Real Life Countdown to Moving Day
16 Weeks Before Moving
Panic because you can’t sell your house. Take some of your stuff to someone else’s garage sale because you can’t afford to buy an ad in the paper, or the yard signs. Hide the clutter in the closets because the realtors really aren’t looking in there anyway. Drop a few things off at Good Will. Forget to take the trash out – the potential buyers will overlook the smell of aged cat litter and rotten banana peel in the garage. Make sure to stay in complete denial that you’ll eventually have to move. Unpack that last box from the last move and put everything neatly away.
12 Weeks Before Moving
Get really depressed because you don’t have a contract. Fire your realtor. Hire a new one who charges more commission. Spam your friends over email that you are selling your house. Tell the kids they’ll just have to read books because the house has to stay clean indefinitely while realtors could show up at any minute. Throw away the solicitations you are getting in the mail from van lines and moving companies; it’s too early to worry about getting quotes. Who’s telling these people you are moving anyway?
8 Weeks Before Moving
Start begging people at church to buy your house. Become your new realtor’s slave and start fixing things and decorating things that you should have done when you first moved in a year ago. Use up your last sheet of “WE’VE MOVED” address labels for your current address that you ordered last year (won’t be needing those soon). Clean your garage out so you can finally park your vehicle in the garage for the first time ever.
4 Weeks Before Moving
Apologize to your realtor in the city you are supposed to move to, and tell her you’re sorry you haven’t sold your house in the last six months, and YES, you do still expect to eventually need her help looking for a house… but you just can’t start looking until you get a contract. Yell at someone to make yourself feel better (if you can’t find someone to yell at, just yell at your kids). Resign yourself that since gasoline prices have risen and the cost of commuting between two cities for seven months has drained your pocketbook… you’ll probably end up having to foreclose. Stop worrying if the house is perfect when the realtors come to show it… after all, none of the people have made an offer in seven months even though you had it cleaner than the feature in Better Homes and Gardens. Paint your kitchen red and yellow. Pull out overgrown bushes and weed your flower beds. Watch a lot of chick movies.
3 Weeks Before Moving
Get a call from your realtor telling you someone from out of state wants to buy your house, but if you accept the offer, you have to be out in three weeks. Get really excited, buy yourself a Latte. Call everyone you know to tell them the news. Mark a calendar with the option period and closing date – sure, three weeks is enough time! Spend the weekend hanging out with your husband since you only see him on weekends. No need to worry about packing right now – there’s time for that later.
2 Weeks Before Moving
Start to wonder where you’ll come up with the money and the boxes to move. Spam your friends on email to request their help with packing. Let the kids destroy the house. Eat every meal out… after all – you don’t want to buy groceries since you’re going to be moving out soon. Spend time making lists. Touch your trim and walls up with paint the builders left in your garage so the inspectors think your house still looks like new – even though the paint dries much lighter than your original wall color. Forget to water the lawn (again).
1 Week Before Moving
Drive 400 miles to get free boxes. Start packing. Get distracted by the books you are packing and read one. Forget to label some of the boxes and forget what’s in them. Wonder where your cat is going to live since you can’t take it with you. Continue to eat out, even though you probably should aim to empty your freezer and refrigerator before your perishables spoil. Feel like a martyr because no one is helping you pack and your husband is out of town working. Yell at the kids who have used every available box to build a small city in your living room. Yell at the cat because you trip over her while carrying a box (that you, yourself packed) that’s so heavy you felt your knee joints crack when you lifted it. Make a mental note to yourself to find the heating pad because your back feels like rubber and you’re not sure you’ll be able to move in the morning.
5 Days Before Moving
Put off packing so you can check your email and blog some. Reward yourself with chocolate for all your hard work since you have a few rooms finished. Hope that you can get it all done before your husband comes home for the weekend. After all, when he packs, he just throws stuff in the box, and you are such a perfectionist that you would rather whine that he’s not helping than let him help. Decide to move into storage since it’s too late to find a house where you’re moving. Throw out some rotten food from the freezer and fridge since you were eating out and didn’t eat it on time. Sleep in, you deserve it. Eat half a package of Oreos. Watch another chick movie. Water your brown grass.
Three Days Before Moving
Realize you still have no one to help you load the truck. Start calling to find a rental truck. Panic because you don’t have a storage unit yet, and there aren’t any trucks available (it is the end of the summer, after all). Wonder where your mail is going to be transferred to. Call your utility services and have them schedule to turn things off the day after you move out. Start packing your suitcases that will need to go with you where you stay. Pray that God helps you figure out what to do with the cat. Wash clothes. Pack some more. Find the moving tape dispenser and an un-used roll of packing tape in the garage after you just went to the store to buy one. Finally get a hold of some obscure movers from a small nearby town that are available the day you want to move.
Two Days Before Moving
Frantically pack the rest of your stuff (you had no idea you had this much stuff). Pay for a storage unit nearby. Start making loads of boxes over to the storage unit so you can get around in the house better. Get a call from the Title Company that tells you they need a copy of your Survey to close on the deal. Remember that you already boxed your filing cabinets and took the Survey to storage. Go to your storage unit and spend hours rearranging boxes and re-opening them to find the Survey (in a box without any markings) in the back, under 300 lbs. worth of books. Go home with greasy burgers and cokes (again). Let the kids watch Disney movies all night while your mom helps you pack some more. Discover that you haven’t even touched the drawers of all your dressers. Run out of moving boxes (and tape). Stay up late to go to Wal-Mart after midnight to scavenge boxes from behind the store (and buy more tape – what’s with 3M anyway? 4$ a roll?!?!).
The Night Before Moving
Load your car full of suitcases. Ask your mom to take your favorite pictures and coats to her house when she leaves. Eat another burger. Promise yourself to buy a salad at Jack in the Box tomorrow. Go through the drawers to make sure you packed everything. Discover a closet you haven’t even started on. Run out of tape again.
On Moving Day
Double check, closet, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure that they are empty. Remember you forgot to put underwear in your suitcase before you boxed your drawers. Start packing the garage since you forgot about it entirely. Unplug your refrigerator and unload it into coolers (mutter under your breath about how stupid you are for waiting so long to do this). Let the movers tape and move your fridge onto the truck knowing when it comes out of storage, it will be hairy and green inside. Drop your cell phone on your driveway and watch it shatter into two pieces. Peel your toenail off while trying to help move your washing machine. Call your mother to come help the movers while you throb in pain on the couch (until they have to load it into the truck). Promise yourself never to move again (and especially not wearing sandals).