Monday, May 14, 2018

Deb's Big Move

What a crazy winter and spring it has been! I knew it would be a lot of work to coordinate buying and selling and packing and purging and moving, but man oh man I still seriously underestimated what it would take out of me. There have been a few times I wanted to sit down and document all that was happening, and all that I was accomplishing. But by the time I was able to sit down, I was just too exhausted to do anything beyond hit play on my current Netflix addiction.

Moving a three bedroom home, where you've lived for 14 years with an avid collector, is not easy. Doing it alone? I thought it might kill me.

But it didn't. Ha! Try as it might, the house did not get the better of me, other than the last few hours when I truly believed I wouldn't be out before the new owners arrived. I had a bit of a breakdown that day, which was likely long overdue. Good friends ran to my rescue and got me through it. And out the door. And I only slightly terrified two 12 year old boys who had never seen me cry like that before.


The quick version of the story -  I saw a house on realtor.ca in September. It was still on the market when we visited St. John's at New Years, so I called a friend, who is also a realtor, and asked her to arrange a viewing. Michael and I both fell in love, and I made an offer the next day. Eventually, we came to an agreement. Now I had to sell!

My house in Scarborough went on the market at the beginning of February, after getting some updates and repairs, and moving out a pile of stuff into a mobile storage unit I rented. We had maybe 6 open houses? Well over 100 people visited the house. I was getting worried I wouldn't sell in time, and that I would lose my dream home in St. John's. Lots of back and forth with agents and possible offers, and when one finally came that I could live with, I grabbed it. House sold 4 weeks after listing, with 4 weeks to closing.

Can I just say, keeping a house PERFECT for showings is possibly the most exhausting thing I've ever done, after caring for a newborn. As soon as it sold, I started back at purging and packing, and basically spent the next four weeks creating piles of donate/sell/dump/recycle. My step-son was a great help dropping things off to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and electronics recycling. Early on I was listing stuff on buy & sell groups, and bringing things into re-sell stores. I unloaded about 2500 albums, 500 laser discs and a player, untold hundreds of DVDs and CDs, and innumerable bins of cables and hardware and electronics and plumbing ephemera. Power tools, lumber, dishes, 3 boxes of mugs and glasses, and heaven knows what else.

By the final week, anyone who came to my house had to take something with them when they left.

The movers took over 10,000 lbs of my crap belongings. The next day there was still enough for 2 truckloads to go with 1-800-Got-Junk. And I filled my car to the brim, shipped 7 boxes via post, and left a pile of plants, baskets, and various things too awkward to pack up and ship, with friends. I was past the point of caring.

Oh! And in the midst of all that, I flew home with my 18 year old cat to close the house in St. John's. The younger cats went Air Canada Cargo the next week. Mom kept them all for about 3 weeks until we got settled here.

What an odyssey. Michael and I drove the 3000 km home. We took a week and visited friends and family along the way. (I hope you caught some of our adventures on Instagram.) We arrived in St. John's on April 14, and started sleeping here in our new home a few days later. It will still be a while before everything is unpacked and settled, but it is home, and the critical stuff is done. For me, that means beds and a kitchen I can cook in. For Michael, it means his game systems and the computer are set up.

Here are just a few pictures. As the place gets more presentable, I will share more. Promise!

Nice, hey? There was no doorbell and no numbers on the house, so I installed those. Still needs landscaping.

The main floor bathroom. It's not huge, but it's a good size. These neutral tones go throughout the house.
My bedroom, which IS huge. The cats are clearly settled in just fine.

I am exhausted and have a lot of work still to go, but I can honestly say - this is the happiest I've felt in years. As tough as it was to leave Toronto and all my friends there, and especially my step-son, this was the right thing to do.

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