After almost a full week of moving, I can reliably report to you that these 9 stages of moving have been confirmed, and are now a scientific phenomenon that one should warn friends about before they decide to move into their new homes.
Don't get me wrong, we love our new house and are feeling quite blessed that we are finally here, but I was unprepared for the intense ride of
You spend the bulk of your time perusing Pinterest and Houzz dreaming of how amazing your new house is going to look once you get moved in, when in reality you should be spending it with your friends the U-Haul Box and the Packing tape and actually PREPPING for said move.
You pat yourselves on the back for 'getting ahead of things' by gather boxes, and making a giant list of everything you need to do, because just getting it out on paper is progress, right?
Classic warning signs of this stage include creating excuses for why it's okay to break your 'i'll pack one box every day' rule---5 days in a row. You tell yourself that you will just pack 5 on the weekend, but then the weekend comes and one kid gets strep throat and the other really doesn't care that you had plans to pack a box, because the only thing that will stop this tantrum is a trip to the park.
You deny that the move is getting closer, and start to make excuses about why you don't need to start packing yet: Our home is so tiny. How long can it really take? I think we could easily pack this sucker up in about 2 days. 3 days tops. We can absolutely knock that out. No problem.
One morning, (probably about 72 hours before you are set to move), you will wake up and reality hits you. Holy Shit. How are you possibly going to get everything packed and in a box before we close on the new house? You completely abandon your plan to have your little house completely spotless BEFORE the move, and accept that you will now be cleaning your little house, moving into the big house all at the same time.
You are in the thick of the move. Schlepping boxes. Telling your crabby husband where his box is supposed to go. You become delirious with each trip up the steps. You probably haven't eaten for a solid 48 hours. And if one more person asks you where you want a specific box your head might literally spin off.
You lift one box that you know you really need to unpack (like pots and pans--things you need for survival--or at the very minimum your children's survival), realize it is heavy. Look around for someone, anyone, who you can have take it instead of you. Those people do not exist. So instead, you pick a different box.
One filled with matress pad covers, and pillow shams. Stuff that you probably could light on fire and wouldn't miss. But you know what: those pans were too damn heavy, and that is why we put a microwave into this house.
You start to rally! And as an added bonus your Houzz visions of grandeur come back to life. We can TOTALLY get through all of this. Let's just take our time and make sure it all goes into the perfect spot. After all, the better organized we are when we start out in the new home, the better off we will be forever.
You can start to see it all come together, and are drifting off with daydreams of Christmas carols being sung around the new piano, with stockings hung on the new mantle. This year's Christmas is going to be off the hook.
6) The Rat-Race stage
You are never going to be done moving. Ever. Where do these boxes keep coming from? It's like they are bunnies, or mice. Every where you turn they seem to multiply. You swore you just broke that box down. Where did this one even come in?
What am I supposed to do with this box filled with a: bike helmet, cookbook, yoga mat, heater, and a bath mat? Who PACKED THIS BOX? Which room do I even take this to to unpack it??
It's unclear if this stage develops because you haven't eaten for days because your refrigerator consists of condiments and beer, or because you are truly just mentally and physically done. But at some point hate-rage toward the new home, and its contents resembling a big house with shitty furnishings and not the beautiful scene from Houzz you had envisioned will set in.
This stage also typically involves an IKEA run.
you think..oh yeah---you know what we need? Hooks. And Shelves. And organizing stuff. That will help make it all better. And in the end you leave with a bunch of shit from ikea that generates MORE boxes, MORE do-it-yourself nonsense, and a moment where you briefly question your marriage. But hey, at least you got a soft serve ice cream cone for $.99 out of it.
You look at your kitchen counter, and you see a basket full of pens, a tape measure, some random organizing baskets from Ikea, three bottles of half-drunk energy drinks, a drying rack that you have had for 3 years, never used, but don't have the heart to throw it because it is brand new, ear phones, a bottle of tums, and mail that keeps piling up.
And it hits you--you don't give a flying crap where any of this stuff goes as long as it is out of sight and technically put away. We have to start a junk drawer at some point, right? All homes have those, right? Then take all of this crap off of my kitchen counter right now, and put it there. Anywhere.
At this point, you have reconciled your dream of what the house was goign to look like with what you know the house to currently look like. And you resign yourself to have patience. To live in the house a little bit, before you start drilling holes like crazy. And that you may just not have a couch, or kitchen chairs before you host your daughters 3-year birthday party.
You accept that this is the new home, and try to buck the waves of sentiment that sweep over you as you do the final wipe down of the old house. You ready yourself to make memories in the new house, and have accepted that you may be doing that among boxes for longer than you wanted, and amid empty walls for longer than you imagined. You shut down your Houzz account, delete your 'New Home" pinterest board, and get back to real life.
And for us, that life involves a whole lot of bins yet to be unpacked, a new floor that has already been scratched by moving a couch, and a whole lot of fun yet to be had. It's been quite the ride, but we are so excited that we are on it, and ready to make this house a home!