I’m moving into the house this weekend and I am so overwhelmed I am sweating and think I am going to have anxiety attacks. There is just shit everywhere:
I may stop after the kitchen, office, and main bedroom are moved just to clean everything and put everything that is already moved into some place sensible or might have an emotional breakdown right here and now.
Exciting. Moving is the worst.
You and the Obamas moving around the same time.
Did you plan this?
Sarah in Brooklyn
One thing at a time. It really doesn’t look that bad. Well, maybe the kitchen. But otherwise you’re good!!
@Brachiator: The Obamas are moved. There was a story in the Wasington Post about how a crew moves one pres out and one in the day before inauguration, in 5 hours (!).
Moving is Hell.
Bathroom and Kitchen, mattress and linens on the bed. Then rest. Please. Don’t make me fly out there. xo
Iowa Old Lady
Wow. That doesn’t even look like the same house we first saw.
Moving is always stressful. No hurry.
The one thing I would do is pick up that roll of paper towels before I let any of the animals into the house.
My wife is a bit like you when we move. She wanted to straighten and put away as we went along.
She figured out it is significantly better for her to get everything in the new house first. At least for her it was worse having stuff scattered between 2 houses. As you start putting stuff away you’ll wonder ‘Is it here or there?’ and that just adds more anxiety.
Of course YMMV.
how are the critters handling the chaos?
One day at a time.
mai naem mobile
Can’t you get the frat guys to help you for beer and pizza and a few $$$?
Stress like that coupled with the Inauguration and everything else flying around now is enough to send anyone into orbit. It’s smart to take the move in gradual bits and arrange what you can as you go.
You have a beautiful new home! Don’t let the stress spoil it.
It’s gorgeous, John.
J R in WV
Glad it’s happening. Second doing some easy quiet stuff to feel like you’re landing, make the bed, hook up the TV, put some of that kitchen stuff away, rest some.
You’ll want to take a break tomorrow to watch the stillers whip up on the cheatriots, after all. In the new home!! Wheeee. ;-)
Regarding election related stress, somehow, last night I got the best night’s sleep since the beginning of November! I’ve been falling asleep at 1 or 2 am, and waking up at 5 regularly, last night I slept from 1 til 9 am. great!
Oooh…I hate moving. Which is funny since I’ve moved like every 2-3 years since Katrina…I’m in the process of looking for another apartment here in NOLA. Best laid plans I’d had, didn’t pan out sooo it’s back to being stuck at my current job and daily counting down each hour I work…ugh.
Anyhoo, it’s almost over john…can’t wait to see the video of how the pets like the new digs
Except for the kitchen, it’s not too bad. You don’t have a pile of boxes in the living room that you’ll have to dodge for the next three weeks!
I think I mentioned this on an earlier house-related thread, but when you move is the only time you find out how much shit you really own.
Damned at Random
Veteran of a lot of moves. Get one room in order as a retreat- the bedroom plus enough kitchen for breakfast tomorrow. Then finish the kitchen so you can have a nice celebratory supper tomorrow. Then one room at a time. When you get overwhelmed, retreat to the bedroom and read a chapter of a favorite book or walk the dogs around their new neighborhood for a little while. You don’t need to do everything at once – this is your forever home.
KS in MA
Take it easy, take a few deep breaths … It’s a great house and you’re going to really enjoy living there!
Moving sucks. Every time I’ve done it, I’ve sworn that the only way I’ll move again is when I’m wheeled out in a body bag.
But then things get unpacked, put away, and organized, and things look ok.
@J R in WV: Our reverse mortgage was pretty much a declaration that we wouldn’t be moving again.
You can do this. You have rescued a house, just like you’ve rescued many animals, and it is waiting to be lived in and loved again. One step at a time–any step, there’s no one right way to do this. Anything you get moved or put away is an advance toward your goal. Take breaks.
The new house is beautiful!
Got a few large-ish boxes still unopened after the move here almost 34 years ago. With an attractive covering, they serve as nightstands.
Will get to them one of these days…
@Pogonip: With enough manpower, damn near anything is possible.
@Peej01: This. When we moved the two cats didn’t do well, of course. One sat in her carrier till 2am, when she started meowing mournfully looking for us. The other cat brought her down to us. He dealt with his stress earlier by crawling up into the bottom of a chair we didn’t realize wasn’t still upholstered closed. We stressed a bit when we couldn’t find him till I saw the bulge in the chair bottom. Hope Steve does OK.
There’s no deadline, so pace yourself. As the Italians put it: chi va piano, va sano e va lontano
Think I read moving and having someone near to you die puts the same stress levels on you. You have years to move in. Make sure the TV and sound is on, have some clear space to cook, and enjoy the Stillers stomping the Spy Gate Cheaters into the turf.
You have my sympathy, JC. I moved four times between 2006 and 2010 (the last three because of a breakup, a reconciliation and another breakup, respectively). But by the fourth move I had gotten very, very good at it.
Adam L Silverman
@Brachiator: Guess who didn’t get a helicopter ride?
I hear ya, Cole. Had the same reaction just about every move I’ve done, esp. the last one. Go easy on yourself and take the pauses you need. It’ll feel a bet more manageable. Anyway, house looks great, good luck with it all.
Tell ya what I’d do. I’d stay in the old house and use this time to put everything away in the new house and not move in until I had it all done and organized and tidied up. Put up the pictures. Set up the computers and the office. Move the food and clothes and toiletries and everything. Put it all away. Sleep in your old house (on an air mattress if necessary) and move into the completely neat and tidy new house, all stocked with your food and clothes and and toiletries and everything—on the morning after you finish.
Then light a lovely fire in that fireplace and settle down and pet the furkids and watch some sports.
BTW, what’s going to happen to the old house? (I’m thinking about where Tunch is.)
John, seriously, you don’t have to do everything in one day. I moved in the beginning of August and I’m still finding shit to unpack. One thing at a time, one room at a time.
I agree with the idea of getting one room to be comfortable and then just focus on small tasks at a time. The total is overwhelming, but little bit by little bit it gets done. It will look great once you are done!
2. ask for help.
3. prioritize clothes, food, house supplies
4. light furniture, at least a recliner
5. heavy furniture save for last
My advice is to take advantage of some of the extra space. Get everything moved first, and put as much as you can into the extra bedrooms, preferably with the doors closed so the critters can’t get in and wreak havoc. Then get the key rooms- kitchen, your bedroom, one bathroom, and the living room- into livable condition. After that, you can take as much time as you need to get the rest of the stuff out of the bedrooms and into its final place without having the whole house look like a disaster area.
Nice digs. You done good. Do you have a plan for Steve since I believe he is an indoor outdoor cat? Also, take advantage of this moving thing to reduce your load of possessions by at least one quarter. It’ll make for a much happier life.
@debit: Good advice. My goal the last time I moved was to have a place to sleep and some cloths to wear by the end of day one, enough of a kitchen to make breakfast and simple dinners by day two (takeout or eat-out for first dinner and first breakfast), and then a steady pace of (some reasonable number) of boxes per day until done. Worked pretty well; I was ninety something percent unpacked by the time my parents came to visit a couple of weeks later, and as these thing go not too stressful.
@Emerald: That’s a good idea!
I think it’s too late for that approach. It looks as if Cole has moved a lot of critical stuff to the new house, which means he needs to start living there.
I moved 10 days before the elections and I haven’t still recovered from the twin stress.
@NotMax: I moved boxes I had never been able to unpack from my last move to MI here to my new home in South Bend. That was inly 8 years though.
Of course, it’s like Christmas or my birthday when I finally unpack another box from the last move 4 months ago, it’s almost like someone is giving me new stuff.
Take your time John, I had the bedroom and living room pretty well set up for refuge, the rest of the house is still full of un-put-away stuff because I want to paint some rooms first. You got that done before you moved in, so you’ll find stuff falling into place in due time.
I so know how you feel. This is day 6 of my move within the house. We had to replace flooring because of a flood so had to move half the house into the other half of the house. Finally getting things back where they belong but it is so stressful.
J R in WV
We’ve been in our house since we finished construction of the main living floor in 1994. Downstairs took a little longer, but every switch-plate was done upstairs when we moved in. Wife was moved a whole lot as a child, had a really hard time moving from a broken-down semi-habitable old farmhouse into a deluxe new home with the works. Friends were carrying in boxes of stuff, asked where to put a box, she burst into tears.
Mrs J swears she’s leaving feet first on a slab.
And I’m off for Women’s March #2
@debit: Last time I moved “for real,” not counting moving in with Dad to take care of him, I was talking to a guy at work about it.
Me: I still have a lot of stuff to unpack.
He: So do we.
Me: Oh, how long have you been in your new house?
He: 12 years.
@Pogonip: Hah! Hopefully it won’t take me that long. Most of it is in the garage and totally non essential stuff that may end up donated eventually. I think my house was “company ready” a month after I moved in.
You are moving blocks away. Many of us have moved thousands of miles, some of us more than once. I even moved an entire machine shop. Once. And that was almost 40 miles. Getting settled in there meant running all the conduit and electrical wiring after arrival. Myself. I’ve moved 3 times in the last 5 yrs and the mileage for all three of these is over 500 miles. All that said though, actual moving is something that most of us dislike, even if we are happy once done with it. We just wish that it could be done, maybe by magic, rather than sweat and sprained muscles.
If you can manage it, make one room a refuge. Put only stuff in it that doesn’t stress you out. A bedroom is good , your own bedroom is better. No boxes or clutter in that room. When your furniture is set up, you can bring in and empty one box at a time when you are ready to deal with them. Then get your kitchen in order. Work on putting everything where it belongs. It will give you a great feeling of accomplishment and strength to work on other rooms.
I think moving is one of those things that is better to have done than to be doing.
Laboratory filled with equipment, halfway across the country. It was two 53 foot trailers filled to the brim, and there’s nothing quite like looking on as a piece of delicate equipment sits on a wooden skid while a couple of guys with compressed-air nail guns fasten braces around it and then build the skid up into a crate.
And, of course, I was moving myself at the same time. And because of how the timing on that worked out, I did three personal moves in the space of six months (sold my condo about a month before Lab Move Week and hence was living out of a few suitcases in a sublet for about five or six weeks, then a temp apartment at the other end for a few months while I shopped for something more permanent). The whole thing was Not Fun.
I need to learn to write shorter because that’s exactly what I said.
BTW those long distance moves? I did those in a 26ft rent truck with my car on a trailer hitched on. The driving sort of minimized the stress of loading and unloading. Except of course driving west over Donner pass in Dec. That wasn’t relaxing at all.
Our last move we took it slow, moved things into the new house, put them away, then went back for more. All of our other moves have been job forced, big moving van takes things away and dumps it all. This last move I think we had something close to 500 boxes (the moving companies box everything very carefully for overseas moves).
So nice to do it a bit at a time. I hope that you don’t have to be out by the end of the month, but even if you do, 8 days for moving a bit at a time should be okay, which leaves a few days for cleaning.
@Peej01: I’m hoping John’s “There’s shit everywhere” was metaphorical and not literal.
I remember you writing about that. Didn’t sound like fun. The machine shop took 2 lowboy tractor/trailers and if I remember correctly 4 trips with the 26ft stake truck I rented. The lowboys didn’t have enough room for all the machines so we tied 2 smaller ones down on the stake truck.
Well, let me tell you something. For normal folks – and I reckon you’re close enough to normal – the physical and the emotional have a kind of two way interplay. If you feel physically anxious, your brain will tend to find things to be anxious about; if you feel mentally anxious, your body will probably follow.
So: doing something that reduces the physical side will help the mental side. This is where the advice to “breathe” comes in. Close your eyes. Take ten, deep, *slow* breaths, *only* when you feel you need them. Okay? So, close your eyes. Wait until you feel you want to breathe in. Breathe in deep, and slow, try to fill your whole lungs, and hold it. Now, slowly, try to breathe out until your lungs are empty, but don’t, you know, squeeze, or gasp – just naturally empty. Now wait until you feel a need to breathe in.
This can take up to two minutes or even longer (full deep breaths can last a long time!) and it forces you to stay focused on something neutral (breathing) and it triggers reactions in your body that tend to help you relax. It’s not perfect, okay? Don’t expect that a miracle, or assume it failed. But if you feel a bit better, *go with that*. Be determined that this helped, and now you can move forward, feeling better and more relaxed.
There are a lot of relaxation exercises, but this is a very simple one. It can help.
Side note: I’ve heard it said that special forces folks tend to use their breathing to manage stress too – some of them don’t even realize they’re doing it. True? False? You were in the military – you have a better shot at knowing than I. But for most folks, breathing rate ties to heart rate ties to blood pressure, and all of those tie into how a body feels when anxious or relaxed.
Side-note-sub-2: this is an exercise that you have to *do*. Really close your eyes, and try to focus on nothing but getting through ten breaths. Be relaxed, don’t get all stressed, I *must do these ten breaths!” – but try to keep count, try not to lose count, and keep to the program. Too many people learn a relaxation technique and then don’t actually *do* it. They think about it, they give it a cursory lick and a promise, and then think it didn’t really help much.
@Adam L Silverman:
Ha! Good one.
Well damn…they marching in Antarctica…
People in Antarctica are holding their own Women’s March
Your house came out great! So happy for you. But moving? Moving makes me feel like I’m being punished when I haven’t been bad.
@Ruckus: It was a lot of work, mitigated by the fact that we had an extremely good set of contractors working on the job. The general was a rigging company, and the subs were a moving/trucking firm for the smaller stuff and for actually getting from A to B, a crating company for boxing the big/heavy/delicate (and sometimes all theee) pieces, a second rigging company who supplied the crane and two forklifts needed at the destination, etc. etc.
Moving sucks, no doubt about it. You will survive.
I made it to the march! Here are photos.
I know it’s cold comfort, but you are in relatively good shape. It is just so unsettling to not know where your stuff is and where it is going to live when you’re getting it all in place. It is a traumatic experience.
I moved a gazillion times in the first 25 years of adult life. My mother gave me this sage advice: paint the cats’ paws with butter; by the time they’ve licked their paws clean they will be used to the new house.
Don’t do this.
Mike in Pasadena
John, You will be so happy with your new home. Don’t let moving get you down. It is one of those things that nobody really likes, but you’ll be quite happy when it’s done and you can enjoy your new old house. You will soon be able to look back on all of this with great satisfaction and pleasure.
You are a few blocks from the old house and you have a car. Pack 3 boxes, take them to the new house. Put everything where it belongs. Do this as many times as necessary. One of the best things about moving an entire life across the Atlantic was that I was forced to decide what “things” were important. I ended up with 2 36 inch canvas roll bags and a 24″ by 24″ by 8″ box. My entire “thing” life reduced to that. Very liberating.
Good job! And nice pics.
And you’ll have spent so much time cleaning buttery pawprints off everything that unpacking will seem easy in comparison?
Not really seeing the logic here.
Another trick is to drop your shoulders. If you are stressed you tend to raise your shoulders for some reason and the act of dropping them requires you to create alpha waves, which is the signal for your muscles to relax. Once, and if you become proficient at this the ability to create alpha waves can become second nature. By creating alpha brain waves, I can lower my pulse 4-5 BPM and my blood pressure a noticeable amount. Another place you can feel this is in your hands, they get warmer as your blood flows easier into them with relaxed muscles.
So excited for you, piglets, and your frat brothers. Good work!!!
This move need’s Moar music!
You’ve had the greatest of advice so far, here’s mine:
First box in includes tp, coffee pot and coffee stuff, a radio, roll of paper towels (which you’ve shown, so good job!), garbage bags, dish soap, shower soap, sheets and a few towels.
Get a bed ready, get the tp on the roll in the bathroom, hang a bath towel, start in on the kitchen and go slowly and decide where you want stuff – it’s impossible to have others help as you’ll never find your stuff.
Loud rock for the big, brainless stuff, less rock for detail work.
It’ll still sick of course, but you are doing this for YOU (and Steve etc.,).
Your house is still beautiful and yours, so there’s that.
Good luck, John.
Looks great. Congratulations John.
Shit John, I’m so freaking excited for you! I’m a long time follower of this blog (pre Lilly and also fellow Jack Russell Terrorist parent) but I prefer to lurk rather than comment. I totally feel you when it comes to the anxiety and complete overwhelmness of stuff like this. You, your dad and all of your contractors appear to have absolutely killed it though. Yeah, frustration and fuckups are par for the course on any project like this. I know this because my husband is an IBEW electrician. But from what I can see from your posted before and after pics, everything looks so great! Take some deep breaths and try to blow through the temporary chaos. This is great stuff. Looking forward to more updates?
Would it help if I sent a pussyhat?
@hilzoy: It would need to be in size massive. They had to special order my hats in the army.
@Emerald: Oh my gosh, you’re right! But… The Great Floofy One has transcended mortality and the limits of the flesh: His Spirit is everywhere, and can surely follow John to the new digs. Maybe a small shrine to Tunch in the new home would be appropriate…
John, you and your crew have surely broken speed records getting the house gutted, refitted, and refined. It looks wonderful, even with all your worldly goods scattered all over the place. So excited for you!
@John Cole: I can do that! I have an enormous head myself, and I was really worried that it would not be wide enough or deep enough, so, surprise surprise, I overcompensated.
It went to DC, so it has good juju. And I have two. I think it might be fun to wear it as part of your personal introvert solitary march, or while unpacking, but who am I to say?
PS: House looks great. Last time I looked at the stats, moving was one of the most stressful events people go through, coming in close behind divorce and bereavement. Unlike those, though, it passes pretty quickly.