We’ve moved! It’s finally done and the transition from condo life to house life has begun. This was our first move with kids and wow, what a difference. It is crazy more difficult. Here are a couple of observations:
SHOWING and PACKING (aka The Bane of the Movers’ Existence)
Three year olds are very helpful*.
*Being “helpful” here means adding on 30 minutes to a three minute task. Take packing a box as an example. When I do this task on my own I put items in, perhaps wrap a couple items in paper, tape up the box and we’re done. With a three year old helper it’s a bit like doing the Hokey Pokey, “You put an item in. They take an item out. You put an item in and you pull your hair all out”. Then there are also the all of a sudden, barely used toys and other various household objects that are “re-discovered” and seized upon as something there is no way we can part with at this time.
Cleaning with kids is also time consuming. It is a two-step-forward, 16-fingerprints-back process. I’d clean one room, look around satisfied and move on to the next. While working on the second area, I remember something in the first room that I forgot to do. I search my condo for the said first clean room but it had disappeared. There would be toys strewn everywhere, crumbs trailed through every room, and not a clean glass pane in the place. I will FOREVER have sympathy to anyone showing a place who has young children. It is painful. For the next year, I will inwardly cringe at the sight of an open house sign.
UNPACKING (or more specifically: Unpacking Kids’ Stuff and Putting Our As-Yet-Unpacked Boxes in Spare Room)
Unpacking after children is a whole new experience also. Last time we moved was b.c. (before children). We unpacked with only our selves in mind. Fragile items were below waist level, outlets were footloose and safety plug free, cleaning products where on bottom shelves, and our cupboards (and lives) were full of hobbies and other free time occupations. Once children came we have increasingly carved out space for them as their needs and toys expanded. This time I am unpacking as a mom first. All of their stuff is getting the prime drawers and first dibs on space.
This process is making me question my intelligence at times. Why did it not occur to me till now, that the drawer in the shelving unit that used to hold all our CDs and DVDs (that we never listen to or watch) would be a much better place for the kids’ hats than the floor? The hats on the floor drove me crazy but it never crossed my mind to put the CDs/DVDs in a box (or, gasp, get rid of them) to free up that space. That was where CDs/DVDs went. I hadn’t even realised that I was in an interior design (aka interior intelligence) rut so I am appreciative to the move for shaking things up a bit and causing me to re-evaluate our space priorities.
There is nothing like moving from a condo with an elevator to moving to a place with stairs to make you realise: “We are pack-rats”. When you are carrying up the third box labelled “Random Sh**”, you start to wonder. If this box had fallen off the back of the truck, would I ever have noticed? Are their boxes the hubs did chuck off? Will I ever really know? Do I really care? While trucking up those said stairs I made a vow: it is time to befriend our local Value Village and pass on these treasures for someone else to carry up their stairs. So I am also appreciative to the move for the incentive to re-evaluate our accumulation inclinations.
It’s been a crazy busy last few months and we’ve got our work cut out for us for the next month but we’re here. We’re in our new home, random sh**, box towers and all, and it’s great.
Final note: Huge thanks to all the people who helped pack, unpack, brought food (especially tomatoes and wine), and took the kids so we could pack/move/unpack. You have a special place in the parents’ appointed Helpers Hall of Fame and have played a key role in keeping me this side of sanity. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!