We’ve had the house we have lived in for the past 27 years on the market for the past seven months.
We’ve been living in our lake house for most of that time. Ignoring the house that’s on the market. Poor house.
It sat while we played, telling ourselves we would get the rest of the stuff moved out of there “soon.” And still we played.
All of a sudden, on a cold January 8th, we got an offer on the house! What? We thought people never look at houses in January. We thought we would revisit “getting the house packed up” in the spring. Isn’t that when house-hunting is supposed to pick up?!
After much back and forth, we accepted the offer. (The only one we had ever had.) And…
They want to close in 3 weeks!
They are relocating from out of town and they HAVE to been in by then.
Um. Our reality set in. We had NO MORE TIME to procrastinate! Hubby and I quickly packed some bags and got ourselves down to dig into the Dunwoody house. It had missed us, BTW. It welcomed us with open arms and FULL CLOSETS and CABINETS. And a packed storage room, and…
We THOUGHT we had a nearly empty house. We had moved two-thirds of the furniture a few months ago. We had been carrying bin after bin up there for months. The house LOOKED pretty empty. NOPE. Not even close.
Here is what we have been doing for the past 2.5 weeks, in no particular order. Well, sort of in a particular order.
First of all, we are so happy we birthed two wonderful, helpful and strong kids, who are now adults! They have been an immense help with all of the loads of items coming up from the basement, and down from the second floor. Thank you to Beth and Matt Moneyhan, and to Chris Banta and Christine Collins. We TRULY (physically) could not have done this without you!
We have a large porch room and that has been sort-central. All boxes and bins that needed to be gone through came to the right side of that room. They just kept coming. I was the one sorting through each and every box. Quickly. No time to get teary-eyed over each and every letter and school project. We had a large trash can close by. We also had our paper recycle bin at hand. As I touched each item, it went into either one of those bins, or over in the far left corner, if it was donation. The bottom left corner is where anything we wanted to pack and move with us.
We had a kitchen table in the middle. That is where I did all of the sorting, to save the back. We came across a few boxes of letters and pictures. We decided those would be too time consuming to go through now. Those we marked to go all in one area at the new place, marked “go through.” Those are the real time-suckers. We chose to defer those. All the rest we wanted to only move what we truly could use or stuff we loved. It was amazing to me how much we truly don’t need. That made it easier to let go. Some things we took good pictures of and let go of the “real” thing. We are okay with that.
While I did all of this, Bruce (hubby) has been in the basement and garage, culling through all of his “guy stuff.” We have done this for about 6 hours a day, on average. We take breaks when we need to. WATER is a must. Real meals are a must. Mostly he has run to the grocery store to get the ready-made and hot dinners. We have not yet had any take out! I have tried to keep my promise not to eat STANDING UP. I make myself sit!
We made the reservations for the movers as soon as we accepted the offer. Same for the cleaner. After inspection, we got the licensed contractor out here to do the punch list, right away. We had already stopped the mail, but remember to do that.
We also arranged for my favorite person to come out and pick up our donations. He came about a week ago, and he is picking up the Mother-Load tomorrow morning! He called to ask about how much I might have. I honestly told him that it fills about a third of the garage. Stacked about 3′ high. We have staged it all in one area, on the left side of the garage, close to the big door. We will open the garage when they come, and they can grab it all right from there. No need to move it twice, to the driveway.
You can see I have been writing sort of in the present tense. It is because this is all happening RIGHT NOW. There is no past-tense yet! I write this as I can, as I wait for another person to come pick up from an ad I put on a great local FaceBook group. It is for furniture and home decor. I have been taking quick photos and posting several items a day. The group is very active and they have been picking up (and paying) each day, lately. I’ve done this for the items that I would think someone could use, and appreciate, rather than just tossing it all in the donate area. Remember the yard and garden decorative pieces, too! I almost forgot them!
We have been boxing as we get a pile of like items, or from like rooms. Like anyone moving, we mark what it is, and to which room it goes to. That gets taped when full, and moved to the designated side of the room. Done with those. No need to think about those.
Open each cabinet and drawer and closet a smidge if it still has anything in it. As it is completely empty, close it. We are shocked at how many still peek at us behind that partial opening!
So, we go to bed early each night. We get pretty wiped out, even pacing ourselves. (Ahem. We are not spring chickens any longer…)
Another day closer to moving day, which is Saturday, at 8:30 a.m. We have to follow them up the road a little less than an hour, and direct the move in. I do have a notebook that does have a list of the furniture coming and to which room it goes. There are some pieces there that have to be moved around in order for the furniture moving in to go where we want them. I told our mover about that plan and he is fine with that. It helps for them to know what you are planning, ahead of time.
We have another huge load of recycling for Wednesday pick up, and just got rid of 6 more large trash cans full of garbage. Yard waste will go, too.
Bottom line. Listen to me. Listen to me!
PURGE NOW. PURGE EACH DAY. MAKE IT A HABIT. YES, I AM YELLING. I thought we had, but I was wrong. We tried. We had many garage sales over the years. We gave the kids all they wanted. We called the donation people regularly. It was not enough.
Did I give you any tips within my ramblings? I so hope so. Does this feel like I gave you a hint on how to pack your house quickly?
More on the other side of closing. It’s about time to reboot this giving house that loves to raise families, and let it take a cleansing breath, in readiness for this young family with three little ones. Thank you, house, for surrounding us with shelter, and memories and for keeping us safe in this world.