Last month I downsized, moving out of the home in which I had lived and raised my family for twenty years. It was time to make the move for a multitude of reasons. I was warned by several people that I would miss the house, but surprisingly I haven’t found that to be the case.
Yes, I miss the house but the house I miss is the house of a decade ago before Rick became ill. The house where we threw great barbeques and parties with music filtering outside to the pool. The house neighborhood kids drifted in and out of. The house where we had huge, memorable New Years Eve parties. While it is true that house no longer exists for me, my memories are with me forever.
The move was as horrific as everyone said it would be. After months of sifting through the garage, donating, tossing, packing, we were still left with way too much ‘stuff’. I’m not speaking of furniture. That was manageable. It’s the stuff we hold on to through the years: The kids’ artwork, the old greeting cards, the toys (yes, I still had plenty of my grown children’s toys), the memorabilia, the files, etc. So I gave away, donated, and tossed more.
Finally the weekend of the move arrived along with temperatures ranging from 101 – 106. I’m not at my finest hour in hot weather and moving just exacerbated the situation. Between the movers and some very, very helpful friends and family, the move was completed.
As I stared at cartons reaching to the ceiling, I decided that some ‘stuff’ would remain in boxes, stored in closets. If and when I move again, I’ll have a head start.
Here are a few tips for those contemplating a big move:
. Buy lots and lots of tape and boxes…more than you think you’ll need.
. Start getting rid of things early on – garage sales, donations (if you know any young people starting out they’ll be grateful for many of your discards).
. Very important. Pack a separate bag as if you’re going on an overnight trip. In it, place the immediate essentials (ie. appt. book, phone charger, remote controls, make-up, medicine, etc.) You think you’ll remember where you packed things. Trust me, you won’t.
. Don’t only label the boxes by room; list the content or as much of it as you can.
. Register your change of address with the post office as soon as possible and make any other changes, closing down utility accounts, etc.
. Bring over breakables yourself as much as you are able to (this includes lamps, mirrors, knick-knacks).
. Feed your movers. (And supply lots of bottled water).
. Don’t try to tackle everything at once when you first move in. It will take a few weeks to settle in.
Thanks for joining me on Rhodes Less Traveled, Vivian