Why is it that I only stay in one place for ten to eleven years? Considering that most people move every five years, I guess I’m pretty stable. Still, every time I move, I swear it will be the last. I’ll bet that every one of you has said the same thing.
I’ve been in my current house since January 2007. That was preceded by three moves in two years. Yes, that was a break in my every ten years or so cycle, but there was a good reason for it.
In 2004, I suffered a bleeding aneurysm in my brain (I’m fine now). I was unable to go back to work and had to sell my beautiful, lakefront townhouse. <sigh> So, in early 2005, I moved to my mother’s condo (she had moved upstate) which I shared with one of my daughters for a year.
I wanted to be near my mother, my grandson and my other daughter and her family, so in 2006 I moved to a rental near them. Finally, in 2007, the house next door to my mother became available and I bought that. I just sold that house and I’m moving to my mother’s house. She passed on May 1st at the age of 95. We were lucky to have her so long.
Okay, so what have I learned about moving from all of this?
First, never count any move as the final move. You never know what life will throw at you. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You might win the lottery and be lucky enough to have David Bromstad, artist and designer, find you the perfect mansion.
Second, don’t downsize until you are truly ready to part with most of your stuff. Don’t do it just because “conventional wisdom” says you should. I’m actually upsizing with this move, but I’d already gotten rid of so many things that I wanted to keep. (Again, I heave a sigh.) Christmas will never be the same.
Third, it is essential not to panic when faced with ten years accumulation of stuff. There may be things still in boxes that you have been hauling around with you for decades. Just haul those boxes to the next house. You can always go through them when you are unpacking. Okay, you probably won’t. I know I won’t. But I did come across an old-fashioned wash board that I’ve been carrying around for nearly forty-five years. I’ve always wanted to hang it in a laundry room. Now that I actually have a laundry room, it’s going up on the wall. Any day now. Really.
Back to packing. When I was recuperating from the stroke, I didn’t have much strength or energy and I was faced with packing up ten years (what else?) of accumulation. Not to worry. I devised a plan. Just three boxes a day. At that rate, I could do 90 boxes in 30 days. That’s a lot of boxes. I easily solved the problem of packing materials for the breakables. I gathered all the newspaper I could, placed my shredder at the door to my kitchen and shredded newspapers each time I passed by. Worked perfectly.
I planned on doing the same thing this time, but unfortunately, hardly anyone reads newspapers anymore. At least no one I know. I ended up buying bubble wrap which was way too expensive. It would have been cheaper to subscribe to the newspaper for a few weeks.
As for three boxes a night? Hah! First, I had to clear out Mom’s house. At least quadruple my accumulation. Then I decided to sell this house and buy hers. I had to quickly find a place to store furniture so I could stage this house. The next step was to remodel Mom’s house and we’re still not finished. Yes, I have packed some boxes, but instead of the step-by-step, room-by-room I did in the 2005 move, I haphazardly threw stuff in boxes including a new credit card and the bill for it. That necessitated a thirty-minute drive to that store to pay the bill. I’ll find the card eventually, but at least I’m not using it.
My house sold in five days and I wanted to start moving the loose stuff. After all, I’m only moving next door and everyone said how easy it will be. May I say again? Hah! I was hoping the floors would be completed room-by-room so I could not only move one room at a time, but get everything unpacked for that room all at once. Unfortunately, that’s not how my installer works.
First the painting. Okay, I get that. Then the floors installed, a few rows at a time set from one end of the house to another, and finally all the shelving, etc. installed last. I can’t even lay down a bathroom mat or put things away in the pantry. Oh, well, maybe next week.
In the meantime, new furniture has arrived with more coming heaven knows when since a lot of things are back ordered. I had to buy a new stove and that took three weeks. Little by little, it’s all coming together. I just hope it all comes together in time for the closing or the installer will be laying tile around me and my grandson sleeping on the floor.
I hope my advice helps you in your next move. Actually, I’m not sure I gave you any advice. I think I just rambled on for about a thousand words.
So, in conclusion before I ramble on even more, I just want to say …
I’M NEVER MOVING AGAIN!!!
About Margaret Lake
Margaret Lake was born in New Jersey, but moved to Florida in her early teens and has lived there ever since.
Reading has been her favorite activity since she was ten years old. Even after purchasing a Kindle, she still has seven large bookcases filled with paper books.
Her other passion is history, especially English History, dating from when she first read "Catherine" by Anya Seton. When the inspiration came to write her first novel, she naturally gravitated to the Wars of the Roses because of that book.
Her favorite author is Susan Howatch, her favorite book is "Outlander" and her favorite series is Harry Potter. She leads a Harry Potter book club at the elementary school and helps with the chess club at both the elementary and high schools.
Margaret rescued a nine-year old Jack Russell Terrier named Angelo who is now fourteen and as frisky as ever.
Books by Margaret Lake