Friday, January 24, 2014

7QT (Vol. 71): Prayers for Our Move

Last week, we put our house back on the market, since the house was no longer decorated for the holidays and life had calmed down slightly. We had one showing on Friday, five on Sunday, three on Monday, and two on Tuesday. Have I mentioned that it is difficult to keep a house spotlessly clean with a toddler and a preschooler? But we did it!

Cleanliness is not without cost, though. Usually we have a theme for homeschool each week - fire safety, zoo, Mexico - something that we can learn about along with our daily reading, writing, and math. My husband asked Peter what this week's theme was.
"Um, I don't know!"
I replied, "This week is clean-the-house week. We haven't done much else."

Yes, our kitchen is always this clean :-)

Thankfully, our diligence seems to have paid off. We accepted an offer! Finalizing the offer is contingent on a house inspection on February 2, but if that comes back fine (as we expect it to) then we close on March 1.

This is exciting. And stressful. OK, mostly stressful. I'm not letting myself move into the excited stage until the offer is finalized and even then will be hesitant. I know things can go wrong right up until the closing. I realize I'm borrowing trouble and wasting time and energy, but I'm having a hard time letting go of my worries.

Assuming all goes well, we have a house to pack and then find a place to put it. Ideally, we'll find a house we can move into in the very near future, but it seems more likely that we'll end up living with my saintly parents for a month or two until we find what we want to buy. Which means putting everything into storage, then moving it all a second time into the new house. Again, I'm needlessly fretting. We have friends and family who will gladly help us. And what a blessing that we have "stuff" to move!

On top of these major upcoming changes, my kids and I (and my husband, to a lesser extent) are all still sick. We're on the upswing, I think, but it has been very slow progress. The runny noses have slowed considerably, thankfully, so their poor little noses are beginning to heal.

Will you pray for me? And maybe share how you survived moving with young kids? I know it can be done and that many have done it without the time and support I have at my disposal, but I'm just feeling inadequate for the challenge right now. Thanks!

7 Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. Hello! I've stopped over from Conversion Diary.

    We had what sounds like a similar situation to yours: we put our house on the market, had lots of showings right away and two offers within a week. And at the time, we had an almost-2-year-old and a 9-month-old. But we left for a 10-day trip the day we put the house on the market. (Upside: We didn't have to clean constantly like you had to. Downside: Umm... STRESS! We purged and staged our house while packing for our trip. And we had our first showing as we were trying to get out the door to the airport.)

    Anyway, it all went fine. Sure, it was a stressful few months, but we got through it. (And you will too!) It's one of those times you just have to tell yourself: "Okay, this was always going to be hard. So what the heck -- let's just dive on in!"

    I wish I had some hard-and-fast moving-with-kids tips for you, but they're all pretty basic: (1) right away, start packing things you don't use on a regular basis, (2) accept help when it's offered, (3) let children play with/on/in boxes, (4) label your boxes well enough so that you won't go crazy when you move into your new place (I numbered mine and put them in a spreadsheet, but my husband would tell you I went too far) ;) and most importantly (5) have someone else take your kids on moving day. There will be WAY too much to do and think about that day to have to worry about your little ones.

    Good luck with it all!

    1. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. My husband *loves* making spreadsheets, so maybe I'll ask him to do that for us!

  2. We did a lot of similar things as above. We had stress too because we moved the day before I was due with the baby, so I packed while pregnant and moved not knowing if I was going to go into labor or not!

    1) I also labeled my boxes and did a spread sheet. Each box got a colored number. I gave a color to each of the rooms in our new house, such as "green" was for living room and "red" for baby's room. On moving day, I put paint chip cards of each color by each room, so when people brought in the boxes, all they had to do was match the box number color to the correct color paint chip card. That way the boxes would all be in the correct rooms after moving day and we wouldn't have to move them around after the fact.
    This will be helpful when you move again from your parents' house into your new home!

    2) Since it was spring/summer that I packed, I put away winter jackets, flannel bed sheets, and other stuff that we were definitely not going to need at all right away.

    3) I got over 30+ boxes off Craigslist for FREE in really great condition. I never figured out what liquor boxes were even though people told me to use those. And banana boxes were too weird. So I liked that I got lots of free boxes which was nice for the environment too : )

    4) And I know you're pretty good at this already, but this was a great chance for us to really clean out our house of stuff that we just didn't use anymore or need. Even being minimalists, we were still able to donate a lot of stuff. FYI: The Vietnam Veterans of America will come right to your door to take bags of donations, so you don't even have to drop them off or be home. Convenience is always helpful during packing and moving time.

    5) Let us all know when you would need help moving (and or packing) and I'm sure you'll get a good crew. We offered pizza and wings to our helpers and we had about 10-12 people, so it was great. Some people cleaned and swept after the house was emptied, which was really nice.

    6) We used Uhual and were disappointed, so I heard good things about Penske. And go for a big truck. We had a 24' truck (because they were all the same price) which was supposed to be a 4-bedroom size and it almost wasn't enough. (I think they forget to account for children's toys and stuff).

    7) Keep praying and letting us know how to pray for you. You can do this!

    1. You are pretty much my moving hero. :-) Thank you for sharing wisdom from having been here!

  3. I've moved a lot, with & without kids, and am currently facing a second international move with the babies. We try to improve our move-plan each time, and the current version is this:

    1) Start early. Start earlier than you think you'll need to. My husband likes to figure out how many hours it will take to do each room. Start with the stuff you don't need and keep doing a little every day. That way you won't feel so overloaded and you'll make progress, which means if there is a panic rush at the end of it (and there almost always is!) it won't be quite so bad.

    2) If you're storing your things for awhile, invest in some good quality boxes -- double walled cardboard are best. It is so much easier to pack when you have uniform boxes to put things into.

    3) The kids will probably act up, hence starting early. Try to be patient & turn it into a game, and when it comes to packing up their toys and things I find it best to do that when they're asleep. Out of sight, out of mind, and they'll be so thrilled when they get everything back again after the move.

    4) Spend some time doing some research into costs, because you may find that hiring a moving company isn't much more expensive than renting a van/paying for fuel/bribing friends with pizza & beer. If the extra cost isn't significant, pay for the moving men to come and deal with getting your boxes from Point A to Point B. It makes such a difference, especially with the kids running around.

    5) If you need storage, make sure you check your options. Going with a local company, rather than a chain, may have some perks because they try to keep competitive. For example, we're with a company that offers units that only have business-hours access. They're significantly cheaper than those with 24-hours access and as all our stuff is packed up and waiting for when we know where we need to have it shipped, it's not as if we need round the clock access.

    6) When it's crunch time and most of the toys have to be packed, try to keep a few cheap, throwaway toys out for them to play with. It'll keep them occupied and you can just toss them in the recycling on your way out the door.

    7) If you have the time, cook a week or two's worth of meals in advance. If you don't have the time, buy ready-made meals for that last week before the move and keep things simple. It is so, so helpful to have meals you can just toss in the oven when you're running yourself crazy with errands and packing.

    Anyway, it can definitely be done. I did it last year right after giving birth, and I'm doing it again this year with a 17-month-old and a 5-month-old. Organization is key, because unexpected stuff will always come up. Please pray for us, and know that we have some prayers for you. Congratulations on your pending sale!

    1. Thanks for sharing your insight - especially shopping around for moving and storage companies. I really appreciate it!