Pack It Up, Pack It In (A Packing To-Do List)

Look how spiffy our house is looking these days:

With less than 5 days until the big move, we’ve learned that packing is no joke. But we’ve got our eye on the prize (our exciting new digs) so we’re trying to keep our spirits up, stay hydrated, and play some good music for dancing as we go (the dancing is for Clara- gotta keep the baby entertained or packing progress can screech to a halt). Oh and we got many of our “secondhand boxes” as we’re lovingly calling them by trolling craigslist and freecycle (and even driving to a local reader’s house when she offered some up to us on Facebook). But admittedly we did have to grab a few from Walmart when we ran out of pre-used ones. Oh well, at least they’re made from 100% recycled material and we can craigslist/freecycle them when we’re done so they’ll live on like Leo’s memory in Titanic. Sidenote: anyone else still have a grade school crush on Leo?

Our to-do list is pretty nuts, but so far we’ve managed to cross these things off:

  • remove every single item from the wall and patch/paint every nail hole in the house (this was actually about 500 times easier than I expected- just remove all the nails at once, spackle everything at once, and then paint room by room. It’s a lot faster than doing those three things in each room before moving onto the next one since you’d be opening and closing the spackle and cleaning the putty knife about a million times).
  • transfer all of our utilities so they start over at the new place on move-in day
  • pack the entire bathroom (except for travel sized shampoo & conditioner, our toothbrushes, and the shower curtain)
  • pack all of our frames, mirrors, books, ceramic animals, and 80% of the breakables (still need to do our dishware – yikes!)
  • pack all of the clothes we won’t be using in the next 7 days (we created a little “vacation stash” of everything from clothes to baby supplies and toiletries that we’ll appreciate having on hand instead of needing to unpack a million boxes to find those necessities).

As for what’s still on the list, here’s what we’ve got on the agenda:

  • pack the rest of the kitchen along with about 20% of the other rooms that still need to be done
  • rake the yard so the new owners don’t think they’re moving into a giant leaf pile
  • oversee the completion of a few random inspection items (some flue work is being done by a pro tomorrow)
  • get our oil measured for closing (new buyers pay for the oil that’s left in the tank, isn’t that a nice fair way to do it?)
  • wave goodbye to our tan slipcovered Pottery Barn sofa in the den (someone from craigslist is supposed to be picking it up at 4)
  • clean the oven and the fridge (can’t really do this until right before we go)
  • vacuum/sweep/scrub the house spotless before locking the door with a tear in my eye

Assuming all goes well, the new owners are supposed to be closing on our house on Monday morning and once those funds come through we can close on our new place on Monday afternoon. So for a few odd hours in the middle of the day we actually won’t be homeowners at all. Weird, right? This necessitates an airtight moving plan, which doesn’t exactly sound easy but we’re sure we’ll somehow get ‘er done. We’re planning to move all of our stuff into a giant U-Haul by Sunday night and are paying to keep the truck overnight so it’ll essentially become a huge storage locker on wheels until we can unpack it on Monday afternoon at the new house (where our alarm system will be getting installed at the same time). Should be interesting total chaos, especially since we’re used to a few trips back and forth when it comes to a big move like this. Thankfully we have John’s awesome family helping with the loading and unloading. Did you think we’d hire movers? Come on, we’re total cheap-os. Besides, we love a good DIY adventure. Here’s hoping it has a happy ending and none of my ceramic animal friends have to die for the cause…


  1. says

    Just be wicked grateful that Clara isn’t a walker/puller-upper yet or you’d be going insane trying to keep her out of stuff. Hang in there–you’re almost done!

  2. Melissa says

    Are you guys really moving next week or did you write these posts earlier? This time of year is stressful enough- can’t imagine moving on top of all the holiday events, shopping, planning etc!

    • says

      We’re fans of the bulk method. We go out one evening and buy for everyone off of a predetermined list. It’s tiring but it gets the job done in a few hours. We’ve already done all of our online ordering for long distance relatives (we sent things directly to them) and we plan to go shopping after the move for everyone else (so we don’t have to move gifts). Thankfully our families are really manageable to shop for (we draw names so we only get a few gifts instead of a million).


  3. Lucy says

    Is Burger freaking out? Our dogs crave routine, and therefore have serious anxiety about moving boxes, furniture out of place, and even sometimes suticases!

    • says

      Burger’s taking it like a champ! We think he’s so used to furniture being out of place from our various projects so it just seems to be a normal thing for him!


  4. Liz says

    So Sunday night you’ll basically be camping out on the living room floor? Teehee… I think moving is one of the most annoying things in life, but it is the greatest adventure at once! Cheers!

    • says

      Hey Liz,

      We’re actually staying at a secret location with the truck (since we didn’t want anyone to try to steal our UHaul out of our driveway with all of our loot in it!). Should be an adventure…


  5. Ashlee says

    Thank you for raking the leaves for your new owners…

    We closed on our house Nov. 2006. At the closing table, the previous owner said “sorry about all those leaves”…we assumed the ones she left in the yard.

    However, when Spring rolled around, we discovered she meant the ones she left in the (rather large) inground pool. And then covered. Six months of decayed leaves, marinating in 8 feet of water, gave a whole new meaning to “swamp thing”.

  6. Karen J says

    Don’t forget: the last 10% of the stuff takes the longest time to pack (because you will have already cherry-picked the easy to pack stuff at that point). So don’t underestimate the amount of work left to do at the end. Spoken from experience (our last move from a 1500 sqft. home to a 2700 sqft. home ended in a herculean allnighter to finish it up … not a good idea when you are 8 months pregnant!). Good luck!

    • says

      Hey Liz,

      She is totally acting like nothing’s going on! I bet she’ll actually register the change when we’re in the new house though. So far she just loves looking at all the mess and listening to the sound of bubble wrap and packing tape.


  7. Kelli says

    Another great source for boxes that we use when moving is liquor stores! You can get boxes with divisions (great for glasses/vases/etc.) and all other sorts. We haven’t ever had to pay for any, they are always willing to get rid of some! Nice size too, so you don’t “overpack” a box that is really too heavy to carry! Warning: Your new neighbors may think you will need to attend weekly meetings! :) Happy moving!

  8. says

    These pictures brought a tear to my eye! I still can’t believe you guys are leaving this house. I get so sentimental over this kind of stuff, sorry! I’m so excited though to see what you make of your new place :)

  9. says

    Very exciting! Good luck to you guys in getting those last minute preparations out of the way!

    And Sherry, sometimes I think you’re a treasure trove of 1990’s pop culture nostalgia that makes me laugh every time you read it. If you ever get around to it, find someone who has XM radio, and play their “90’s on 9” radio station. You could probably sing every verse. You all are funny people.

  10. Megan says

    If you need some more last minute boxes try the grocery store (egg and banana boxes are the best for kitchen stuff) and Starbucks (smaller boxes, great for books and heavier items). The only 2 boxes we bought for our last move were wardrobe boxes for our hanging items (it was a 3 day move, 3 state move, otherwise we would have just thrown them in the backseat).

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