It’s been a while since we closed on the house, and after my last post I feel I need a more positive update, so I’m happy to report that our efforts in downsizing were/are a success! Sort of! Yay!
We closed on the house right before summer started, and had a lot to do to get settled. The house hadn’t been updated in quite a long time (20-30 years in some places) so we had our work cut out for us. It took the help of a wonderful contractor, approximately 30,000 gallons of vinegar and lots of patience to get the house move-in ready.
Like I’m sure all other Americans can understand, the actual “closing” on the house was not without a few hiccups. But considering we did most of the paperwork process ourselves I think it went alright. The more challenging issue turned out to be the week-long business trip my husband had to take immediately before our scheduled move, resulting in me having to do a majority of the last-minute packing solo. (This explains why we had so many boxes with combinations like “socks/CDs/mixing bowls” written on the side.)
How B handled the move
Packing with an energetic (then) two and a half year old is exactly what you would expect it to be: Put things in box, watch toddler take things out of box, ask toddler not to climb in box, go get more things, remove toddler from box, put everything back in the box, rinse, lather, repeat.
We took B over to the new house frequently during the construction process, and I believe that seriously contributed to how comfortable he felt when we moved. He started calling it the “new house” right away, and was excited when we showed him his room.
Though fitting everything into our (much smaller) home seemed impossible once the movers had left, we cleared a path and set up B’s space right away. His room was mostly finished by the time he got home and that night he slept great considering all the excitement.
What initially worried me most about how B would handle this move was a) where all his toys would go and b) how we would manage his high-intensity energy in a significantly smaller set of living areas. I had visions of toys snaking through our living room for days (a problem we didn’t have in the old house) and B getting bored and listless with a small house and no walkable outdoor fun. Both fears, I’m happy to say, turned out to be unfounded.
Yes, the majority of his toys did end up in the living room, but it’s hardly an inconvenience. We organized a space where he could play and store everything, and moved the rest of his toys in his bedroom. Trains, LEGO and blocks frequently move from room to room in the house, but everyone’s feet and sanity have survived! B loves his new room and can spend hours in there happily playing. This may just be a sign of him getting a bit older and more independent, but I also thing the set-up has added to his comfort level. We boxed up a bunch of toys he was getting too big for and either stored/donated them, and adapted a more mindful attitude about what/how many toys we keep in the house for him to play with. He still has plenty to play with and we don’t have a lot of clutter.
How the adults handled the move
We watched way, way too much “House Hunters.” That exactly how we handled it.
This has been one of the most fantastic experiences we’ve had as a couple. It wasn’t until last week that my husband and I realized we’ve never actually moved in somewhere. Our first apartments were always temporary, and though we had hopes of buying the house we were renting we never really let ourselves unpack. But here, we’re home. We’ve moved in. We picked out the flooring, the appliances and (most of) the wall colors. The dust has settled and revealed a wonderful house for our little family. Though we’re nowhere near worthy of a Good Housekeeping photo spread, we’re incredibly proud. Everything has a place, we all have plenty of room and every square inch of this home is usable (and being used!).
We’re home. And it’s great.