Sunday, July 28, 2013

There is no such thing as an organized move

We have been in our house for 11 years.  And during those 11 years I spent most of them as a homemaker.  I am not a packrat by any stretch of the imagination.  I have a few boxes of sentimental items and admit to having a couple shelves too many of extra dishes but otherwise I would consider myself to be fairly streamlined.  It may sound strange but over the years as I have cleaned, organized and purged a future move was always on the back of my mind.  While I realize we have a lot of stuff in this house I wanted to feel like it could easily be packed up and ready to go.  An organized home would make for an organized move.  Right?


There is no such thing as an organized move.  No matter who you are I can't believe you don't  have a spot or two in your house full of "junk".  That drawer in the kitchen with pens, magnets, screwdrivers, felt pads for the chairs, misc small parts that I know go somewhere but can't quite remember where at the moment, the key to the bike lock, etc.  How do you pack that?  You just pour it into a bag or box and figure out what to do with it on the other side.

I thought I would bring a big load to the good will.  Sort as I go.  And I did put together a pile, but then you are looking at all this stuff and realizing now you have to pack it up anyway and stop the moving process to deal with this pile because it is in the way of further progress.  And suddenly you aren't sure if you are more motivated to purge or just get done with the packing!

When all the big stuff is out of the house and all the organized shelves have been packed up, what you are left with in the house is the chaos that was hiding under all your order.  Extra power cords, pictures you don't know how to pack, blankets, fly swatter, baskets, the food in your pantry, and all those gift bags and small boxes you save for wrapping presents, a random misplaced item or two.  Junk.

I wanted to keep all like items together.  Wanted all my tupperware in the same box with all the lids together.  Just seems like it is going to make my life easier on the other side.  But it turns out boxes need extra filler to make them strong and it is easier to just jam tupperware around fragile items than to give them their own precious container.  And after a long day of moving boxes into the new house I would love to be able to go to the towel box before I shower but there is no towel box.  Instead every box has a towel cushioning something fragile because you can only buy so much paper.

We had a container dropped off at our house last Monday.  My husband worked at a warehouse in his youth and was trained to pack trucks by UPS so I don't even bother to help load.  I have been packing boxes this week and he has been loading when he gets home from work.  The tetris song has been stuck in our heads for days.  And even though they say you can get 3-4 rooms in a container and we have 12, he has insisted we will get the whole house in there.  I didn't think we needed 4 of them by any stretch, John does have mad truck loading skills, but maybe 2?  We knew we would need to put our garage somewhere else, somewhere he could access several times a week to pick up his work tools.  Yet 3 days ago we did not yet know where that location would be.  So I packed and I panicked and I made phone calls.  You would not believe what they charge for storage in the twin cities!  We might as well rent an apartment!  So I called a friend who lives a little outside the twin cities that I knew rented a storage space.  For $37/month he helped me find a 5x10 space.  It's an hour away.  I haven't seen it and suspect it might be a little shed in a field somewhere but for that price I don't care.  Then, when John's mom found out how far away we would be keeping his tools she insisted she could push a few things in her garage aside and fit his tools.  Which is good because yesterday John admitted he might not be able to get quite everything in the container.  No gloating on my part though because he fit in WAY more than I thought he would.

So today I am sitting in my favorite comfy chair looking around my living room as I have done many times over the years.  My desk is packed, the table is packed and the bar stools that reach the counter are packed.  This is the last place to sit.  By the end of the day everything but my mattress, clothes and a few other things I am taking to my parents will be gone.  Packed up.  And when I will next see them is an unknown.  We don't close until Tuesday. John works this week so he wanted to get us out by the end of today.  I get he needs to pack everything up.  The container gets picked up tomorrow morning.   But, this has been my home for 11 years.  I have loved and cared for this home. Cleaned it, organized it.  Welcomed friends, family, strangers to this home.  Celebrated here.  Mourned here.   Raised children here.  And I assured him that if I had to sleep on the hardwood floors he would not get me out of this house one minute before I had to leave.  I will not be rushed!

The mess and disorganization of moving isn't just in our homes it is in our hearts.  While I know this move is right and I look forward to the adventure we are about to undertake, I am a mess.  Leaving behind all I know and love for the unknown.  And while it may seem that my grieving is a result of all the unknowns of our move, I still remember sitting on the stairs in our last house and weeping before getting in the car and driving to our new, bigger and better house.  I put more than stuff into my homes, I put my heart and soul, a little bit of myself into my homes.  And packing that back up to bring somewhere else is by far the hardest and most unorganized part of moving.

No more table

First totally empty room ready for cleaning.

Somehow when you start packing your clothes don't all stay clean until the move is over!

John's office.
Good bye office.

The living room has become the staging area for the rest of the house.
Empty Pantry
OK we may still have a situation in the garage...


  1. We want to build one more time - but we sooooo don't want to pack and move:) Family has given me heirlooms and say, "Don't sell it. Don't paint it. Don't break it. Don't recover it" - and that just drives me nuts! I'm sure I am more of a packrat than you but every 5 years, I try to purge. Sadly, when we moved - I was exhausted and sent a few things to the goodwill I wish I hadn't - like 2 couches. I am excited for the next stage of your journey - it's like a new canvas ready to be painted:) I'm glad, though, that you are sitting in that chair for as long as you can!

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