It’s not as if women need another reason to lose sleep at night, but when it comes to moving, insomnia is a guaranteed side-affect.
While I’ve had many transitions over the last eight years, four homes, a divorce and two children off to college, it is now as I’m leaving the doldrums of suburban life and returning to the excitement of the city that I feel so completely overwhelmed with the multiple issues that come with any move.
To begin, I will no longer have the luxury of storage space nor a garage. So, all those pesky things we always seem to keep moving around with no intent or purpose can no longer make the journey with me. Think boxes of paperwork that you haven’t looked in ten years. Or, how about the four bikes rusting out in the backyard? Of course there are also the clothes we can never fit our growing bodies back into, but I still have good intentions of losing the 10-15 pounds to do so.
So over the last several months, I packed, discarded, re-purposed and held a garage sale with my children. The “process,” as my friend Julie calls it, is still a grueling, thankless job.
For me, packing up, moving and un-packing wasn’t the hardest part as I had the help of three young moving men and my two tireless friends Jeanine and Kat to help me with those chores.
The curve balls I kept fielding were things like gathering all the last minute crap at the old house that never found the way to my new home, you know, funky plants, cleaning supplies, door mats, the barbeque, psychedelic Christmas tree, an old mattress and bedframes that the movers forgot to load.
So, when in doubt and you don’t know how to discard of the nuisance items, call a friend who’s got twenty-something year old kids that might know someone who has a truck and wants a quick cash pay-out. But, that didn’t work out, so I called my trusted housekeeper of 16 years who came to the rescue and sent her husband in to pinch hit.
However, after Carlos took off with the last load of unwanted items, I found my garage door dysfunctional. We must have hit the little “eye” that lines up so the electronics work. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure this out so I tried to manually close and lock the door. Can you guess what happens next? I lock myself out. As a (former) neighbor is walking by, she acknowledges my pain but keeps on trekking. Fortunately, I had not yet retrieved the hide-a-key from its hiding spot…first time I had to ever use it.
“Sixty minutes,” I say to myself. I have only 60 minutes to get everything as perfect as possible, before the landlords come in for inspection.
I find myself completely overwhelmed, and alone.
But, why does this all have to be so daunting?
I still have to gather the last loads of laundry I completed. And, then there was the window cleaning project to remove the painted “Happy Birthday” wishes that lived on Matt’s window for two years. I got the paint off ok, but couldn’t for the life of me get the screen back in place. 30 minutes and counting before Alan and Carmen were to arrive for the inspection…
Now, there are still a few loose ends. There’s the big red wine stain on a wall in the master bedroom. They’re going to re-paint, right?! Maybe I let that go as I don’t have the cleaning skills needed anyway. Then, there are the holes Matt spackled (poorly) in his bedroom…not going to touch that.
The garage door is still broken, but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about that, except be honest about the problem.
Now what?! I take one last look around the inside and outside of the house, see that I’ve left some scrap wood, an Adirondack chair and the barbeque out back. (maybe they won’t go out back?) Turns out, they went into the yard and were pleased to keep all of the nuisance items…glad I was upfront!
Now, for the crescendo. Although my security deposit isn’t due back to me for 21 days, Alan takes out his check book, writes out a check, gives me a big hug and thanks me for loving his home as much as he and his wife do.