Tag Archives: moving

Packing

Tomorrow we get possession of our new house! That means that we will be able to start moving our stuff over. I love packing, but if you were to come in to our place right now, it would look like we were maybe thinking of moving in a month or so. As much as I love packing and organizing, I equally love leaving things until the last minute. It’s because I have zero worries about things not getting done on time. I learned this about myself in highschool when I had yet to start homework when my friends had already completed it. But magically, everything always gets done!

Anyways…

It was only 10 months ago the last time we packed up a whole house. But it was a very different kind of packing. Last time we had to fit everything into a trailer, an SUV and a sedan, and make sure everything survived the jostling jaunt through the Rockies. I packed all my breakables so carefully. Each cardboard box got a layer of foam peanuts at the bottom, and I used lots and lots of packing paper, making sure nothing was touching. But at the same time, things had to be as condensed as possible. We ended up not being able to fit everything, but none of our stuff broke on the trip!

This time, packing is a lot more “loosey goosey” since we have a few days of overlap between houses and it’s only 10 minutes away. I am still packing the breakables carefully, but no peanuts this time. I don’t have to worry about everything fitting into boxes with lids for easy stacking in a truck. We can throw things in laundry baskets, bring the load over, and bring them back to refill. Random items don’t necessarily have to go in boxes at all, and can just be thrown into the backseat.

My one tip for packing, especially for longer hauls, is to label everything really clearly. I write the room it goes into, as well as the contents. And also “fragile” when applicable. If you packed weeks or months before your move, it is easy to know which boxes go where and what is in each box.

photo

Oh, and of course it is different this time because I have a toddler, and not a baby! Open-topped boxes can’t be left wherever. I can’t pack most of his things. And it just takes a little longer in general. But it will all still get done!

Our house is a pretty big mess, and I feel only a little bit bad for whoever is doing an inspection here tomorrow. If they were smart, maybe they could reschedule for Sunday when we will be done with this place for good!

And since the one photo I used here is kind of boring, here is one from when we moved in October.

Getting packed up for the big move.

Living Situation

As you may or may not know, the house we live in is up for sale, and has been since early April. In those three months, I have spent a considerable amount of time making sure the house is tidy and presentable for showings and for the realtor to come and take photos. And we have also been unsure of what would happen when the house sold. There were a few possibilities:

1) The new owner would want to keep this as a rental property and keep us on. If this was the case, we were aware that our rent would probably go up significantly because I think we are getting a pretty good deal on this place.

2) The new owner would want this as their own residence and we would have to look for a new place to live.

3) If the house never sold, the owner would likely keep it or sell it to her father who has other rental properties in the area.

A couple offers have been put on the table, only to be pulled off. The price has lowered by $20K, and it still hasn’t sold. And now the owner has decided that she wants to try harder to sell it, and that it will be easier if the house was not occupied. So that means we have to move at the end of July.

Of course I am not looking forward to having to move, but just the other day I was telling my sister in law that I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to do to satisfy my “nesting urges”. We moved houses in Victoria when I was 8 months pregnant with Calvin, so I had a whole house to organize and put together. I was thinking that this time I would only have the pack and play to set up and a few clothes to throw in the wash. But I have a whole house to organize yet again! Woohoo!

We know that God must have an even better place, if not equal to, whether it is in a better neighbourhood (although I really like this one), or a better monthly rate, or with landlords who care a bit more about the quality of their property. We will see where we end up.

But first, we have a road trip! Tomorrow we are leaving to visit some family in Manitoba. We will start looking when we get back, which leaves us a mere 3 weeks. Eek! In the meantime, we are accepting donations of boxes!

 

On the Road

I was very much looking forward to the drive through the mountains to our new prairie home, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Calvin is all ready to go in his cozy corner of the car.

Waiting in line at the ferry for the last time for a while.

Heading away from the island.

We left midday on Thursday and made it to Clearwater where we spent the night. I was afraid that Calvin would be up all night since he slept a good portion of the driving time, but he only woke up once, which is a good night on a normal basis!

In the morning we got back out on the road for the jaunt through the Rockies.

So pretty in the foggy morning.

Calvin played, slept and cried during the drive. Mostly slept.

Max and Ruby (no, they were not named that intentionally), our trusty wheels.

Calvin is almost as tall as Mount Robson!

Okay, he is a tiny little boy.

Just outside of Edmonton. It is flat.

I’m glad it was an enjoyable drive, and that Calvin did so well too. I am looking forward to more trips back and forth in the future!

Loading up the UHaul

I felt pretty organized during the week leading up to our move date. Things were going into boxes at a good rate and I felt like I could leave if given an hour to do the last stuff. But when it came down to it, I was still packing up a good half of the kitchen when Tim and his dad started loading the trailer. It worked out well though, since there were loose items that could be stuffed in the holes between the big furniture.

At the end of the day, the trailer was too small for all of our stuff. We left the glider, some shelves, an armchair, the vacuum, three dining chairs, and some Christmas decorations behind (listed in the order I miss them). We are still working on how to get them back to us, but they are all items that can wait…for now. The glider I miss when it is 1:00 AM and Calving decides he is hungry. The shelving I need because I don’t have enough cupboard space. The armchair is cozy and it would be nice to host more than one extra person for a dinner sometime.

But life isn’t about the stuff we have, and the majority did get to come along, so we are happy and getting settled in as we speak.

Calvin and Daddy took a break before the trailer arrived.

Loading the UHaul.

This Is How I Pack

I am by no means an experienced mover.

When I moved to Victoria from Langley – my first ever move – all I had was my car full of clothes and personal items. My parents came with a truck full of furniture a few months later (I was just subletting during those months), so packing was simple. I actually did it during the night before I left, after my sister and I got home from a Rascal Flatts concert.

When Tim and I moved from that first place to where we currently are, we upgraded in square feet and it was a 15 minute drive, so we didn’t have to think too much about packing everything perfectly and correctly.

This time, the move involves a small child and a multi-day drive. I can say that packing is quite important this time around. Everybody has different ways of organizing themselves. Some people don’t organize at all. Whatever works. I could have found ideas all over Pinterest, but I feel like I have enough common sense to figure something out on my own, and this is what evolved.

Calvin really isn’t much help.

PURGING
This is one of my favourite activities! I can’t stand having things in my house that I don’t want. After our wedding, there were a number of gifts I returned (Hint: if it didn’t come with a gift receipt, google what store the brand came from and return it for store credit. You’re welcome.), so there wasn’t a whole lot of purging to be done, but there are always items or clothing you thought you would get around to using or wearing but realized you never did. So I did end up with a few good sized boxes of stuff. Some I sold, but most of it ended up at the thrift store. Well, it is currently in the trunk of my car, but it will get to the thrift store at some point in the next day and a half.

My friends regularly have clothing swaps with the remaining clothing being donated, so that helped as well.

TIDY AND ORGANIZE
I kept from using the word “clean” in that title because I am not doing any cleaning until a room is completely clear. First I am concentrating on getting things where they belong. It doesn’t make sense to me to start packing when a room is messy because you end up packing a mess which probably is not fun to unpack on the other end. I made sure all the books were on the shelves, Calvin’s toys weren’t scattered around, and such. I don’t really have knick knacks and things like that that just sit around and look pretty, so when everything is in its place, there is hardly any clutter. I also go around the house and collect things like picture frames that are naturally scattered and put them in one place because maybe I don’t want it in the same room in our new place. Packing all the frames together enables me to do all that sort of decorating all at once at the new place, instead of here and there as they come out of random boxes.

BOXING
Now I put things in boxes. The first things that get packed are things that don’t get used, like books, photo albums, and Calvin’s toys. Also, I use what I have. Dressers and cabinets get filled before boxes do. Space saver in the trailer! And this probably goes without saying, but the heavy items like books go in small boxes while light items like stuffed animals go in big boxes.

I am also finding that most rooms have items that won’t be packed until the day before we leave, for instance pillows from the couches in the living room, blankets and a couple toys in the nursery, our bedding and some clothes in our room. So what I have done is taken a box for each room and left it open there to place stuff as we no longer need them.

All the DVDs and games are in the cabinet. The box will be taped up once we are done with the cushions that will be squished in there.

I have been labeling the boxes with a quarter sheet size of white paper. The top gets the name of a room below which I put a general description of what is inside. This will be helpful because I don’t expect to be able to unpack everything in one day, so I will know which boxes are more important to open first. If it contains fragile items, I write FRAGILE on the paper in red. I tape the label to the top left of each box so whoever is helping move will know where to look for the info.

MORE TIDYING AND ORGANIZING
Yes, more! I am not done! With shelves emptied, I didn’t want them just standing around taking up space being useless, so I moved them from the living room and office all together in the dining room with the table and chairs. This freed up space in the living room to store all the empty boxes and packing paper in one place instead of scattered around the house. And the space in the office was given to full boxes. In one corner are the fragile ones and another corner holds non-fragile ones. I can point this out to the helpers, so they know more easily which boxes need extra care.

WAITING
This is where I am at right now. Everything that we won’t be using is ready to go, and everything that we need still is waiting for the move date, just like me. There are actually some kitchen items that can be boxed, but first I have to clean the kitchen. Everything else up until now had been done is spurts, but I feel like the kitchen needs to be done all at once so the mess doesn’t build up and stop me.

The closet is almost ready to go. The extra linens are in a box waiting for our bedding, and the folded clothes are in the dresser where purging has left some space. The hanging clothes will be placed in a laundry basket later.

So that has been my life the past week. An organizer’s heaven! Lots of people grumble about moving and packing, but so far my experience is not so bad.

What are your moving strategies? Any tips for me on the other end?

We’ve Got a Place to Live!

The most daunting part of moving to a new city is finding a place to live. We don’t know the ¬†neighbourhoods of Edmonton, and it’s hard to imagine what a place is exactly like just by looking at photos online. Plus, who knows if they are telling the truth!

Thankfully, Tim’s boss spent some of his Airmiles and booked a flight for Tim to spend a few days there looking into rental suites. For a couple days prior to leaving, he spent a good amount of time on Kijiji (we learned that Kijiji is the UsedVictoria of Edmonton, the “go to” website of¬†online¬†classifieds) making contacts and scheduling viewings. It was kinda nice that I didn’t have to do any of that. It was one of those unspoken marriage agreements. He will take care of finding a place and I will take care of all the packing. I think he may have been a little unsure of whether or not he would be able to look at a place through my eyes though.

The housing market is more decent than Victoria and the Lower Mainland which is a breath of fresh air. We found for what we were paying here on the island, we could get at least one more bedroom and a dishwasher! I haven’t had a dishwasher in 4.5 years!

After just looking at a few places on day 1 of 3, Tim found us our home. It is a three bedroom main floor suite. Here are a few photos he sent me on his phone.

As you can see, it is well kept and recently updated. I am not huge on black appliances. I am way more partial to the more friendly white varieties. And having that much hard flooring means we will have to buy some more area rugs. But I am greatly looking forward to living in a place that was meant to be lived in, meaning I don’t have a kitchen that was built into the corner of a living space, or a dining room that is a couple inches higher than my kitchen because it was built where a garage used to be. Light switches will be in places that make sense and the layout will be normal. Plus, there is a window by the kitchen sink! How great is that?! Not to mention the dishwasher.

It is looking like I will have to imagine what it is like as a whole for just over a week. We are aiming to leave next Wednesday. I am quite excited! And not only for the remaining of the packing I have to do. :)