The Highs and Lows of Moving!
In the words of Billy Joel.... "I'm movin' out!"
If you know me personally or follow my blog, you know that my husband and I are moving in just a couple of weeks. We'll be leaving our home of almost 23 years in Pennsylvania, for a new home that we are building in Bluffton, SC. If you don't know about our adventures over the last 6 months or so and what led us to this point, you can read about it here.
I haven't moved many times in my life. In fact, the only previous major move I've made is when we moved to Pennsylvania from Ohio almost 23 years ago. So, to say this has been a learning experience is an understatement.
There have been days when I've wanted to cry. There have been days when I've felt completely overwhelmed. And there have been days when I'm so excited, I can't sleep at night.
I'm writing this blog post to share some of my experiences during this process. It's not intended to give you a list of things to do when you move, like how to pack or how to forward your mail. Instead, it's intended to share some of the emotions I've felt during this process, with the hope that it might help others who are going through the moving process too.
So keep reading and join me on this emotional rollercoaster of the highs and lows of moving! I even picked a few songs to follow along with on my journey.
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KEEPING MY ANXIETY AT BAY
I've never formally been diagnosed with anxiety, but it's a pretty safe bet that I have it. At best, I'm a chronic worrier. And let me tell you, there is PLENTY to worry about when you move.
The first thing you worry about when you decide to move is if you are going to sell your existing house. We were very lucky that we were in a seller's market and our house sold very quickly. But even if your house sells right away and you go under contract, that's not the end of the worrying.
Until you are sitting at the table at closing and money is changing hands and papers are being signed, there is always a chance something could go wrong. What I keep telling myself, is that the closer we get to closing, the less and less likely the sale will fall through.
Tip #1: Anxiety - in general - can be crippling. And the pressure you are under during a move can cause your anxiety to go off the charts. Something we've done is give ourselves enough time during this move to have some time to relax. We've been able to visit favorite restaurants one last time, and connect with local friends before we go. Remember, you don't have to get everything done in a day. Pace yourself and build in some me time!
WHO WANTS MY STUFF?
One of the things you learn when you move is that you own too much stuff. When you are getting ready to put your house up for sale, your realtor will tell you that you have to "de-clutter". The idea is that you want potential buyers to walk in your house and be able to picture it as their house.
Sounds simple, right? Wrong!
We spent a couple of months de-cluttering. And being people who care about the environment, we wanted to try and keep as many things out of the landfill as we could. So we started out with the grand idea that people would actually want to pay for some of our stuff and we could sell some of it. How wrong we were!
FB Marketplace is a hell that I don't ever want to go back to. If you haven't used it, this is basically how it works. You list something on there. Dozens of people message you asking if it's still available. You message those dozens of people back (after checking to make sure their FB profile looks somewhat legitimate). A handful of those people actually respond with some interest, but then ask a bunch of questions. After you respond, you never hear back again.
I learned that if I wanted to get rid of things, I was just going to have to give them away for free. Which worked for the most part, but was not without its own challenges. We had a very nice lady show up to pick up a large three-piece sectional couch with her friend's half-bed small Tacoma pick-up truck. Then there was the young girl that came at 10 p.m. on a Thursday night to pick up a coffee table and two end tables in a car that was the size of a Toyota Corolla.
If you ever tell yourself that you can't get rid of something because its valuable, list them on FB Marketplace. You'll soon change your mind.
Tip #2: When all else fails, put it out on the curb. I know this isn't the ideal solution. But on some items, there comes a point where no one seems to want it - even if you are giving it away, and no charity wants to take it for a variety of reasons. On some items I just gave up and I put some things out on our curb the day before trash pick-up. Low and behold, they were gone either later that day or when I woke up the next morning. I don't know if it was a scrapper that picked them up or another neighbor, and I really don't care. The items are gone, which is the most important thing.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
Our move is a little different than the typical move. We are moving out of our house in PA on August 9th, but our new house won't be ready until some time in mid-October. So what are we doing for 3 months? We're going to be nomads!
Over the next couple of months we'll spend our time visiting my mother-in-law in Ohio, going on vacation to the Pacific Northwest, following the Dave Matthews Band around New York and New Jersey, and then finally settling down in a condo in Hilton Head.
The good news is that I'll have some travel adventures to finally write about again. The bad news is I'm going to have to get comfortable with living out of a suitcase for a while. It's a little overwhelming, but I'm getting used to the idea and trying to look at it as an adventure.
Tip #3: If you find yourself in the same situation we'll be in, don't pack too much stuff to take with you. I've shared this in my Chasing Summer Series posts, and I'll share it again here. You really don't need very many clothes. Make sure you have access to a washer and dryer, and limit the amount of clothes/shoes you take with you.
I'M MOVIN' OUT!
This move has been in the making for several months. At times, it's felt like the process is never going to end. But I looked at the calendar this morning and realized that three weeks from today, we'll be walking out of this house forever.
I've had a love/hate relationship with this house since we moved in. When we bought it in 1998, we were young and had very little money. We figured we would live here 5 years or so, and then upgrade. Well, 22 1/2 years later, we've never left.
We have a lot of good memories in this house. We've put a lot of work into this house. But there will be things about it that I definitely won't miss!
And of course, we're leaving behind not only good friends, but things we've gotten comfortable with over the years. Starting over is never easy. While making this move is what we really want, there are some days when I ask myself why we're doing this. And while most people are happy for us, there are always those that like to make you think your crazy for doing what your doing, and I've taken some of that to heart when I shouldn't let it bother me.
I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to feel when we close the door and pull out of our driveway one last time. I know that I'm so excited for our new house and our new location, and that I can't wait to get there. But walking away from almost 23 years of your life is never easy. There will probably be tears - both of sadness and joy.
Bluffton, SC here we come!
Have you gone through a major move? Any tips that you'd like to share? Share them with us by commenting below or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
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