The Moving Diary: the preface.

I’ve started to plan the packing. We’ll have both houses for a while, so we’re not pressed for time – yet I know that if I don’t have a plan, chaos will take over.

This is what I’m planning. I want to go through each room in this house to do two things: cull unwanted items, for donation or for landfill, and pack up things not needed immediately: winter clothes, books, rarely-used kitchen equipment, ornaments. That should take about three weeks of intermittent work, the time ranging from a couple of hours at the most for the bathroom to six-to-eight hours for the kitchen. We can get most of that done before the possession date of April 29th. In much of May, when the new house is having its gas fireplace installed, and the interior painted, I’ll need to be there to let the workers in and out and answer questions. I can take a carload of boxed items over every day; they can sit in the garage if nowhere else, while I ensure cupboards are clean and determine what goes where in the kitchen.

After that, we’ll spend a day packing the last of the fragile items, move the cats to the new house – they can have the run of the basement – and let the professionals take over. We have detailed floor plans of the new house and have spent the last couple of weeks playing with furniture placements. We may move things a few inches here and there, but basically we know what is going where, which will be easier for the movers. We’ll have those plans with us, printed and on our ipads, the day of the move.

I’m making lists: we need boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, scotch tape. I’ll need to contact the charity that will come to pick up the boxes of donated items, saving me endless trips to their drop-off location. I have to book a mover, arrange another viewing of the house to measure windows for blinds, look at kitchen cupboard size and arrangements, and think about paint colours. Then arrange to meet with the gas-fireplace installers and the painters. And all the hundred other little things – the utilities, the change-of-addresses, the insurance – at least we’ll be keeping our cell phone numbers.

You’ll note I haven’t even begun to think about prepping this current house for sale. We decided we wouldn’t do that yet. We can afford, thank goodness, to carry both for a while. It will cost us a bit in the bridge financing, but it will be worth it in reduced stress. When this one is empty, it too can be cleaned and patched-painted-and-polished. I’m not going to try to do both at the same time. Because, among other things, this is all happening in May. Migration month. The best birding of the entire year. We bought a house expressly because it adjoins excellent birding habitat: we can walk out the front door into an area with an impressive migration bird list. We don’t plan to miss May birding, moving or no – it’s just a compromise: birding in the early mornings, moving chores later in the day.

We figure we can just about handle birding, new-house-prep, and old-house-cull-and-pack (although we’re going to try to do most of that in April)  in that time but we can’t add any more. Meals may be a bit ad hoc, laundry will get done at odd hours, and I certainly won’t get much writing done. Organized chaos is the best I can hope for.

Tell me about your moving experiences…what lessons can you pass on? Am I completely crazy?

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