As you would expect, moving day and the days leading up to it were hectic, long, and stressful, but also full of anticipation and excitement.
By the time the day had actually arrived the vast majority of boxes and small items had already been relocated to the rehab house. The movers were going to take care of the big stuff. This was Amy’s idea. At first I was hesitant because it seemed ridiculous to me that two people who had just rehabbed an entire house would not do something as common as moving. But the closer it got to moving day the more I agreed that this was a brilliant idea. [Edit from Amy: I think this proves that I have good ideas…and that you should listen to them….always.] One reason this was a good idea is because, sadly, we are now too old to ask our friends to help us move. Everyone has kids and busy lives and no one is just sitting around on a Saturday wondering what they are going to do that day. Beer and pizza as a reward just doesn’t cut it anymore. [Edit from Amy: Although we did have several people who graciously offered to help. I was feeling the love.] Another reason – our bodies are tired and our backs are sore. Amy and I now joke about making a date out of a trip to a chiropractor. That could be romantic, right? [Edit from Amy: I wasn’t joking.]
After moving all the boxes and small items out of the house it seemed like the movers would show up and get the job done in no time at all. But anyone who has ever moved knows that it always seems like you are almost done. Having movers felt like the best idea ever as I watched the movers try to haul the washer and dryer up our very steep and narrow basement stairs, or as they moved the piano, chicken coop, tables, couches, book shelves, and mattresses. Amy and I had plenty to do while this was going on.
By late morning we were all loaded up and ready to make the 1-mile trek down the street to our new neighborhood. I know it really isn’t that big of a deal, but it was pretty surreal to see that moving truck in front of our new home.
As expected, the move into the new house went faster (although they had a heck of a time getting that washer and dryer up the steps). I think the movers appreciated the fact that our staircase wasn’t finished. This made it easier to pass stuff over the first landing where a railing would have normally been, plus it was just one less thing to worry about damaging.
[Edit from Amy: I just have to say that these movers did a great job and they were great to work with. After having so many less-than-great experiences with people in the housing industry and nearly quitting contractors and industry people entirely (although some people were great!) we hesitated going this route. Neither of us had ever hired movers so we weren’t sure what to expect or even what we were expected to do in preparation. I tried to prep everything and make it as streamlined as possible with box labels, signs labeling each room in the new house, and room destination tags on every piece of furniture. We used Two Men and a Truck. This was mostly because Aiden gets all bent out of shape when he see’s three guys riding around in one of their trucks. The three guys who arrived were friendly, courteous, professional, easy to talk to, and worked hard. We brought the movers lunch and enjoyed our first communal meal in the new house with our first guests…. sitting on the floor in the kitchen no less.]
When the movers were gone we immediately began doing what we could to make the house ready for actual life. The top priority was the kitchen. All the appliances were in place, we had shelves ready to be stocked, and now we could finally get it set up. Here is quick snapshot of what we are currently living with:
This “temporary” kitchen has worked out great for us so far. We have some plans in the very near future to add counter top space, an actual kitchen island, and some open shelving on the walls to make this function even better, but we already like the size and flow of the space. More details and pictures of the kitchen in a later post.
The upstairs bathroom is fully functional, as long as you don’t require much privacy. We have yet to install the pocket door because we are looking to find ones at local salvage shops that are the right size and style. After a few days we did get around to installing a temporary curtain, but that only adds an illusion of privacy.
It is so difficult to explain to people how strange it is to actually be living in this house. We have only ever known it as a construction area. A place where we would eventually live, but way off in the distant future. It was a place we showed up to work, very much like a second job. Now, simple acts like eating dinner at a kitchen table or sitting on a couch in the parlor room give us a completely new perspective (literally) of a space that we already thought we knew so well.
Spaces have a way of completely transforming once you put other items in them. Our piano suddenly looks much smaller now that it is in a much larger room. The ceilings look so much taller because they can now be compared to everyday items like couches and tables. You would think that putting items into a room would make them seem smaller, but we have noticed the opposite effect. Sure, there isn’t much floor space right now because nothing has been put away on shelves, or hung on the walls, or put in it’s right place, but the crazy part is that our house seems bigger now than it ever did before.
Amy and I can frequently catch ourselves just staring at our fireplace, woodwork, floors, and even our walls (so much work!) and thinking about how lucky we are to live here and to have had the experience of bringing this house back to life.
Here is a quick look at how far we have come just in the past five months…
In our next blog post we will post A LOT more pictures of the house after moving in and also describe some of our favorite aspects of our new living spaces.