It’s Sinking In
A few days ago while Chris and I were putting away groceries and tidying up the kitchen he said, “Maybe we should start saving boxes.”
Huh. Maybe we should.
I told him there were a couple on the porch from the groceries we were just finished unpacking, and that he should probably run and grab them and put them somewhere fast before they were gone. Cardboard is a hot commodity here and our staff know they can take boxes if we leave them outside. We quickly decided where to put them and our box collection was started.
It feels strange to be thinking about this. But, if you read the last blog post you know that things are starting to move quickly at the new place. We’ve set a move goal of the middle of December. Yes, about 10 days before Christmas. Seems crazy, but it means we’ll be able to move and use the two weeks off that we and our staff take every year at that time to settle in as a family, then start the new year at our new facilities.
While the work keeps happening and we’re seeing things come together the reality that we are in fact moving in a few months is settling in. We’ve been moving toward this for 4 years, and it’s finally happening. On the flip side, we’ve been working toward this for four years, and because it’s been four years I think it started to feel like it was never quite going to happen.
As we move closer to December, aside from all the finishing stuff that needs to happen, I find myself already thinking about the moving process. I haven’t had to move an entire house in 6.5 years, and that time I just carried things up the stairs one laundry basket at a time because we were moving from one house on site to another. There was also one less person in our family, and we had less stuff. The last time I did a big physical move was moving into, and then out of, my apartment the year that I moved to Haiti. Again, it was just me, and we fit everything into a single truck.
This time around we’re moving to an entirely new property. There are four of us and all our personal and household belongings. On top of that we have to move all of the missions things. Think tools, equipment, stuff in storage… Oiye! It’s going to be a lot of work.
So how are we going to do this, and hopefully do it well?
Well, I’ve decided the process should start now. In fact, it actually started last month. We have the advantage of knowing when we’re moving, and where we’re moving to. We have months to get ready for it, and the new place will be ready to receive our stuff when we decide it is, not when someone else moves out and we close a deal or anything like that. And while we’ve given ourselves the move date for the middle of December, we actually don’t need to be out until the end of the month, so we have a buffer.
My goal is to get our family completely moved before the holidays, and settling in to our house. By the time our Christmas break rolls around we’re desperately going to need a rest, and I don’t want to be living in chaos. Yes, I know moving always involves a certain amount of chaos, but if we can eliminate as much as possible then great! We’re that much further ahead.
So, to get the ball rolling, last month I went through one of the rooms in the other house on the property. It has a bedroom in the lower level that had turned into a dumping ground in the past 2-3 years. The house is very open with a loft space, and that lower bedroom was the only room, besides the bathroom, that we could completely close up – so stuff got dumped in there, and we closed the door. It’s the place I store all my tools and things, so it was actually essential that I went through, cleaned things up, and organized all of my stuff in order to be ready to start building at the new place.
So clean I did! I took the good part of a Saturday last month, and cleaned the entire room. I moved some things around to create a storage area for all my tools and stuff on an old book shelf that we have down there. It worked great. Now all of my stuff is organized where I can see it right away, and it’s all together in one corner. I went through everything else in the room and made give away piles out in the main room of the house. I swept and mopped and wiped everything down, then I neatly put the things that we were going to continue to store in there in one corner. There are a couple of pieces of furniture that I still wasn’t sure about – would we use it when we moved or not? I decided to hold on to them for now and decide when we moved. Everything that was set aside for giving away was put out for our staff the next day so they could take anything they wanted. There wasn’t anything left, so we didn’t need to worry about tossing things.
After the cleaning and organizing was done we had enough room to move the rest of the stuff we’re storing for the new house in there, and still had room to move around. We got 9 interior doors, a bathtub and it’s fittings, two toilets, two sinks and all sorts of small things like light switches, faucets, etc in there.
I went through parts of our linen closet last month too, and got rid of anything that we weren’t using or needing, or expired medicines because that’s where I keep most of that stuff. I’ve gone through the kids clothes and shoes, as well as my own, and tossed the stuff that was beyond use, and given away the stuff we don’t need.
We’ve made plans, albeit loose ones, to start going through some of the storage spaces on the property to start sorting and tossing or giving things away if we know we don’t need them. Doing this well in advance means less stress right before moving day.
Because I’ll be working out at the site most days as we get closer to moving, my plan is to start moving things, non-essentials, as we get closer and rooms are finished. For example, when the shelves are all built in the storage rooms, there’s no reason why we can start moving things from our current storage room. When closet built ins are done there’s no reason why we can’t start moving non-essential clothes and closet stuff to the new house.
If I take a few plastic totes of things on every trip, and put them where they’re going to go, then when it’s time to officially move we should be mostly moved in and only need to move the essential clothes and personal items, and bigger pieces of furniture.
Do you have any suggestions for moving that would make our process easier?