The Move

I probably mentioned this about a bazillion posts ago, so don’t worry if you’ve forgotten, but we are moving west come June. That’s right, a whopping 3,000 miles west to be exact. Me, The Doc and the ladies will be packing up ourselves, our junk (I mean beautiful and lovely things) and figuring out a way to get it all from here to there. I think what is stressing me out the most is that due to The Doc’s schedule, I am looking at doing about 90% of it on my own. I have a truck all reserved (it’s the kind that they bring to you, you pack it yourself, but then they drive it) but am having a really hard time coordinating all of our arrival times. We will have about a week between when we pack up the truck and when it arrives at our new place. My choices are to either camp out here in an empty apartment for a couple of days, head west and camp out either at a hotel, our new empty apartment, or with family while waiting for the truck, or to head southwest to my parents’ house for a couple of days and hopefully arrive at the same time as the truck. What would you do?

I don’t like feeling like I need stuff to live. It’s a bit unsettling to me, really. If it were just me it wouldn’t be a big deal, but with the girls I find myself obsessing about them having what they need, when they need it. And that isn’t good. I don’t want our girls to grow up thinking that stuff is what makes them feel at home, happy or able to function. Can they survive on a blowup mattress and pack and play for a week, of course. Can they find something to do in an empty apartment that doesn’t involve getting into trouble…well maybe not, but it will be June so we won’t be inside much anyway.

I just find that times like these bring to the surface things that are inside of me that I really don’t want to acknowledge. Did that make any sense? Here, for example, I come face to face with the fact that I like my stuff. I like my kids’ stuff. And I like my stuff and my family to be together. I will say one thing about moving that is wonderful is that it does force you to look at, and hopefully part with, your stuff. I feel for people who haven’t moved in ten or more years. The, let’s be honest here, junk just piles up. I tend to fall more on the side of the pack rat, so my junk accumulation is high. Since the girls were born I have been a bit better, but I still have a long way to go. Monday I took a set of dishes to donate. Oh yes the same ones we registered for and my mom even warned me about (“Amy, I just really don’t know why you picked those dishes”- why is she right so much!), that have been sitting unused in the kitchen cabinets for two years. They are ugly, yes, but I almost kept them because they were our first dishes. What, so they could sit in a box for the next 50 years and I could occasionally take them out to show people? So they are gone, and all that remains is the matching sugar holder (is that the word) which you are welcome to come over and see anytime.

Do you have this problem with your stuff too? I am hoping that one thing I’ll learn through this move is just how little stuff I actually need. And how much more peaceful, simple and outward focused life can be when I’m not fixating on things. It sounds pretty obvious, fairly straight forward a no brainer. Simplify, Amy, simplify. I’m sure as heck going to give it a go and boldly pass by the Target dollar spot without a glance at all of the tantalizing deals calling out to me. What junk do you have in your life? Even if you aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, maybe it’s time to have a date with your basement. Mine has been written down in pen and I can’t wait to tell you about all of the treasures I find.

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10 thoughts on “The Move

  1. Amy, I know exactly what you mean. I am definitely a packrat too, and when you live in 718 square feet, plus a storage closet that is mostly taken up by bikes, it is tough! I love organizing and reorganizing, and in that way I have fit in about as much stuff as I think our space can handle. But lately, I have been trying to think not in terms of what can I fit in, but what do I actually need, and what can I get rid of? We will see how successful I am at actually accomplishing my goal of a less cluttered home.

  2. amy!! please consider staying in our basement w/ your girls while you wait for the truck! it is all ready for you: 2 comfy futons, a bathroom w/ shower, and a bazillion toys. we LOVE having guests, especially guests w/ kids — i am serious! promise me you’ll at least consider it a viable option. 🙂 i totally understand if something else ends up working out better for you guys, but you are MORE than welcome here. email me if you want to talk about it — haleyballast@gmail.com. 🙂

  3. When we moved from Berkeley, CA to Atlanta, GA, I was a bit daunted as well. Adah was about 7 or 8 months old. We also had lag time from when we left CA to when we arrived in GA. I ended up flying to Houston ( to visit Jenny & Derek) for a few days and then to MI (to visit family) for a few days. Though I worried about the move a lot before it happened, it ended up working fine.

  4. I am REALLY HOPING you will choose to visit the parents and hang out in the good ole southwest for a few days. We would LOVE it!!!!!!!!

  5. So I actually planned out your trip today… even before reading this post. Here’s the deal… it will take you 2 days of driving, and you’ve got a sweet stop in the middle. That’s right. Denver is calling to you. Have you ever seen the Aarhaus homestead? Huh? Huh?

  6. Having moved 4 times in 4 years i will tell you one invaluable trick i learned…give each girl a box to fill with stuff they want with them “all the time” and then give them one more box that will be the first unpacked. Just make sure the “first unpacked” boxes are the easiest to access once the truck is packed up! Since it was their decisions it is much easier for them to let go of the other stuff. Of course, you might need to do a slight edit here & there…

  7. Could you pack up suitcases and ‘leisurely’ road trip your way across the country for 5 days? You could stay in a couple hotels and with some friends if it works out. Map out some national parks and other good destinations w/ kids along the way. Could be a good way to have some fun, see the country, and ‘kill time’ before the moving van arrives. We did this for 2.5 mos -kids and camped along the way – great time! I’m sure hotels/friends’ houses would be easier with kids…

    1. Karen, thanks for the idea. I have already plotted and looked at what that would mean. It would be something in the ball park of 8 hours a day for 6 days and that is driving straight through without time to “linger.” The trip is 3,000 miles. I don’t know about your sweet boy, but my girls would start to get a little CRAZY! And, I would be driving it all alone, and am wondering how I would be after a couple of days on the road. I think there is a big difference between doing it pre-kids and with kids, or if it were only 2.5 days of driving. The Doc and I have done a couple of moves together and have always driven, so this will be a first of not doing so. At any rate, I do appreciate the thought just think it won’t be best for us this time.

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