In the mornings, pre official wake up time, I surf my reading list on my phone. Over the past few days the big theme seems to be resolutions. The opinions range from “yes! clean slate, do the things!” to “resolutions are stress inducing and dumb” and a semi unique tangent this year seems to be ‘alternative’ resolutions like declutter or go on more social outings. All the opinions have merit and I’m not really going to add to it other then say; you do you, I’ll do me.
The last post talked a little about projects in the works. Like most of my projects I end up doing a little bit on a lot of things and nothing gets done until suddenly one day they all get done. Putting a big party* on my calendar really helped motivate too, and, Lars really helped by feeding us all so I could focus. He also checked in to see if his lifting skills were needed and he toted many many boxes (my nemesis!!!) to recycling, donation, and trash. I’m happy to say there is only one last major battle against the boxes on the horizon; the storage room. Here is a list of my recent conquests;
- the pantry. Was epically disorganized and desperate for a purge. It also harbored 2 unpacked boxes. It required 1 trip to menards and 1 trip to ikea to tame.
- my closet. This was a box stronghold, there were at least 6 very large boxes and 4 totes. You could not touch the back wall even if you had long arms. This required a dive into pinterest, a trip to Menards (yes, a different one), a trip to Tom’s where we still have some stuff (less now), an amazon purchase, and a trip to walmart for hangers. Changing that light fixture was really annoying but worth it. I added to the existing closet system but now it works for us.
- my room! This is less a single battle and more a general campaign. It is now box free (there were about 6 medium ones) and almost ‘done’. There is still furniture to paint in the spring but it is now functional and pretty.
As all people with homes and children know, the daily skirmish against the creeping clutter is never ending. I’ve read the how-to’s and they all boil down to a 2 part plan; get rid of most of your stuff, including any messy hobbies, and, clean every day. I don’t want to do either of those things so my modified version is to get to a point where things have a place to go away and that is what I’m working on.
In this oddly short week I feel pretty good about where I am since I really did spend 2 weeks working toward organizing it does pay off for a little while. I even had time to get through the piles of paper around the house.
*The Party – we hosted a new years day open house and we had a great time, I hope our guests did too. There were about 50 or so people over the day and while I missed a few that couldn’t make it I was super happy to see everyone who did and we even got to meet our elusive next door neighbors!
I had at least three things to blog about but my brain is too tired. I’m tired because I am in a war; the box war. I am attempting to rid rooms of boxes and I’m doing pretty well, today I finally got Niamh’s room done and the playroom as tidy as a playroom ever gets. Sometimes I feel I win a battle but when my back is turned they regroup and there are boxes in the room again! Like they are stalking me….. The worst part is that they seem to be increasing in number in my room in particular. Surrounding me while I sleep. I have done nothing in my room yet so I think the boxes must be feeling safe there, they are settling in, I actually dusted a box the other day. They must be stopped or else!
My revenge on the boxes is throwing them down the stairs when they are empty. They take a pretty satisfying tumble but their retaliation is then they lay in wait for me to try and walk down the stairs.
I’m not sure who’s side Lars is on. On the one hand, he escorts the boxes out of the house on their final trip, the ultimate room clear. He breaks them down flat and plays judge and jury deciding who is fit to be given to the next mover and who gets recycled. However, I think he is also the one that is toting in boxes from the garage and putting them in the spots I JUST CLEARED. Sometimes he puts them in closets or ‘out of the way’ places so I open what I thought was an empty closet and it is a giant stack of boxes.
This is a critical week, I hope to turn the tide on the boxes so I can move on to the next battleground; curtains. Isn’t my life exciting 😉
I think it is catching up with me but I don’t actually have the option to stop or I create different problems.
To focus on what we HAVE accomplished is a more positive outlook but a shorter list. Too often over the past month (of moving) or week (of actually being in the house), something I thought would be an easy thing to get done turns into a massive game of this then that and then another thing and possibly finally, after a trip to the store, something gets done.
I had to step back and choose a thing to see through to the end because all the half way was killing me. The biggest thing on the list was to empty storage and so I gave the kids free reign of the TV and did many many trips in my intrepid minivan. Apparently August is the month of rental because I could not find a trailer or a big truck anywhere BUT an awesome friend loaned us her trailer and an even more awesome friend helped do the final push with the big things I could not do solo. Between Tuesday and Friday this
the scale is hard to see but if you look in the top picture, that odd blue floral pattern thing is a queen size mattress and box spring that are extending long way into the unit and they are about 1/4 of the way from the front. Anyway! glad all that is now in my garage ready to be sorted through.
I wish I had more pretty pictures to share but it was a fast-moving team effort to empty the onsite storage so things got crazy fast. I can happily post that we have all beds now up and assembled – Niamh’s was in the waaaay back of storage – and I’ve done laundry and many meals have been cooked and cleaned up, we are living here now, even if we don’t know where 1/4 of what we need for any given task is.
On other life-related things, I’m just overwhelmed and over sensitive. There are people that have been excellent and they should totally overshadow the people who have basically turned their back on us but it still hurts.
I have tons to do today so I must get to them. Focus on what I can affect, keep positive, and ignore the urge to bunker.
ps. Lars set up the internet and my computer so I’m at a real keyboard again!
pps. despite the pictures, Lars is not always in the kitchen
According to my schedule, this is the major pack week and we are major packing. The boxes are accumulating, the stuff in rooms is disappearing and I have a ‘safe space’ for things not to be moved. I said it before, but, my military sister with 10 moves in her adult life highly recommends emptying a single room and then putting in that room the things that you are personally moving in the car on the last day. For us, that is Lars’s work, and everything going to pennsic.
What better thing to do the weekend before you move? Go camping! A very large part of me didn’t want to go but I’m glad I did. I enjoy seeing everyone, Niamh and Zoe both won their fighting division, Zoe got a fighting award, and despite the soggy hot weather, it was a nice weekend. Vacation mom made it 10x better by showing up and puttering with me at the event and then whisking the kids away in the morning so Lars and I could pack in peace. I took zero pictures the entire weekend but a friend posted this one and I think it captures the beauty of the SCA. Our social club with a renaissance theme. That is my tent in the bottom right, and, you are looking at the battle field where the kids enjoyed many pool noodle fights, bubble blowing, and general joyous noise.
I was actually not wiped out coming home, we got a load from the house to storage, I grocery shopped for camp week lunch and snack and then we just chilled. Monday we got up extra early and got kids to camp and by 10 am, a time we are usually just getting motivated, I was already done with room #1 and rolling forward. I’m so glad we did the camp thing, they are happy, safe, and come home exhausted so I don’t feel bad packing up all their toys.
We took a batch of things to storage yesterday and then went by the house and happened to be there when the builders came in to look at ‘a situation’. I had noticed a ton of little things in the house but not the giant crack in the wall or the fact that the counters were no longer flush to the wall – the cement truck pouring our patio ran into our back wall…. You can’t make this stuff up! He was stung by a bee and hit the gas. The cement company is covering it all and I trust our builders to take down the wall and true up everything again but the worry is this will impact move in. Given I had planned for *something* to go wrong I put our closing on Aug 13, a full 10 days after they said it could be done because if I had to be homeless, I want to go to Pennsic and that is 2 weeks long. I don’t however, want to wait longer because then we run into hotel or staying with people and some legal deadlines on closing documents etc. I am going to hope for the best.
Today my energy is still up, we have a plan and Lars is now working in an empty room on a folding table and I’m back to laptop life. I hope to get the hall closet, kitchen ‘extra’ and clothing done today. I think keeping out 2 weeks worth of outfits should work. I’ll do laundry, it will be fine. I’m undecided on how many towels to keep out, but, if that is the biggest problem in my life I’m ok with that. Back to work for me, hope you all enjoy your day.
I’m starting to count down instead of up because;
- we actually do close on Aug 13 and since it is July 13 so it seemed like fate
- we finally have toilets (and other plumbing fixtures!)
other countdowns of note;
12 days until we are 100% out of this house
2 full days the kids will have in the house they were born in
Pictures first! (All photos in this post are taken by Niamh)
We have reached the phase of the project where things are getting complicated and annoying. I’ve never built a house, who knew all the little things?!? My complaints seem petty overall but this is not going to be an inexpensive venture – I’m compromising in my head by imagining if something would bother me if I walked into an existing house and just saw it that way – would it bother me then?
Yesterday in the middle of trying to pack for a camping trip I got the text that our patio was marked and since it would be made of cement and is of a pretty custom design, would we like to see it first. Yes, yes we would! One of the most hard things is figuring out size when out of context. The patio looks teeny tiny, but, I measured and the 10×10 thing I need to accommodate fits just fine with room to spare on the *half* of the patio that it is intended to go. Comparing the cement to the giant outside is unfair and makes my head hurt.
The nice surprise was seeing all the plumbing in. I had actually forgotten what I choose it was so long ago. The rain head shower is not as we imagined, we have to talk about that to the builders, and there is another odd issue with where they plan to put something in our yard. With a quarter mile of empty space, I do NOT need our septic field directly behind our house. “honey, look at our view from our upgraded windows! It is a septic field! Ooh la la so fancy” I was under the impression it would be in the side yard, you know, the place that does not have 11 windows facing it. It is a part-time job following the builders around, attempting to figure out what they are doing.
It is nice that all the things we were responsible for getting are now in. More than half the lights are up even. The appliances are paid for, the knobs and pulls are all labeled and waiting for install, and the lights… well, they are all there. The 3 I got for the kids’ rooms are incredibly dim, so dim they are not lights, they are ceiling ornaments. I got a refund yesterday at least but that does not really solve my problem. I think I can fix it… just need a ladder and some time. The pendants I ordered look great except somehow they don’t perfectly cover the hole in the ceiling where they electric comes in. Finally, the kid bath has MASSIVE electric boxes to cover with their lights and the ones I got are normal sized. Something about code and outside wall…. whatever, they really should have told me this in advance – I dragged the family out to get 2 new ones to cover, it will be fine I’m sure. They also bounced my choice of light for the closet. Be warned, you can’t have ‘exposed light bulbs’ in a closet per code. Code that every designer ever seems to ignore in the pretty pictures. Fine, the pretty light will be installed right AFTER we move in :). If I sound a tad frustrated I am because while they seem to make all the decisions they feel like about where to put septic fields without consulting they are calling me constantly about minor things that have easy fixes?
And like I need another thing going on – last week someone reported our car in a hit and run. The police called, it wasn’t us at all since the car in question was sitting in the driveway, and we thought it was over until yesterday we get a letter about ‘our accident’. No, I wasn’t packing for a camping trip, and didn’t already detour an hour for cement review, sure I can spend an hour disputing the insurance claim against us. A hit and run is a big deal, I don’t want that on our record. I sent pictures of every angle of our car that is perfectly fine. I hope that does it because I don’t have time for this.
So yeah, it is morning, I did manage to pack but now it is raining. I’m not keen on rushing out to set up in the rain but we will be on our way soon. I’ll have fun once I’m there and when we get back it is time for the packing phase. 12 days is not all that long, send good thoughts that we can get it done with sanity intact. If you are local and feel like coming to help you will have my perpetual gratitude.
I’ve been posting a bunch about the new house. I’ve been posting about the summer. I didn’t know people were actually interested in my packing progress but I got a few questions so why not! Here is a packing post.
Lets set the scene; This house has 5 people in it full time and a small dog. 3 children who require feeding and activities and a husband who is working full time so while his body is in the building, he is not available for help in general. He does take them to Jujitsu for 2 hours 2x a week so that is ‘my time’ and I’m using it to pack these days.
We also have the VERY good fortune of being able to live here until late July and our new house will be done in early Aug so we are going to go live in a tent for a week. That means that I can’t quite put the packing machine if full swing or we will be 5 people in an empty house for longer than necessary.
Since we have 3 weeks between needing to be out of this house and can be in the new one, we are getting a storage container that will live on our new land until we can unpack. Not the traditional ‘put it in a truck’ but more in line with how cross country/military movers take your stuff and you follow, but, you are without your household goods for a week or 2 while it is in transit.
My military sister had great tips.
- clear out a room 100%. In that room put what you DO NOT want packed. For us that is the stuff we need for about 2 weeks on vacation.
- Zone/type pack. I did shoes yesterday as a ‘type pack’ and the day before I did ‘guest room’ as zone pack.
Who’s helping? I am involving the kids rather than trying to do it around them. They have a 1 box a day goal and they are surprising me by what they are willing to put away for 2 months.
Keep/donate/toss; I’m sure you can guess, not everything is making the move, every packing project starts with a trash bag and a donate bag.
Tools; Packing would be 2x faster if my tape gun and sharpie had locator tags, I lose them constantly… I’m trying to be better by using a plastic bin as my ‘toolbox’ and it holds the labels, marker and tape gun. Even if I just put them there at the end of a packing session I’m better off then if they get left ‘somewhere’.
June; In order to not pack everyone up too early, we are going to visit my family in NY for 10 days – leaving this Friday and coming back the last week of June. We have started though….
Week 1 and 2 – more general packing and enjoying the holiday etc
Week 3 – disassembly of things that can disassemble – container arrives on July 20
Week 4 – Monday; movers for all the big things Tuesday; we finish what is left. Wednesday beds and last bits into the container and it goes away via big truck, we move in with friends for 2 nights. Thursday clean the empty house. Friday close/go on vacation.
I tried to make the timeline to suit our life and keeping it as ‘normal’ as possible and we actually have a really long time to get the work done. That can be a positive or a negative because I can’t just wholesale pack until the very end. For the last 2 weeks the kids will be in all day camps so we can focus. I need to build in a few nice things for a date night but the fine details can happen as they happen.
I probably won’t bore the world with another ‘how I’m packing’ post but who knows what will pop up on Instagram on the subject. There is something satisfying about a totally empty closet or the box wall growing.