We truly could not figure out how we could possibly sell a house while living in it. We would have had to put a ton of stuff in storage, not allowed the kids to touch anything in the house lest they dirty it, and the dog would just have had to move out. Can't emphasize enough how much my crazy dog messes everything up. He's sweet, but nuts. So we took the risky move of buying first.
I stand by this decision as it did probably make this an ever so slightly less terrible move. Slightly.
The new house is only about 8 miles from the old house, in the same town, but a different school district. The schools are a little more diverse and the taxes are a little lower, both of which were strong considerations. The kids like the house, but are understandably nervous about being in a new school district. They worry about missing their friends, though I have pointed out numerous times that we are in the same town so they can still see them outside of the school day.
Well, we closed on the new house July 5th. By then we'd already loaded up a Pod with whatever we could. And believe me when I tell you that John filled every last square inch of that thing. He and my dad put all the big stuff in and then John packed the rest of it with small and/or soft stuff. I'm not doing justice to his ability to make things fit. I see this whenever we take a road trip, too. He's got skills.
Everything else that didn't fit in the Pod has been moved over through multiple trips back and forth. Even now, there are still things we haven't brought over yet. Certain big things, like the kayaks, don't need to get over quickly. The house doesn't need to be empty for us to list it, but it can't be the mess of crap laying around that it has been during this packing extravaganza. It's pretty much the basement and garage that are the messy problems.
And there were a list of things we knew we wanted to fix up before listing. I think we've done more to that house in the past few months than we did in 14 years. But it's been a challenge because we're trying to set up the new house at the same time that we're also trying to quickly get the old one sale ready. There are only so many hours in a day and we still have kids and a dog to take care of.
One thing that was helpful was the timing. We were going to crash my parents' vacation. They got a cottage in Maine with my sister and we were going to camp out in the living room for a few days before having to come home so John could work orientation. We were going to leave the 7th. With the closing being on the 5th, it made sense to scrap that and use that vacation time off for more productivity.
That was a hell of a week. Half of it was spent painting before moving the big stuff in. One day was spent with my friend's boyfriend helping us unload the Pod. I also had to get a mover for the piano, sign the kids up for school, and have the carpets at the old house cleaned. I did take one day to have a fun day with Henry. Nora went with my parents to Maine, but Henry isn't quite ready for that so he stayed with us and helped paint some, but mostly just watched a lot of movies and did surprisingly well, though there were fits of boredom here and there.
I wound up sleeping that week at my parents' house with my dog and their dog. It was easier keeping the dogs there out of the way and in a less stressful environment and I actually had a bed to sleep on, but it also meant that I was bouncing among three different house every day. The goal was to be minimally functional by the time they came home from Maine. Mission barely accomplished.
A little over a week later and it's gotten a wee bit better. Every night, John has been going to the old house while I try to get some unpacking done in between taking care of the kids and dog.
The new goal is to get the old house ready to list by the end of this weekend, especially since John is leaving with the kids for NH on Monday to see his family. The weather needs to start cooperating so we can get the deck painted, though.
And I'm reading up on burying a St. Joseph statue in the yard to help sell the house. Don't judge my selective Catholicism. Our former dog dug one up from the yard years ago and I feel he goes with the house. John located him yesterday and he's going back in this weekend, and there are novenas that need to be said apparently.
Once we're not dealing with mortgages and utilities from two houses, we've got short and long term plans for the new house. We're already thinking about this one differently. We never viewed the old one as a house we were going to stay in forever so we just maintained and never did much more than paint as an upgrade. We have more plans for this new one, particularly someday redoing the hideous pink master bath. Though really, I'm just happy to have a master bath.
I have so much more I could say about all of it, including the weird DIY stuff we keep finding that the previous owners did, but I'm at work and have, you know, work to do. Plus it's all mentally exhausting even when it's not physically exhausting.
The moral is that moving is terrible, and the next time I do so better involve some serious downsizing or me moving to my grave (or the crematorium, technically, but grave sounds more poetic).