around the lake, Kohls, post office, etc. : ) This was a nice “baby step” away for me!

  6. Wow, so much involved in a move. It must have seemed, at times, like going on an archaeological dig when preparing to move, ha! (Still chucking about hardened shoe polish.) Such a positive thing but exhausting, nevertheless! Congrats on your gorgeous new home. Beautiful touches, everything g came together so well. You guys will be experts if you ever move again!

  7. Thanks, Barbara! Yes, a personal archaeological dig is a really good way of describing it! Finding lots of gems through time. I’ll try to share some of them here! : )

  8. My mom downsized a few years back so I know some of what you went through. Saying goodbye to sentimental items and/or items that remind you of a time in your life you don’t want to forget is difficult. I’ve lived in my house for 25 some odd years, but I’m a habitual spring cleaner. I hate having things around the house that I don’t use. Still, despite this habit, I know there’s a ton of stuff to go through when our turn comes. Most of it is in the garage.

  9. Wow…I was exhausted just reading about your move! But, you did it! And your new house looks – and feels, from the few times I’ve been in it – great. Sorting through and packing up all that stuff…those memories – that sounds so bittersweet. Right now, we’re just starting to collect all that stuff. I know I’ll blink, though, and have a house overflowing with old crafts and stuffed animals and broken sports equipment. I know that it feels so good to get organized, but your post made me think that it also feels good to have gathered all that stuff that created those decades of memories.

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