During this process of moving, I have discovered between my husband and I there are two distinct approaches. I wouldn’t say one is right or wrong…but I would say one is less chaotic.
Let me give you some background first. We purchased a home. We knew the original owners had a lot of stuff but they also had 30 days of renting it from us in which they could have packed. So when their realtor told us that we could not get the keys on the first day they were out of the home because they supposedly were having the place professionally cleaned, we were thinking, “Cool and good. So we will take a month to do the repairs and fix ups and remodeling we want and be done in about a month – June 1.”
When we walked into the home, our realtor, my husband and I were all in a state of disbelief and complete shock. The house still had a significant amount of their personal belongings left inside, it was absolutely filthy and smelled of dog urine and other undistinguishable odors. There was a complete drum set, Christmas ornaments, sheets, towels, candles, curtains, lighting fixtures that were not permanent, accessories of all varieties, rolls of carpet, cans upon cans of old paint, fertilizer, full 8x 6 rugs, debris of all kinds, a side yard where all the trash had been pushed to both sides so a path as wide as a human was made to get through, old soda cans totaling over $20 in recycling filled the back and side yards and even a full size (think 6 plus feet – something that really wasn’t hard to miss) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Movie Banner. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the filth, dirt, and grease covering the walls, cabinets, and floor. Our plan was in shambles. We worked from May 1 until June 30 just cleaning…no exaggeration. The only remodeling done during that time was me refinishing the kitchen cabinets. However the cabinets themselves were so filthy and caked in grease on the inside and out that my family and I felt the only option was to sand them down and reseal them with fresh paint. From July 1 to July 15, we painted, re-carpeted and decorated somewhat. We had been staying at my mother’s between the end of our apartment lease and moving in to the new place. And the move out date had already been pushed out due to the cleanup. In that time, I had been at our new house almost every day, all day, so no real packing had been done.
My Husband’s Approach
My husband wanted to start our new life in our new home and to do so as soon as possible. I get this. Believe me I get this. Even though I have a really close relationship with my mom as it’s only been the two of us for a very, very long time and I am her only child, I was anxious to start our new life too. My husband had a deadline and for him whether everything was packed or not didn’t matter. So he scheduled the truck (a do-it-yourself trailer you hitch to your car) to move everything. And he and my son began grabbing things and loading them up into this trailer. I proceeded to go into panic mode because my need for order and organization were being ignored for the need to get everything out. So I moved everything out of the furniture and basically played musical chairs with possessions as the boys grabbed one piece of furniture, moved it on to the trailer and then went to the next.
While definitely not my approach, the result was at the end of the day an entire office suite consisting of an executive desk, two lateral files and curio tops, a printer stand and bookshelf top, computer desk and hutch and a bookshelf, an entire suite of bedroom furniture including a queen size bed (minus two finials lost on the interstate) and highboy dresser, a corner curio cabinet, and more was all moved and moved upstairs! So here are the pluses and minuses of my husband’s approach:
- It was all done in one day. As chaotic as the day was, they were able to get a whole lot of furniture (let’s be real here…a crap load of furniture) moved in one day. That’s impressive for a trailer and non-professional movers.
- The expense of movers was saved. The trailer was a little over $40. Even accounting for gas spent on multiple trips back and forth; there is still a huge savings over hiring movers. When I looked into hiring movers and a truck it ranged between $90 to $120 per hour for the truck and two movers. So we had a big savings. The boys loaded the furniture and my husband’s brother helped them get the items upstairs. Considering what needed to be done in our house, every cent saved was vital.
- Almost all my furniture had some minor damage by the end of the process from nicks and scratches to lost finials for my bed. I’m not sure how much better movers would have done but I know from past experience that some movers wrap furniture in plastic to prevent such damage and trucks are covered so items don’t get lost.
- It was not a planned and thought out approach.
- Non furniture items were shoved into boxes or left behind at my mother’s (in fact I’m still trying to get things moved out). Then items were brought over and randomly placed in the garage or in our living room, which are still our staging areas.
- Unpacking has been a hit or miss process as we are not sure where things are within the boxes. Unfortunately, we open a box and say we find candles but no holders, or pens but no desk trays, then the items just sit there. Another example is our kitchen. I have reorganized the kitchen three times as my husband found more boxes of kitchen appliances and the like in our garage.
Overall my husband’s approach was a fast approach…let’s get out of here and into our new home so we can start our life. And it did do just that. It saved money, which I applaud. However, it did leave things in chaos on the backend. I’m not saying the approach I would have done is better, but it is different than his. I’ll share more on it in the next post.