The Big Move Status Update

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.

19 thoughts on “The Big Move Status Update

  1. When we moved here the movers reckoned they’d never had so many kitchen and book boxes – yet I’d culled so much else. I laughed at your 8 pyres dishes. As for boxes, you’re going to hate me, but I had every box opened and packed away in 3 days. I was up at 4 each morning until I did. Not because I was being super woman but because Grant and I were flying to Vietnam (a trip that had been booked before we moved) out of Sydney less than a week after moving in & were leaving our (then 19 year old) daughter in the house so it had to be unpacked. The day we flew out a cyclone hit. In hindsight it was hilarious At the time though I remember getting on that plane and pretty much hitting a wall.

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    1. Jo, you constantly amaze me. We’re into 6 weeks now. It’s mostly hubby’s boxes now, and he is just not that good at organizing. I think I might need to take over on some things…. which he will not be very happy about, but I want my living space to be box-less sooner rather than later.

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      1. Yep…it’s sounds like it’s time to take over. If I left it to Grant we’d still have boxes. ‘just leave it until we’re back,’ he said…

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  2. Fraiser chair, lol. We just started streaming from Paramount + (long story), and they have all the old Fraiser episodes on it. I only started watching a couple of nights ago, and I’m laughing like it’s the nineties again. Congrats on seeing that living room floor! 🙂 – Marty

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  3. Consolidating two houses down to one is a huge undertaking. It sounds like you are definitely making progress. Good luck with the next phase and enjoy your new full-time home.

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    1. It funny how it just occurred to me what we’re doing. When there’s just no space in closets or cabinets to fit things, I kept thinking, why? But I’m beginning to enjoy the things we can do here, too.

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  4. So glad for this update. As per usual, I am terribly behind in my blog reading but have spent the entire evening and even before dinner, trying to catch up. Why do I get so far behind?? Life. Grandchildren!! My MOM!!

    This is an encouraging post. You have made terrific progress. So proud of you and happy for you. Had not thought about it but you were truly combining two complete households into one. No wonder you had stuff and more stuff. Love that you hang art. Yay YOU! We do, too. “Art” might be a very generous term for our silly prints and photographs but I like having things on the walls. I like to look at images and colors. And every flat surface in our home has more than one thing resting on it. The end table has a coloring book, photograph and a Ball jar full of Hershey’s kisses. The sofa table has a cross and a framed photo of us and a beaded garland. See what I mean?

    I do think you guys have more tools and tool boxes than we. But I am sure I have you beat in the bins of holiday decorations department. PC and I had a knock-down drag out over my bins this past weekend. Ugh.

    Your generosity is a blessing to those in need. Your donations will go to good use I am sure. Thinking that my donations might help someone makes it so much easier to let go. Have a stack of pjs and active wear clothing in the passenger seat of my car to take tomorrow.

    You need to find the perfect comfortable, adorable chair for your reading nook. I am sorry you had to say goodbye to your old faithful chair but it will be fun to find something new for this space. Treat yourself to that soon.

    Big hugs to you. I can only imagine that you are exhausted but you have come so far. Bravo!!

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    1. Leslie, I am definitely trying to be happy about donating things. And letting things go, emotionally. It’s hard but more still needs to go away. I am trying to give myself grace – time to go slowly.

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  5. It sounds like you are doing great! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve made a move from one household to another and I don’t envy you that task at all. But, you know it will all come together eventually and the boxes will be gone. Realistically, I don’t think many people live totally clutter-free lives (and I think it’s a bit sad to live that way anyway). Surround yourself with the things you love.

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    1. Ahhh… that word eventually is the killer. I’m a bit impatient to have the place feel more settled. I am trying to have patience! And trying to feel OK with letting even some of the things I love go away.

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    1. OMG – how funny. But I can relate. When we moved 4 years ago, I found some boxes we moved into the house 20 years ago into closets and never opened. And, this time, again 4 years never opened boxes in the basement, which I forced hubby to go through and not just move. This time, there’s not really any place to hide boxes away!

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  6. We made a move from country to city about 16 months ago. It seemed like it took most of that time to get every box unpacked. There were some boxes of things to go in a china cabinet that we waited on for a long time while waiting on wood floors to be installed. We didn’t want to load up the cabinet only to have to unload it to be moved by flooring guys. All that got pushed back by about 6 months when the pandemic hit. We moved in Feb 2020 and then my mother passed in June 2020. This led to more boxes and stuff that we kept from settling her estate. We are just now getting everything in it’s place. Good luck with your unpacking, you will reach the finish line soon!

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    1. Gosh, my goal to have in done in 4-6 weeks feels a bit aggressive based on that, huh? I’m just keeping on it, a little bit every day now. It just feels so unsettled as the boxes are so visible… with such limited storage, it’s hard to hide them.

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  7. Hi Pat – that’s a huge accomplishment from where you started several months ago. And (even though we are fairly minimalist) I don’t think minimalism is for everyone – there’s some great maximalism sites on the internet that show how homely and snug a “cluttered” house can be. I think what it comes down to is how it feels to you – if you feel that you’re “Home” and it brings you a sense of peace and of having a haven, then you know you’ve reached the perfect balance for yourselves. I’m looking forward to reading more of your new Summer lifestyle now you’re settled.

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