Posts tagged ‘relocation’

July 23, 2012

Moving Monday::Final Destination

by heatherkp

It’s fitting that our final moving day will commence today on a Monday since I began this moving Monday series over 8 months ago!!  We are exhausted, jet-lagged and feeling our age but we are very excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We are doing a semi-local move so that has factored into the logistics of how things are being done.  We’ve had our stuff in storage as I’ve mentioned and we are hauling it about 80 miles to our house.  We have been lucky to have the use of a nice size truck and trailer which we have used to haul 2 loads so far and today we bring the final 2 loads!

I LOVE the process of nesting and I’m in full swing mode now.  Here are a few tips that I’ve found useful so far.  Keep in mind that this move has been DIY all the way (with the help of friends and family) so some of these logistics will not be necessary for you if you have hired a moving company but it’s good to keep in mind either way.

  •  started to unpack some boxes to get them out of the way before big furniture is brought in
  •  focus on soft goods that go into closets such as hanging clothes (eliminating the big wardrobe boxes), linens as well as dishes and kitchen items which can go directly into the cabinets.
  • measure rooms to determine the fit of furniture before bringing big items in
  • have staple items like soap, disposable plates/cups, paper towels and a first aid kit on hand
  • locate sheets, towels and bathroom toiletries to quickly set up the bathroom and bedrooms for more comfort
  • know where your furniture is going (roughly) before moving it in and leave boxes and other items stacked out of the way for clear passage
  • keep walkways and paths clear of debris, boxes etc.
  • “Stage” boxes in the front entry if it’s not reasonable to place them directly into the corresponding rooms. Have a secondary team inside to relocate items to the correct rooms.
  • enjoy the process!!

My inventory sheet has been super helpful and so far we haven’t located one “mystery” box!

Next week-Unpacking and settling in.

July 2, 2012

Moving Monday::Living like a Gypsy

by heatherkp

I haven’t said a whole lot about our move for several months now because we have been in a holding pattern.  We have been living like Gypsies honestly, going from place to place…and were settled into a lovely furnished home downtown Charleston for May and June.  We found it too difficult to search the real estate market and make the necessary new connections in a new city living an hour away so being in a temporary furnished place for a short period really allowed us to make the  get to know the city and get down to business.  The time there came to an end yesterday and I will always have fond memories since it’s time spent really getting to know the city on foot and in person.

Onward we move though and we packed it all up over the last few days for our final temporary stay before we settle into the new place we found.  After looking for several months and at over 30 places (the rental market right now is extremely competitive!) we are VERY excited about this home, it has everything we are looking for and it’s in a fantastic location.  We are renting and we found a real estate agent who was super helpful but we also put the word out to anyone and everyone we know and scoured the papers and craigslist.  In the end, we found something through word of mouth. I’m now in the process of setting up all the utilities, TV, internet etc.  Next we will line up a truck for moving day and try to enlist whatever help we can get…it feels like we are down to the final stretch!

I have to admit that we have been lugging around so much (i.e. too much) stuff over the past 8 months living in various locations and taking trips back and forth to here and there…I have had my moments where I just wanted to toss it all out for a more simple life but I didn’t because as organized as I am, I love my stuff!  I will say that after moving so much around for so long, I have learned to edit more quickly and more often.  I have many hobbies that require stuff like knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, reading and more so I doubt I will ever be living a super minimalist lifestyle.  If you have ever lived somewhere temporarily with the majority of  your stuff in storage you probably know the feeling and just know, you are not alone and you will have certainly learned some valuable things about yourself before it’s all over.  I have learned to keep things sorted and separated by category (in bags, boxes and bins), to stick to some kind of regular routine and pattern, edit often and a bit more ruthlessly than I use to, get good rest (because all this moving is exhausting) and probably most importantly I have learned to be flexible and make due with what I have where I am.  I also make a lot of lists and check and double check where I’ve put things, especially if its a very important item.  We have traveled with a portable file box and our fireproof safe box for certain important things and this gives me peace of mind, it’s really a scaled down version of my normal system.

Have you ever lived like a gypsy?  If so did you love it and what did you learn?

All this moving

December 15, 2011

One month ago…

by heatherkp
  • We had just arrived and unloaded all our possessions into storage
  • We were still residents of Maryland
  • We still had one beloved kitty
  • My in laws were here
  • We had Thanksgiving in mind
  • The weather was glorious and I was going to the beach a few times a week
  • We were missing our friends and family in Maryland
  • We didn’t yet have job prospects on the horizon
  • Final bills for all our Maryland expenses were being anticipated
  • I was feeling quite fearful and uncertain of the future
  • I wasn’t thinking about Christmas

And Today…

  • We are learning to live in the present state of limbo-in between but still in the moment-Life is NOW!
  • We are residents of South Carolina
  • We have no pets but still think of them every day and miss them.  They are with us in our hearts always!
  • We’ve had family visit and are looking forward to more soon
  • The weather is still gorgeous –I’m living at the BEACH and loving it!  Also watching the sunset on the river as often as possible
  • We are missing our family and friends but are also meeting new people
  • We have some exciting prospects for work doing things we love
  • All our Maryland expenses are paid and behind us
  • I am practicing letting go of old fear patterns
  • We still aren’t thinking much of Christmas-no tree’s or gifts, just celebrating life!


December 5, 2011

Moving Monday::New Routines

by heatherkp

We’ve been here for about 3 weeks now and it’s funny how some new routines have already been established and some old one’s have maintained.  One routine I’m having a hard time re-establishing here is blogging so bear with me in my absence please!

We are now officially residents of South Carolina having made multiple trips to the DMV, courthouse and Social Security administration.  You wouldn’t believe all the documentation required to prove you are who you say you are here!   Anyways, that’s behind us and I’m looking to plant my feet as firmly in the sand as I can now.  Hum, sand shifts around a lot and that’s a perfect analogy for how I’m feeling about settling in here.  I’m not quite there yet!

I miss my three times a week yoga class, my monthly meetings for volunteering and organizing, my regular client appointments and visits with friends and my local food/farm sources.  I’m loving my new routine of going to the beach in the morning to watch the sunrise, write in my journal and walk.  I’m not doing this daily but a few times a week so far.  I also love going to watch the sunset on the Waccamaw river.

I’ve scouted out a few sources for locally grown food, one road side stand is just a few minutes from our house.  I’ve already got my local library card and checked out a stack of books.  I’ve made contact with the local NAPO Charleston chapter and plan to attend my first meeting next week.  I’m also currently working on getting involved with the local Master Gardener program.

I think it’s funny how easy it is for some routines to follow you wherever you go and other routines are more difficult to re-establish.  I’m looking forward to both establishing new routines and carrying on with the best of the old ones.


November 21, 2011

Moving Monday::Landed and Nesting

by heatherkp

So here we are in South Carolina!!  It’s been 2 weeks since I posted last on Moving Monday because last Monday we were right in the midst of the move and well, I just didn’t have the time to write something up before hand!  Things got a little crazy as would be expected the weekend of the move.  Leave it to me to make it even crazier by having a Moving PARTY on 11:11:11 the night before we got and loaded the truck.  We did it though and it was worth it to say goodbye to friends and family who made it over to our box filled home.  And at 11:11 we did make a toast of farewell to our friends and a wish for happy new beginnings.

Saturday started out quite well with the expected friends showing up to help us all through the day.  About mid-day though we began to realize there was a strong possibility not everything would fit on the truck.  My husband had spent some time the previous week taking measurements of boxes and furniture and drawing up a rough schematic but despite all that it seemed clear it wasn’t going to work!  The BIG problem was that the truck was about 1′ shorter than expected.  That might not seem like much but over a 26′ truck length it adds up and most packing boxes are made to fit in certain size trucks a specific way.  If we had that extra space we could have packed the truck a bit more efficiently but trust me, they packed the truck without an inch to spare.  FYI, this truck said it would hold a 5 BR capacity which is nonsense!  Our house was approximately 1600 sq. feet and three BR’s but only one BR worth of BR furniture (office, tools, art studio and other normal household furniture).

In the midst of my almost moving meltdown I had to run out to a eye Dr. apt and thank god for my friends and mom who stayed behind diligently packing and cleaning at the house.

It was actually very good for me to step away for a bit to put things in perspective.  My mom gave me some great advice that day and as simple as it is it’s worth remembering.  Everything takes time!  So I just tried to remember that for the remainder of the time it took to load what we could.  Sunday AM we had planned to leave around 9 but because not everything fit we had to make some last minute trips to drop stuff off to be donated and stored.  We also threw and gave things away that we hadn’t originally planned to but nothing that we can’t live without after all, it’s just stuff!

With the house empty and cleaned we finally hit the road for our 8+ hour drive at 4:30PM.  The drive was slow with my husband driving the big truck and me in my car.  It ended up taking us 11 hours but we made it safely and boy was I happy to see palm tree’s and Spanish moss!  Somehow after only 4 hours of sleep we got up and unloaded the truck into our storage bin with the help of my husband’s parents and one kind neighbor friend.  It took 5 hours to pack with 10 people helping and only 1.5 hours to unpack with 5 people.

What a relief to have it all unloaded and in storage now.  The next phase of our life involves living in a furnished home for about 3 months with a minimum of our belongings.  We can run down to our storage unit and get things as we need them but when we packed we selected the items we would need and had them mostly accessible from the time we arrived.  We are on our own now and are nesting in our new, temporary home.  I’ve spent the last several days cleaning because despite the fact that this is a clean house, I guess I just need to put my own mark on it.  I’m also feeling a little lost since we are not in our final destination so this is my way of making it feel like our home.  We re-arranged furniture and have cleaned, unpacked and even done some cooking here.  As you can see by this post, I’m also starting to get back into the swing of my old routines…integrating the old with the new.

One new routine I’m loving so far is walks on the beach every day!

How do you get settled into a new place?  What is nesting like for you?


November 16, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Sometimes You’ve just got to Stop!

by heatherkp

…so after a BIG push to load the truck with all our worldly possessions (quite a bit had to be ditched, given away or stored with friends before we left) last weekend we drove 11 hrs (what’s normally an 8 hr drive) and arrived at 3:30am Monday.  I’m not going to lie, those last 2 hours of driving were brutal and we came close to running out of gas on some very back country road at 1am, but we made it safely and I was never so happy to see 95 and the South of the Border signs light up in the distance!  Once I began to see the Spanish moss dripping down the live oaks and palm trees along the sides of the road, I knew it was all going to be worth it!  After 4 or so hours of sleep we unloaded (with the help of in laws and a neighbor!) everything into storage for the next few months with relative ease and are now resting and recharging for a few more days before trying to find a new “normal” here in South Carolina.

The weather’s been warm (80’s) and we are finally catching up on a lot of lost sleep!  We are enjoying some family time with the in laws before they head south for the winter (yes, further south than coastal South Carolina!).  We’ve already seen sunrise at the beach, sunset on the river and are planning our first canoe ride and some golfing (my husband, not me) soon.   I’ll be back with more details about the move and happenings in the next week but suffice it to say our week or so off is more than well deserved!


November 7, 2011

Moving Monday::1 Week to Go!

by heatherkp

We are really in the final days before moving now!  I can’t believe I began writing about this move 6 weeks ago (or maybe a bit more?).  This has been a really bittersweet time with the prospects of the future ahead and making our dreams come true but also saying goodbye to two members of our family household that we will miss more than we can say.  Both Tai and Leo were our kitties for 17 and 16yrs (respectively) and they were both Maryland kitties with us from the beginning of my husband and I’s relationship.  Maybe it is fitting that we have left them here but they will always be in our hearts and their sweet spirits will live on with us forever.  We are working through some health problems with our youngest kitty, Sachi but she will be coming with us and she is our Savannah kitty so she’s going back to her low country roots.  Thank you  everyone who has offered kind and supportive words of love in this difficult past couple weeks!

We are ready to move forward and we are buckling down to the tasks ahead for the week.  We will pack the remaining items that we will not need in the next few months into boxes and have sorted out those things we will need to come with us in luggage and bins for short term use while we are in our temporary housing for a few months.  Since we will be in this transitional period packing has been that much more challenging, trying to figure out what we will over a 3-4 month period!

This week our agenda includes canceling our utilities, notifying important people and companies of our address change, packing, cleaning and saying goodbyes to friends and family!

It has been a truly spectacular fall here in Maryland and I will miss the rolling hills, fall color and yes I will even miss the snow a little, but it made a sneak appearance for us last weekend as we were packing.  I can say I’m truly getting excited now!  This year began with a focus on finding Clarity and I’ve truly found it by allowing myself to try new things, face my fears and live more boldly.  We created this change in our lives by setting our intentions to live a more fulfilling life and the challenges that have been thrown at us will make us that much stronger! These words by Mary Anne Radmacher sum up how I am living life going forward.

It has been a truly spectacular fall here in Maryland and I will miss the rolling hills, fall color and yes I will even miss the snow a little, but it made a sneak appearance for us last week.

One week from today we will be in South Carolina, just a few minute drive from the beach!  We will be unpacking all our belongings into storage and settling in to a new routine.


October 3, 2011

Moving Monday::Where to Begin with Packing

by heatherkp

Okay, it’s time for my weekly check in on our moving progress.  I’m excited to share that the house is on the market and has shown a few times.  It’s got to be kept spic and span which is a challenge in this state of affairs but it’s kind of nice!  I’m enjoying having things looking neat and clean for our last amount of time here.

A few more items have made their way onto Craigslist and the flea market is behind us now.  It was a wash out but we made a little money before it started pouring and the remaining non valuables went directly to donation.  So, what’s the next step?  Packing of course!  When it comes to packing I wanted to share a little of my strategy. I have a list week by week of what I will be packing by category.  I’m sure there will be a little overlap but it’s a plan and it creates weekly goals for our packing which will help keep us on track and feeling less overwhelmed.

  • Pictures and artwork, especially personal photo’s (those came down before we started to show the house).  Next, all the small artwork come off the walls.  I pack smaller photo’s and artwork in medium size boxes with newsprint wrapped around each and bubble wrap or cardboard between them.
  • Small decorative non function items. Otherwise known as Nicknacks:)
  • Formal china, stemware, crystal and serving pieces.  I’m not planning to do any formal entertaining before we leave so these things won’t be needed.  We don’t have a lot of it but what there is will go in boxes this week.
  • Any books I know I won’t be referring to.

By next week it will begin looking a bit more bare around here.  This is the part I don’t like very much but I’m hoping to embrace the empty space and enjoy the simplicity of living with less.

September 12, 2011

Moving Monday::6 Week Countdown

by heatherkp

It’s official and I have not announced this in person to several of my clients but we found out today that we will be able to leave the DC metro area by the end of October.  This is about a month sooner than we anticipated but honestly it’s PERFECT!  It seems like things are really falling into place, that this move is meant to be.  I can’t wait to move forward but right now I’m looking at all OUR STUFF thinking, “I hate moving”.  That is not going to be the case, this time I’m embracing it and I’m going to love it!  I’m going to try to love it at least.  I’ll be checking in each Monday here on the blog telling you about the process.  So this week being the first week here is what we are doing to plan and organize for our move:

  1. Start a “Moving” binder or file folder to keep all the important information in one location.  Keep everything related here.  I’m opting for an expandable file folder with several tabs to keep things sorted by category (i.e. the moving info itself, donation, sale and give away, storage, lodging and other information for the destination location).
  2. Use up food, cleaning supplies and any other perishables or consumables that you don’t want to move.
  3. Check pricing on moving companies, moving trucks, storage facilities and be ready to book in 1-2 weeks.  There are several options here, DIY, hire a service or a hybrid (you pack, they move).  In our case we have done all of the above in past moves and we are opting for total DIY this time.  We made this decision to save money and we’ve had quite a bit of moving experience.
  4. Make decisions about large items to sell, donate or give away. Collect items to get rid of (for donation, sale or throw away) throughout daily routines; keep an empty box and bags in one location and place items to get rid of here.
  5. Research hotels or other temporary housing and book as needed.
  6. Enlist or hire help for the day of the move.
  7. Locate and purchase boxes and other packing supplies.  Determining the quantity of boxes needed is a bit tricky but an moving supply company can help you calculate this based upon how many household members and how large your home is.  Supplies will include the following:
  • Boxes in various sizes as well as specialized wardrobe boxes, china and silverware boxes, flat boxes or cardboard for artwork.
  • Equipment such as dollies and hand carts will make moving large items much easier and safer.
  • Packing tape (and guns), markers, labels, box cutters (or other such knives), bubble wrap/packing peanuts and newspaper (or unprinted newsprint which is much less messy).
  • Packing pads, blankets,  sheets (the old one’s you don’t need anymore) and plastic shrink wrap (which is not very eco friendly but sometimes is VERY helpful!).

Since the move is going to be taking up a lot of my time I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to commit to blogging but I’ll be popping in to share our progress and any other helpful or interesting things that come up.  I am SO excited!!  Can you tell?


September 1, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday::Running Away or Moving Forward?

by heatherkp

I let the cat partially out of the bag in a previous post so it’s time to let it all the way out.  Mr. Powers and I have made a BIG life decision to move, out of the state and sometime in the next 3-6 months!  We have been thinking about moving for a year and a half at least now.  Each time we go on vacation we look at the housing market, talk to people about what it’s like to live there and consider the possibilities.  Some of our friends and family have probably heard our ruminations about moving to their town and have been let down by the wolf cry…but none of those places have felt right and we always had a major reason why it wasn’t the place for us.  The following are some of the things we have taken into consideration as we’ve made our decision:

  • Do we know anyone that lives here?  Friends, family or both?
  • Have we visited more than once and if so why?
  • What’s the weather like? I tend towards SAD so can’t deal with soggy or freezing or dreary long winters.
  • Oceans and Mountains are a plus!
  • West coast, not in our budget and we want to be close to family mostly on the East Coast.
  • Don’t land lock me, I’m not a mid-westerner.
  • Decent economy, colleges, tourism and other industry nearby.
  • Lower cost of living (and lower taxes a plus).
  • Not too small of a town, not to big of a city…looking for just the right size.
  • The South has it’s appeal, we’ve lived in various locations and liked the slower pace.

So, based upon the above did you figure it out?  We have decided upon Charleston, SC!  We’ve been there many times over the past 12 years or so and many times we have said to each other that we would love to live there.  It’s finally time, after considering numerous locations mostly in NY, PA and NC we finally made our decision about a month ago.  I have to say that going to Penland and experiencing a break was the final catalyst!

I’m ready for a little more of this!

Frankly, we never thought we would move back to the DC metro area but the almighty dollar and a promising job made us change our tune and I certainly don’t regret it!  Being back in the DC area has given me the chance to reconnect with old friends, spend time with family, visit New England, NYC (a lot since my brother lives there and my former job took me there for business) and generally appreciate the wonderful diversity of culture here.  BUT, we just don’t feel we “fit” here an  longer, isn’t that strange for someone who was raised here?  I’ve tried to find my tribe, really I have searched but they are not here!  After having lived in various other locations and now having returned to the place I was mostly raised I feel it’s time to move forward.

“When your reasons to move forward outweigh your excuses for staying put, you will move forward.”-Ralph Marston

When I tell people now that we are moving I always get the inevitable question “oh did you or your husband get a job there”…NO!  Each move we have made over the past 17 years has been for either a job or school.  For the first time in our adult life we are making a decision based purely upon freedom of choice.  It is so liberating that I think everyone aught to do it once in their lives!

I’ve thought long and hard about weather we could make it work here and if we are just running away but I can honestly say now that we are not.  We haven’t “Failed” at anything but we’ve made certain choices and in order to continue to live those choices we need to move forward, to a different location.  It’s that darn simple!  I am soooo excited about this big change.  It is scary, moving to a new place, moving a fledgling business and my husband’s construction business but it’s going to be worth it.

We have good friends who live in Charleston and right down the road in Savannah too.  Mr. Powers parents spend their summers not too far away (close enough for weekend visits but not close enough for daily drop in’s).  I love the ocean, it soothes my soul!  I miss the slower more relaxed pace of the south (my Daddy’s from Bamma I must have inherited some southern genes).  We don’t have our date fixed yet but the family and friends have been told and so far seem supportive!  Over the next few months we will be doing some serious downsizing and I’m beyond ready for this!  We will be selling, giving and throwing stuff away.  Loosing the extra baggage is going to feel great.  I’ll be posting about the process of moving, making choices to get rid of things and how it feels as we go.  I hope you will continue to stop in to see where we are and how it’s going.  If you happen to be one of my clients reading this, have no worries, together we will come up with a strategy to transition you to another organizer or continue to work with me long distance (via Skype, phone or internet consulting and coaching).  Moving is pretty major but when it’s moving forward there’s nothing to feel but excitement!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Henry David Thoreau