Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Busy 3 Weeks

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

We have almost been in Atlanta for 3 weeks.  A quick update – Evelyn has pretty much been sick the entire time.  Oliver goes bonkers when he is stuck in the house.  We’ve unpacked about 50% of the boxes and the house is still a wreck.  That’s pretty much it!  Well, not exactly…

I do make an effort to get the kids out at least 4 or 5 times a week, even if it’s just to the grocery store.  My new favorite after hours exercise joint for Oliver is Ikea!  I’ve been there a half dozen times already and at 8pm it’s a great big place for Oliver to explore (run around like crazy/jump on the beds).  We’ve also become regulars at Monkey Joe’s and found our nearest mall for some early morning running around to be finished off with mandatory train ride.  I took the kids to one of our parks nearby and WOW, the playground is freakishly huge.  The climbing structure is at least 3 stories high – crazy.  We also checked out the kid’s museum downtown and a local play center by our house.  Throw in trips to the grocery store, a doctor and emergency dentist visit and we’ve got a full plate.

When I have time to myself, I head out and explore.  I found myself a Thai grocery store the first week here and have been back and forth to downtown Atlanta a half-dozen times.  I don’t need a GPS to get to Ikea anymore!  I’ve learned all the major roads/highways and found the major shopping centers.  Sometimes, I’ll just pull into a shopping center at 11pm to see what’s around and learn where I’m at.

This weekend we are decorating for Christmas.  After years of skimping on the lights, we are going all out this year!  Griswald will be proud.  Since we don’t plan on being here for next Christmas, we want to give the neighbors something to talk about.  “Remember those crazy renters a few years ago with those strobe light candy canes?”

My laptop has been on the fritz for the past week, but I’m back up and running now.  I’m going to backdate some posts with pics asap!

Atlanta or Bust

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Goodnight and goodbye Raleigh, NC.   A little over a week ago (11/12/11), the kids and I pulled out of Raleigh and started down the road to Atlanta.  Eleven and one half hours later, we pulled into our new driveway.  Who knew Atlanta was so far away?

The hubby had flown in Thursday after work and we spent all day Friday packing the truck.  I was going to follow him down with the kids in the van around midnight, but instead I spent a good hour sifting through debris on the road after we lost all the boxes off the back of the truck due to an improperly latched door.  He had made it a good 5 or 6 miles down the interstate before a trucker alerted him.  I had gone to get the kids before he called to have me back track his route and look for our stuff.  Thankfully, most of the stuff dumped in one spot in our neighborhood and not on the main drag or interstate.  We were very lucky.  By the time we finished packing up and cleaning at 230am, the hubby had to go it alone as I had one too many “STELLA!!!” moments in the last 24 hours to continue.

The next day, or 10 hours later, our little van was packed to the gills.  Rather than wait until bedtime to take off, I ventured out at noon and prayed that the stress and lack of sleep from the 48 hours prior would knock their little butts out.  Well, that didn’t work.  We made it to Charlotte, NC in about 3 hours and I drove straight to the first hotel I saw and checked in.  Between my sleep deprivation and Evelyn’s constant high pitched crying someone was going to get seriously hurt.  Even though I didn’t get to sleep, the $40 we paid for 4 hours was well worth it.  Having a clean place to change diapers and feed them was worth the price alone.  I covered the floor with one of the bed comforters and had a bunch of catnaps while the kids played. 

When it was pitch black outside (8pm), we rolled out and the kids blessedly passed out within 5 minutes.

I woke them up for some exercise when we crossed into Georgia a little after 10pm.  Another hour and a half and we were pulling up to our new house.  In some ways it worked out better that the kids and I came later.  The kids weren’t underfoot when the truck was being unloaded and the house was being setup.

Since being here, I’ve been homesick quite a lot.  It didn’t really hit me until this last weekend when I told Barry that we should have the gang over for dinner now that the kitchen was put together.  I still feel like I can pop over to my friend’s house or head down to Marbles or that someday, Oliver will go back to school and Evelyn and I can get groceries together.  It will take time to adjust, but at least we made it here safe and sound.

Speaking of making it here, without my friends, family, and a few paid helping hands this wouldn’t have been possible.  Thanks to Tracey for making us food to eat that last week of packing.  Thanks to Ron for killing spiders and cleaning out my shed (I know we have a lot of paint, okay?).  Thanks to Tabatha for watching the kiddos all those nights so I could run errands and see my friends.  Thanks to Melanie for helping with the packing, watching Evie, and bringing yummy pizza.  Thanks to Tania for putting us in a hotel, watching the kids, and helping us pack.  I bet Tania also plays a mean game of Jenga after watching her pack the van with an additional 3 boxes and 7 plants that I couldn’t fit!  A big thanks to my brother who helped us cut the cord and push us out of our house at 11pm on Friday night.  It was rough getting rid of things we couldn’t fit and cleaning the house when it was empty.  Our backs thank the 4 movers who helped Barry load and unload the truck .  Lastly, we thank Nana and Grandpa Norton for helping us get the house setup in Atlanta and for helping with the kids while we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off.

By the way, our house closed without a hitch last week.  Let the new adventures begin!

Sell This House: Get Rid of the Clutter

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Pack it up, ship it out!  One of the biggest steps towards selling your house, while you are living in it, is to clean out the clutter.  When you have pared everything down to what you consider to be the bare minimum – get rid of 1/3 more.  You want the house to feel so big that you don’t have enough stuff to put into the house.  You have to be cold about this.  Detach youself emotionally from this process.  You are selling a HOUSE – it’s not yours anymore.  Your house should be as anonymous as a hotel room – anybody should be able to visit the house and see themselves staying there. 

Get rid of any excess furniture or items that don’t serve an immediate purpose.  Remove anything that states a personal preference.  For example: your taste in books, family photos, religious artifacts, etc…  You want people to imagine themselves in the house.  You don’t want them to feel like they are intruding into your personal space. 

For someone like me, this has been both a cleansing and draining process.  I still have the blue and red windup robot that I played with in Thailand when I was 6, the music box that my Grandmother Dorothy gave me when I was 9 and my faded and worn twin size comforter my dad bought me in Korea when I was 13.  Every time I move, I whittle away at my trinkets and have packed my life into 2 rubber maid totes full of memories.  As for the rest of the house, well, let’s just say we’ve been busy these past few weeks.

We rented a 10X15 storage unit and have been making nightly trips to fill it up.  I’ve done my best to pre-sort and organize our belongings.  Each night is a different theme.   

Rather than mark “KITCHEN”, “MSTR BEDROOM”, “LIVING ROOM”, etc… on the boxes, I label each box on two sides with the contents and assign the box a number.I record each box number into a journal and list the contents.  I will input this list into Excel so we’ll have a nice little cargo manifest when it comes time to move.  Labeling and numbering the boxes is VERY helpful for storing and moving items.  Since we don’t know how long our stuff will be in storage, I can quickly reference our list and retrieve a box by number if I need something from storage.  It will also be easier when we move to our final destination (For example, boxes 1-10 in the kitchen). 

Here’s an example of how we’ve been spending our time (and why the blog has been quiet of late).  One night the theme was books.  We gathered every single book we own into one spot and sorted them into keep, sell, and yard sale/donate piles.  The keep piles we sorted and packed according to genres.  The sell pile I boxed up to take to our local book reseller and the yard sale/donate pile has been placed in the designated yard sale area.  I call it the yard sale/donate pile, because we promise to donate everything that doesn’t sell at our yard sale in June rather than drag it back into the house.  At the end of every night, the hubby loads up the van and makes a trip to the storage unit – usually around 10 or 11pm.

My little sweetie pie LOVES, LOVES, LOVES paper.  She’s been having a blast helping me pack.  She’ll wiggle, scoot, and roll her way across the room to chomp on my packing material.

Oliver has been taking it in stride.  We try to do everything after they go to bed so they can avoid the mess.  When the packing overflows into his life, he gets a bit stressed.  Selling this house is going to be a big transition for him.  As long as we have paper around, Evelyn will be fine!

As of tonight, we have hauled 58 boxes over to storage.  I’m guessing that we have another 58 to go!  On the plus side, our attic is almost empty!

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