this old house

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errr or not really old at all. We purchased our first home five days before our wedding. At the time, it was a patch of dirt in what would eventually be a 100ish home neighborhood. As first time home buyers, we had the perfect opportunity with this gem. We didn’t build from scratch ourselves but instead had our hand held buy the builder and picked all the finishes, floor plan and wall colors from a few options. We lived in this space for five years, made two job changes, brought a dog baby home to it and later our real baby made a home there.

And then, it was time to go.

It took a while but once I finally accepted that I was doing the adult thing by moving (the Seattle area market was crazy this summer) and the for-sale sign went up, it was suddenly easy to let go. I would return home after a potential buyer showing and my house would smell like someone else. Like when you step into an elevator after an exceptionally potent man has just left.  People had been poking around, viewing all my belongings and judging my decorating choices (I’ve seen enough home shows to know they ALWAYS comment on the paint color. amIright?). I was disconnected almost immediately. As we packed, I happily watched furniture walk out the door to new homes and car fulls of stuff go to GoodWill.

It wasn’t until we had everything out and I was deep cleaning that my emotions finally took me down. Actually, it was M’s room that got me. And stupidly enough, it was a tiny coffee stain that literally brought me to my knees. On the shelf next to her changing table, there was a tiny ring from my coffee cup practically burt into the wood. Instantly, the routine I had for almost two years flooded over me. Wake, Shower, Coffee, Get Baby, Place Coffee on Shelf, Change Baby. I just laid on the floor and finally let myself feel the change.

The thing is, it was like pulling off a bandaid. We have taken our new place from house to home in a matter of four months and are still charging ahead. I haven’t looked back once or really even thought about the house we sold. I am certain that the same powerful feelings will imbed themselves in these new walls, that there will be coffee rings to cry over when we leave this place and that I never NEVER want to see that brown shag carpet again (WHAT was I thinking?).

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Side note: I know people move ALL the time and I’ve talked about this a few too many times already. Last one. Promise.

Builder: Pulte Homes

Design Direction: Laurie Schwartz

moving without the movers

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By no means was I the most organized mover. I have moved out of many apartments, college housing and short term living situations but the amount of stuff we had accumulated over our five year stint in our last house was truly amazing. I thought I had boxed, labeled and organized a very tidy move weeks in advance. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. When it came to crunch time things were flying around, family was tossing in every grocery sack and reusable tote they had to help and my new garage was bulging with items I needed to sort though before finding it a new home. Needless to say, I learned a few things and plan to attack any future moves very differently.

1. Start early

Lesson learned. Packing takes about 10x longer then you plan for. Every single.tiny.thing in your house has to make it out somehow. Either that’s into a moving truck, trash bin or finding it a new home. No matter where it’s going, plan for somewhere around three solid days of packing per room in your house. I wish I had followed this rule. After getting the ‘big stuff’ squared away, I laid off the packing and when it came down to it, I was throwing small items in boxes and bags hours before closing.

2. Purge and declutter 

New space means you need new things. Sorry guys. I know the men in your life don’t want to hear this. You’ll need to measure and plan out your new space before deciding what to get rid of. It might be through a garage sale, Craigslist listings (we did A LOT of this), GoodWill donations or gifting to your neighbors. Either way, if it doesn’t work for your new home, just don’t bring it. Have a plan as far in advance as you can and rid yourself of the rest. Decision making, sorting and selling take time.

3. Hire a sitter 

Sorry kids!

4. Box it up

I totally underestimated the number of boxes we would need to pack up our home. Boxes can add up if you buy them new but you’ll be surprised how many you can find if you ask around. I have seen friends receive an entire move worth of boxes just by asking on Facebook. Again, this is a lesson I learned. I had boxed everything that I thought needed a box and at the last minute was staring down a mound of miscellaneous items. (see Start Early)  They ended up tossed in tote bags and paper sacks. Now, my garage is full of these bags. If I had purchased more boxes, I could have properly labeled these and sorted better. My garage would thank me.

5. Enlist a crew 

I felt bad asking for any help from friends or family as obviously there is a whole industry of folks dedicated to making moving easier. But before I knew it, our family had descended on us like moving angels. They helped Kyle carry the heavy items, worked the Tetris game of truck loading like pros and hauled car loads of our junk around. Without them, I am positive we would still be moving. I know the point of choosing a DIY move over movers is to save money but compensate any help as well as you can. It would be fun to host them all for a dinner in your new home once everything is put away or take them out to a ‘thank goodness it’s over’ drink.

 

a week

DSC_2385This little space on the internet has been lonely lately. I know. The thing is, it’s hotter then hades outside which means it’s even hotter inside. Every year I scold myself for being a typical Seattleite and declining the AC option when we built our house. Around here you generally deal with about five unbearable days a year then it’s over, you lived and your house returns to it’s standard perfectly perfect 68ish degrees. So far this year, it’s been over 90 more days then I can remember most summers having total and although I adore the heat, I have also been declining the option of sitting in front of a computer roasting. (excuses, I know…just bear with me)

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So, to catch up…..last weekend we spent four days on a little cross-Washington road trip. We took off for Walla Walla for a friends wedding, made an overnight stop in Yakima  and drove for what seemed like days even though it was only about four and a half hours each way. We survived the car ride in one piece and Ky was such a good sport letting me play tourist at some fun stops like the run down convenience store above. The only rough patch was on the way home where I was sick combined with the effects of maybe a little too much wedding fun (oops). We had to make a few stops for mama to pull it together but home we came to enjoy the last week bouncing from park to park and beach to beach trying to stay cool. Summa’….I love you!

DSC_2378And another thing, you know the whole not having AC in the house thing…I’m totally not complaining. We decided a few months ago that it’s time for us to sell our home and move on to a community with an easier commute for Ky. This is the summer we move and make our way to our perfect preschool land, the place where we can walk to dinners out and a lifestyle that involves less car and more time together. So, I called up my BFF, an exceptional realtor, and forward motion started. They came and photographed our house, we decided on an asking price and all was well. Then, I left to the store on Wednesday and the sale sign appeared in my front lawn while I was gone. You know, the ominous white post, flyers showing every nook and cranny of the house you made a home and a stupid little banner teasing you with each sway it takes in the wind.

I immediately freaked.

insert photo of sign here. i have one all ready but I can’t actually post it because I just don’t want to look at it. you know what it looks like. 

You guys, I just could not stop crying. I came inside, tried reading M a book and gulped and gasped so much I had to put it down. I sat on the sofa in sorrow for M’s entire nap. I have no idea what is wrong is with me but I was paralyzed by the thought of selling this house. Anyway, I was such a crazy that we postponed putting the house on the market until next week when hopefully I can suck it up and not act like such a weeping fool.

It’s time to move forward towards a smaller home with a better lifestlye for the Lipe family.

 

Enjoy! Melissa