The Move and a Bittersweet End To an Era

How much stuff can a single family acquire over a span of fifteen years? Quite a lot actually, as I’ve found out.

We’d been considering moving for a number of years – really ever since my youngest came home from the hospital when the diaper boxes alone threatened to fill a room, but there was always something. The timing was bad, the lot wasn’t right, or the location too far away from our jobs. So we’d put it off, and put it off, and put it off.

Though we eventually didn’t have to worry about rooms full of diapers, we still had plenty of other clutter to find places for. My husband heard about minimalism and gave it a try, clearing out his closet of all but the essential. He tried to work on mine too – but I’m not quite as committed to the cause.

We found new homes for baby toys, only for the free space to be filled with Hot Wheels. We sold off furniture that wasn’t being used. Big boy beds took their place. We got creative with things like Murphy desks and multi-use space. Our kids were inconsiderate enough to continue to keep growing.

But our kids weren’t the only things to change over the years – our house started to show its age too. First, the water heater went out. Then there was the indoor waterfall (though in defense of my house, that one wasn’t entirely its fault). Then the air conditioner failed – twice. Not to be outdone, the furnace went out too. It was one thing after another. Suddenly, I felt less like I was in my home and more like I’d fallen into the plot of the movie, the Money Pit.

Even so, I loved my house. Or at least, I loved my location. I loved how close we were to the greenway, the series of wooden paths that run through my city where you can go when you need help visualizing what the world might look like after the collapse of civilization. (Necessary research in my case). As much as I wanted more space, part of me didn’t ever want to move.

I loved my neighbors and the fact my kids could run out at nine in the morning and be outside all day without me worrying about things like traffic or sketchy individuals. Seeing them play with kids next door and down the street brought back memories of my childhood, back in years we won’t mention when the news was a lot less scary. The last thing I wanted was to jeopardize all that.

But as I said, the darn kids kept growing and no matter how much my husband (and to a lesser extent, I) was able to offload or rehome, it never seemed to be enough. So, love it or not, we kept an eye out for something else. Then one day, quite unexpectedly, we found something that checked all the boxes. As much as I hated the idea of moving away from our block, it was a place where I could envision an equally memorable future.

We arranged for movers. A representative walked through our soon-to-be former home and gave us an estimate, saying it wouldn’t be too bad as we didn’t have all that much. Later he would learn just how wrong he was.

The day of the move came. Our neighbor snapped a picture of the truck leaving, captioning it with a sweet goodbye. However, the joke was on her – we had to come back for three more loads before all was said and done.

I’m still in the process of unpacking and learning where the new light switches, scissors, and curiously enough, the trusted zero key on my keyboard are (the latter being particularly annoying), but the place is starting to fill more like my own. As much as I hated the physical process of moving fifteen years of stuff from one location to the next while wondering why I kept so much of it for so long in the first place, I’m looking forward to this next chapter.

I just hope that in fifteen years time, if we move again, I’ll take more memories with me than clutter.


12 thoughts on “The Move and a Bittersweet End To an Era

  1. Ha. Great ending line. How bizarre that your zero key is missing! Did the mover give you one estimate and then the day of say, “Oh my, this is so much more than expected” and tell you it would actually cost way more? Just curious. Happened to two families I know. I wonder if it’s standard practice with moving companies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I moved regularly as a child. At least 21 times before I finally left home. My mom gave a way a lot of things I wish now we had kept. My husband is firmly a roots man and we have lived in our current house for 14 years. I hate to thing how much stuff we would have to sort out if we moved although I try to do regular clear outs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Try it after 37-1/2 years – that’s how many years’ worth of “stuff” we’re staring down, trying to decide what stays and what goes. Ugh! Congratulations on your successful move. Next, you’ll need to set yourself up to begin writing again, I would imagine. Lots of luck in the new digs!


    1. Oh, I’ve been writing. I’m on track to finish the first draft of my current project next month if not sooner. I just can’t write things requiring lots of zeroes.


  4. I dread the thought of moving because Ken is a real hoarder. We just cleaned our attic and the stuff I found up there! And trying to get him to part with broken old models, mugs from when he was a teenager, board games with pieces missing–a nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband has serious hoarders in his family tree, which is nice when you need to find something like a can opener, but can get quickly out of hand. This is probably why he is so much better than I am about tossing stuff out before he forms an attachment to it. I honestly thought we’d done better though.

      Liked by 1 person

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