Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pack it away, pack it away, pack it away, now!

The word came, last minute – everything was a go!  A month of sleepless nights, anxiety and endless waiting, like a slow, crank by crank ride to the very top of a roller coaster, and now I’m in the final, adrenaline drop, a fast twisty, turny rush to the bottom, with only 11 days to close the  loan.

And 11 days to finish packing.  Officially that means “packing in every spare second mode”.

Working full time takes me away from home – 11 hours out of the day.  That leaves 2 hours in the morning to get up (not an easy task), make lunches, get the kids off to school and get ready).  I have 2.5, maybe 3 hours,  in the evening to get home, pick up kids if necessary, sometimes get groceries, make dinner (rarely) help with homework, clean up the kitchen and pass out.

In between all this glamour, I’ve been packing (and sneaking in a breath or two).

I’m worried that I’m not going to get it all packed.  I want everything in a box, ready to go so all the movers have to do is say, “step aside little lady, we’ll take it from here”.

You KNOW how it goes.  Time gets away from you.  The movers show up early.  You still have random crap lying around helter skelter.   The stuff that isn’t packed gets left behind,  leaving you to make multiple trips, back and forth to clear out the old space.  (Wasn’t as big as an issue when I drove a minivan…. but the compact hybrid makes this task foreboding).

Normally, I would say, the only thing worse than packing, is unpacking.  Without xray vision you can’t see inside the boxes.  So you have to cut the tape, open them up, pull some things out to look and see.  This is where it starts to get messy.

Unpacking is also challenging because it means you have to make a decision about where things go.  How do you make best use of a space when you haven’t lived in the space before?  Especially when half the stuff is still in boxes?  Yeah, those coffee mugs look great where you just put them, but oh, crap, here are the baking dishes.  Where the F* am I going to put those now!?

Last night, as I packed a GINOURMOUS box full of shoes, I realized I was going to have to dramatically scale down in the kicks department.  My friend Wilma was helping me.  As soon as she spied the contents of the box , she gave me the come to Jesus look that said, “you are seriously going to have to scale down.  SERIOUSLY”.    I knew this but seeing that big box holding only shoes and not boots kinda drove it home.

I’m not afraid to purge.  Anything that doesn’t fit is going to live in the garage until I have a massive garage sale.  My garage sale rule is that anything that survives the garage sale is donated.  It makes me feel like I’ve won.  Since I’m also a professional garage saler, (oh yeah, I’ve got a wing man and even a backup wing man) a lot of what you find in my house has been gained highly discounted.  Shedding something that you bought for a dollar is easier than selling something that you paid for at retail prices.   The chili peppers wrote a song about it so it must be true (Look up “Give It Away”).  But first, I really need to pack.

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Official State of Limbo

I haven’t been posting.

I’ve been working on a big project that couldn’t be posted until it was for reals.

Do you know what it’s like to love a house?  I hope you do.  And I hope you never know what it’s like to lose a house (although sadly, today many people do).  I had to give up a home once.  I never forgot how much I loved it.  I got a pang in my stomach every time I drove by my old home.

I had put so much of myself into it.   It’s where I brought home my babies, where they took their first steps and said their first words.  It’s where I planted my first roses, and paper whites, and irises and grew my first tomatoes.  And it was the first place I ever lived for longer than 2 years (a record 12 years).

After three years and one month, I will be a home owner again.  Today, owning a home has changed from the American Dream to the American Miracle.

I haven’t officially signed the papers yet – still waiting for the 2nd appraisal to come back.  There is a small chance that everything could all go wrong.  Houses fall out of escrow every day now.  I’ve had escrow themed nightmares that kept me awake until morning.

My anxiety and uncertainty hasn’t prevented me from preparing for my move.  Surrounding my small apartment are 50 plus moving boxes, packed, labeled and ready to go.  I’m completely boxed in.  50+ boxes = a lot of crap, but in fairness, the boxes are packed to withstand a space shuttle launch.  Thus, there are more boxes than necessary for a mere five mile journey.

What happens if your house falls out of escrow and you’ve given your apartment managers 30 days notice and everything in your life is packed?  Plan B.

Plan B involves selling everything I have boxed and opening a donut shop in my favorite hood in Oregon.  Or Plan B could be heading up north to her goats and make expensive cheese.  If I don’t get this house, I have vowed to get rid of most of my belongings.  The apartment is too small.

I’ve started tossing stuff that’s seen better days, leaving gifts out for the curb fairies and purging clothes into bags for a garage sale.   If I do get this house, I will still get rid of this stuff.  A house is a lot to care for.  Less things mean less maintenance.

My OCD is kicking in.  I’m surrounded by boxes and items waiting to be packed.  It’s a completed mess and I hate it.  The problem is that I’m a neat packer.  I have to organize when I pack.  There is no way I could throw things into a box willy nilly.  Nope.  It’s got to make sense.  Books with books.  Baking pans with baking pans.  Pantry stuff shall not be mixed with baking stuff.  It has to be packed neatly, the odd pieces fitting together snuggly like a jig saw puzzle.  It’s a sickness and I don’t have the cure.

My Dad had brought me a ton of moving boxes but now they are all filled.   Every morning, when I get to work, I check the dumpster behind my office building.  I’m on high alert to find more boxes, Box Patrol.

Last weekend I forced Thing 1 to clean up his room, do his laundry and pack his books, games and other accoutrements of a 15 year old.  He purged a few items too.  He’s decided that the giant bins of legos which haven’t seen daylight in over four years can finally go.  I think I might dump them all into a Rubbermaid bin then sell them on ebay for his college money.  Sadly, he’s not getting rid of the garage sale carved wood cat which is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.  He claims he loves it.  Thing 1 has his own worries about the move.  He’s never been good at change.  I hope he’s happy in our new home.  He can keep the cat.

Thing 2 is more excited about the move.  Having a backyard means having a trampoline which means mom having heart failure.  This is the kid that was doing front tucks on the bed at the age of four.  Now that she’s a level 5 gymnast she has greater capacity to hurt herself.  The move also means that she and I will no longer share a room.  As a pre teen who is counting the days till she is 13, Thing 2 is excited about having her own space.  But I’m sad that I’ll be losing my little roommate.  She too has her own fears about the move, sleeping alone in her new room.  I’ll be right next door.

Next week everything should come together.  Contracts should get signed.  Final agreements made.  And project home begins.