After all is said and done, I’m now on the other side of the move, and feeling pretty settled. To be quite honest, I am shockingly happy. It is astounding to me that after, what seems to be a lifetime in one home, can so easily be erased. Surrounded by all my stuff, despite a new background, still feels like my home. The stuff that mattered I took with me, the treasured memories of my home, I carry in my heart forever. I realize now that the house is just a shell , and although my footprints were ever present while I lived there, when we moved….. so did our souls. Now in my new home, everywhere I look, it’s familiar, and in some cases, it’s even more cozy. I am loving seeing and appreciating my old treasures in new places. It kind of feels like decorating for the first time, yet I’m just re-circulating the favorites all around the new space. The creative juices are flowing and inspiring me to look at things I’ve had for over 30 years with a keener objective eye. What a great opportunity to re-organize the things I’ve neglected, chosen to ignore, nor had the time to sort through the years. Change can be scary, but sometimes it is good.
Day 34: (July 12) Had a brainstorm idea today to combine the functionality of both my formal dining room and casual den. My previous dining room had a two mahogany glass armoires, separated by a bridge, creating a singular wall unit. It housed only formal china, crystal stemware, and fine decorative crystal. Since my former den and this piece are now sharing the same space, I decided to re-purpose the two mahogany armoires and split the usage. I condensed all the china and crystal to one armoire (adjacent to a wet bar) and utilized the other one to accommodate my family photo albums, board games, Cd’s, DVDs. Now I’m talking happy….The room feels right now, albeit may not be the perfect design choice, but now the space matches the activity of the room , and everything I want and need from my den is there. It feels just like my old built-ins that I left behind. Finding new creative ways to enjoy old things is very satisfying.
Resolved my abandoned customized desk issues from the old house, and purchased a desk with a hutch that has similar ergonomics. Not exactly perfect, but good enough for sure. A functional place for my computer, files, work stuff, etc., sitting right in my kitchen extending into my den. Ideal for both home-office, organizing incoming mail and posting social activities. Thank you Raymour and Flanigan!
Day 33: (July 8) I’m finding myself changing my mind about how I want the rooms to be organized. Every time I enter a room, I move something around, and by the end of the day, I’m moving things around again. There are a few categories of clothing that have visited just about every drawer in my closet. Some food for thought….it’s really important to live in the space for awhile, and understand what things need to be more accessible and deserve the primo real estate of the closet. Creating a new order, in a new place, takes a while.
So while I’m deciding, I’m still thinking…still moving.
Day 32: (July 7) As I glance around, I’m getting a sense that everything is finding its right place. My kitchen is organized, and my chotchkes are in place, and for the first time, I can take a breath and take it all in. Although a temporary landing place, this will be where we live for now, where my childrenwill come to visit, where we will celebrate our holidays, where we will share the good times and the bad, the laughter and the tears. No, this may not be considered our permanent house, but wherever my family is, we shall call that place, “Home”.
There is so much still to do; bathrooms to organize, drawers and closets that need organizers, towels, floor mats, garbage pails, etc.. Need to make a list….Bed, Bath, and Beyond here I come. There is additional technology to purchase; phones, TVs, etc.
Taking one step at a time once again, now that I am on the other side of this move. Begin to schedule appointments for phone and computer services to hook up. Here we go again.
Day 31: (July 6) Woke up this morning and had no idea where I was! So strange to get acclimated to new surroundings. Thankful I kept the same familiar sheets and bedding. This is my new house and there is much to be done to make it my own.
It kind of feels like a scavenger hunt, locating the boxes and organizing them in the proper rooms. Discovering a lost box feels like finding a valuable piece of gold. I am on overdrive and my obsession to clear the clutter of boxes is relentless. Set myself a goal for the day, and forcing myself to impose a resting point and continue tomorrow. It’s impossible to move an entire house and unpack it in a day. My brain knows this, and my body surely does, but something else drove me to stay up until 3:30 am.
Day 30:(July 5) All this planning and organizing, and anticipating….moving day is finally here! Two trucks, six men, and my family, all ready to start the marathon. I was directing traffic at first, but within minutes, the men were dispersed all around the house, and all you could hear was the cacophony of shrink wrapping, boxes being assembled, and shouting commands from the head supervisor. Things were happening so fast, I was amazed how fast the men were preparing the furniture, dismantling my piano, building boxes in record speed, and loading the truck. It was quite impressive. Watching my huge armoire and dressers come down the steps required all six men, and frankly, I needed to look away. It seemed that everything that I had boxed and labeled were being randomly loaded onto the truck, based upon the moving men’s organization of the interior of the truck . Apparently, they had an agenda and it clearly wasn’t in sync with my plan. I was getting increasingly anxious about the potential disorder of locating and unpacking my boxes.
When the trucks were finally loaded, off we went, and although I was feeling stressed, I was excited about getting to the other side to begin organizing.
When the trucks were unloading, and as expected, I was losing the control I thought I could maintain. The wardrobe boxes were taking over the garage and the smaller boxes were getting lost in the mix. The moving men’s goal was to deliver, unpack only things they wrapped, re-assemble the furniture and be done. My dot system was only working if I happen to be at the truck when they were unloading it. I thought about posting signs over the doors of the rooms with the name and colored dots, but was beginning to realize the men just wanted to get the boxes off the truck and out of the way, and move in the big pieces of furniture. Unfortunately, I was so busy surveying the rooms and trying to track my boxes, and as soon as I turned my back, boxes were being dropped off in the wrong rooms. The boxes were coming off the truck so fast, it was difficult to make quick decisions, so I ended up using the lowest level for most of the smaller boxes to be dealt with later. Fortunately, my new space is a three story townhouse with an elevator, so I can sort at my convenience. At the end of the day, the move went into overtime and the men were getting cranky. It was the hottest day of the summer, and obviously with all doors open, it was hot as hell. It didn’t help that I changed locations of furniture after they had already placed them, but hey…I’m allowed to change my mind! Don’t get me wrong, the moving company did a stellar job, but all moves are hectic and challenging.
When we eventually shut the doors in our new house, we were beyond exhausted. Our legs felt like lead, and it was an effort to talk. The only thing I needed to do was make my bed. I had moved my toiletries and personal items earlier, so it was amazing to easily access what I needed for bed, and more importantly, the bed is what I needed. Slept like a baby.
Day 29: (July 1) Helpful hands on their way. My friends are coming over to load up the cars, and begin transferring the kitchen boxes. With too many cooks in the kitchen, I am anticipating it being a little chaotic. I’d better have a plan of action to control the traffic of the countless incoming boxes. Being the Project Manager on the job will probably not be the most popular one, but like it or not, the person in control has got to be ME! To organize this segment of the move, there needs to be one person at the helm, at least a method to all this madness…..HELP!
The electricians and audio guys are here disconnecting all technology components, removing TVs, separating components and remotes, and I’m labelling EVERYTHING!
Day 28: (June 30) I have four days to hand carry and transfer anything I choose, prior to the actual moving date. This gradual move is giving me a little more control and is allowing me to micro-manage my personal items. While the new place is being cleaned and painted, I’ll use the garage as a loading zone and I will organize the boxes by rooms. By tomorrow, I hope to get in there and start unloading the kitchen. I’m making the “kitchen pack” really easy by just throwing the silverware, knives, gadgets, utensils, etc. into Ziplocs and then into shoe boxes. The dishes are being stacked in boxes, layered with towels, and the beverage glasses are going into those amazing liquor boxes. I just LOVE those compartmentalized liquor boxes! They have served multiple purposes during this pack. I plan on utilizing them for all my cooking oils, vinegars, refrigerated glass jars, perfume bottles, and more importantly, eliminating the need to bubble wrap.
My friends have volunteered to load up their cars and do continuous loops back and forth from my house to the new place. This is a local move so it’s not a hassle. Nothing better than… getting by with a little help from friends.
Day 27: (June 25) There are definitely pros and cons to being so passionate about organization. The con is that my commitment to sticking with a specific agenda, and hoping that it is executed exactly as I had planned, is creating lots of stress for me. Everything I do is innately organized, but I am now realizing that having such high expectations of this moving process, is not realistic. As I assess the new temporary space (with its limited storage closets), I realize that many of my packed boxes will no longer be able to get unpacked, as planned. They will probably will not even be stored in the room they belong in. Not a catastrophe, merely a compromise. Moving, in general, is overwhelming and there are so many things you cannot control. Simply said, this is not simple. My attempts to orchestrate the quintessential move is not failing me, it is only proving me to be human. I may be organized, but I am certainly not perfect. There is no such standard as to be perfectly organized, and so, there is no such thing as the perfect move.
My brain is way ahead of my body, and although I will not physically be in the new space for another week, my mind is already organizing it. I’m packed, ready to transfer my things, and am mentally implementing a system to make the relocation an organized one. An organized mind never sleeps. Call me crazy, it’s just who I am.
Day 26: (June 21) Countdown. With two weeks to go, I’m thinking I’m in good shape. After this past weekend, the kid’s rooms are all packed up, boxed, labeled, ready to go. The hallways are all lined with boxes, and each bedroom has towers of boxes labeled and organized for their respective rooms. But as I enter each room, and evaluate closer, I see there are still so many incidental things that need to exit with me. The silly things like garbage pails, soap dishes, guest towels, tissue boxes, floor mats, candles, alarm clocks, extension cords, etc.. multiplied by five bathrooms are starting to mount into more time than I thought.
Celebrated Father’s day yesterday with family and friends, and probably had the final barbecue in this house. Now all the cooking tools, platters, hostess trays, plastic outdoor dishes and glasses, can be packed up.
Still need to address the fridge and freezer items, kitchen pantry, cleaning supply closet, linen closets, and condense all products. Still more STUFF. There is much still to do….now thinking I need every bit of the time remaining.
Nancy Borg is a Professional Organizer, and owner of Move the Mess. She specializes in Residential and Home-Office Organization, servicing both Nassau and Suffolk counties. She is a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and active member of a local neighborhood group; Professional Organizers of Long Island (POLI).