If you read my blog regularly, you’re aware we just executed the Big Move. This is a huge transition for us; after 10+ years of having two homes, we are down to one. And that one being the one in a warmer climate. The downsizing required is more than I anticipated. In essence we went from a combined 4000 square feet of living space, two 2-car garages, and one (packed) basement into only 1900 square feet of living space, one (extra large) garage, and no basement. Here’s an update on how it’s going:
- Hubby claimed the main living area would be box-free in a month. It isn’t, but we are down to single digits of boxes in the space. As a friend noted this week, you can see the floor!
- Creating the reading nook only took 5 furniture moves. Yes, we moved the same pieces in & out in different combinations. I ended up selling my super-comfy recliner; Hubby called it the Frasier chair. It was really comfortable, but just did not fit anywhere in the new house – not the reading nook nor anywhere else I tried to make it fit.
- The reading nook space quickly became a storage area for both the “where should it go” items and the boxes of donations. While I’ve yet to read in it, Hubby climbs into a chair in there to read, hidden from view behind stacked boxes!
- I’ve made five trips to donation sites locally (Goodwill, Salvation Army) and sold some furniture on-line locally. It was shocking how hard it was to “give away” packing boxes. I found it was easier to list them for sale at $1-2 for a bunch. We had over 125 empty boxes to get rid of over 4 weeks and I didn’t want to trash perfectly re-usable boxes.
- I’ve pushed myself to get rid of more sweater, jackets, and shoes. It’s a struggle as I’m now into things I love(d) to wear. How many sweaters, pullovers, and jackets will I really need? Unfortunately, Hubby has not started his sort and reduce of these items at all. I did reduce my (retirement) book pile by about 20%; not the 50% I tried for but better than nothing!
- Combining two households and pulling out all the hidden storage items resulted in an amusing moment – I had 8 9×13 Pyrex baking pans. Yes, eight. Some with carriers, two with decorative woven holders, and some with lids. I don’t think I’ve ever used more than 2 at any time. [I no longer have 8.]. I knew we would have 2 sets of flatware, dishes, and pots & pans; I liked the Ohio stuff more, so the Florida things were donated. Combining everything, we had 4 bins of cooking implements, which are now sorted with one full bin donated. How many ice scream scoops do you need? (Apparently 3.) At least 35 drinking glasses were donated and we still have 3 shelves of glasses! (Of course, some are wine, margarita, and beer glasses.) And we still have 5 knife blocks full of knives to sort through. But the kitchen is set and usable!
- We did spend a lot of time hanging artwork. We have lots of art; many items are smaller pieces that were in various groupings in previous homes and needed to be reconfigured into grouping in this space. After hanging more than 60 pieces, Hubby commented that our house is not a home, but an art gallery. Fewer art pieces went away than I anticipated, although some did. I’m glad I consigned 5 of our larger art pieces (ones I knew would never go in this décor) back in Ohio.
- Hubby still has tools to sort through. He has 2 households of tools, plus things he got when his dad passed and apparently, even my old toolbox of tools (pre-marriage) is still in the mix. There are 12 physical toolboxes (small to large), not counting the bins of tools as well.
While unpacking is not complete, we have done a huge amount and are feeling good about the progress. I realize my home will never be “home beautiful” neatness/minimalism – we have too much artwork on the walls and stuff laying around (others would say clutter), but it’s how we live. There are still some challenges ahead – finishing the tools sort and reduction, getting the “office” set up, reducing shoes and jackets. The “office” space is the second bedroom and will be a combination office, storage space, and walk in closet, with multiple bookcases, file storage, and rolling clothes racks.
So yes, still more unpacking to do. But I’m hoping this week to get the main living space done!
When you’ve done a Big Move, how long did it take you to finish unpacking?
P.S. We are officially Florida residents; it only took 2 visits to the DMV.
Photo credit: Me. A Sunday rest day and visit to local botanical garden. I doubt my skill at growing orchids, but did get some ideas for our yard.