Oh Yeah – We Moved…

And it only took 4 months, roughly.  Yikes!  Obviously the move itself didn’t take that long, but unlike a lot of people, we didn’t sell our house prior to purchasing a new home.  So not only did we need to move but also had to make renovations to our old house so we could get it listed.  I thought this whole process would take 6-8 weeks, tops!  Boy, was I ever in for a rude awakening!

I feel I could now easily write the screenplay for “National Lampoon Moving Day”!  I’d love to tell you about all of the crazy things adding up that made it painfully hilarious but it would never begin to fit in a blog post.

Sure, we had everything moved to the new place within 2 days; well…most of it.  So, okay – we had moved “most” everything to the new place within 2 days.  We decided to leave a few furniture pieces behind for staging, once we were ready to list.  For now, it was just in the way; which was one of the biggest reasons we decided to buy then sell, so we weren’t trying to work around furniture.  But hey, at least we weren’t living there anymore!  We also left a lot of tools and contents of the garage since we would need them while working on the house.

So, my point is – the initial move went pretty smooth and rather quickly considering the square footage and family members being moved.  This is the point where I started getting cocky, I started thinking I was a genius at this whole organizing a move thing (you can start to see the whole National Lampoon theme starting).

Next came unpacking, that lovely task of trying to figure out where everything goes in the new place.  Unfortunately, we ended up just putting stuff away wherever it would fit (evidence of that is our pantry – it is still chaos right now).

There was no time for decorating or even basic organizing.  We skipped over this in order to quickly switch gears and focus our attention to renovating the old house, so we could get it on the market ASAP.  However, just like packing and moving, I underestimated how time-consuming, tedious and hair-pulling frustrating this would be.

First item on the list, the entire interior of the house was to be painted.  Our realtor’s colleague recommended a man who had just started his own painting business, so of course I ended up hired him (I’m still pretty cocky obviously.)  Well, he ended up being a nightmare of a contractor, an excuse for a human being really.  Needless to say, my confidence began to waiver at times after that – when I could intermittently see through the fury storm brewing in my gut.

This contractor experience is one of the aforementioned “crazy things” that drove me to the brink of insanity (I understand Clark so much better now).  I still can’t talk about it or even write about it in detail without wanting to throat punch someone (namely the contractor) so for now, you’ll have to imagine how bad it was.

Please for the love of renovations everywhere! – If you’re going to hire a contractor to come into your home, even if it’s just painting, do your research.  Learn from my mistake arrogance – please – and devour the information in these links.

*after you’re done reading this…DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT CLICK AWAY YET…you’re half way there*

HIRING A CONTRACTOR

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE HIRING A CONTRACTOR

BUYER BEWARE OF UNLICENSED HANDMAN: CODENAME “UNCLE BOB”

After the house interior was completely re-painted (if you can call what he did painting), we moved to the floors.  The house is a 4-bedroom, 2,200 sq. ft. home and we replaced all the flooring except the 3 bedrooms upstairs.  There were no issues with the new flooring being installed, thank goodness.  I don’t know if anyone would have been able to pull me back from the crazy cliff edge had there been issues.  That marked the end of the contractors.  The rest of the remodel was up to us, which was just terrifying to me at this point!  Terrifying not only because I was not as confident as I was in the beginning, but also because somehow it seemed the house had grown in size since we had moved out.  It’s amazing how that happens.

We ended up installing new upper cabinets in the kitchen because apparently not everyone appreciates floating shelves.  This is quite ironic because a few years earlier, we ripped out the upper cabinets to install the floating shelves we were now taking down.  Someone shoot me now!

We also tackled the task of “resurfacing” the countertops.  Before we started the remodel, I was just as confident in my countertop resurfacing abilities as Donald Trump is in his ability to build his wall.  That was before all the chaos, now I was beginning to doubt if I could determine the difference between a nail and a screw!  I wonder how President Trump is feeling now?  Nonetheless, we pushed ahead and it turned out pretty good.  It was definitely an improvement and I was happy with that, improvement.  I previously had envisioned a “miraculous transformation” but really, it’s a kitchen countertop, there’s isn’t anything miraculous about it.

Next, we had to tackle all the “minor things” that needed to be done  – new light fixtures, door knobs, vent covers, outlet covers and switch plate covers, etc.  It doesn’t sound like a lot until you have screwdriver in hand trying to unscrew and then screw back in 84 little screws just to replace switch plate covers.  Not to mention, beforehand, walking through the house trying to figure out what type and how many of each type you need – it was a pain and required multiple trips to Menards!

I hate to bring him up again, but remember the horrible painting contractor?  We also had to do a lot of painting to fix what he had started.  I mean this man was recommended by our realtor’s colleague, so I thought he was “safe”…lesson learned, only hire licensed, reputable contractors.  Will you pay more to hire a licensed professional?  Yes, most definitely but it will be worth it.  It will cost you so more in the end if you hire the bargain handy-man and with that, I hop down off my soap box.

At this point, can’t you just imagine the sequel…”National Lampoon Home Remodel”?  To avoid the same mistakes I made, just ask yourself, what would Clark do?…and then do the exact opposite.

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Finally, around the beginning of November we finished!  Of course we did, it was time for the holidays!  As I mentioned before, when we moved we simply unpacked and didn’t take the time to make the house “ours” yet.  So, I took what very little time we had before the holidays to do just that.  I dove head first into decorating the house first Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  It was fun, exciting and exhausting!  Nonetheless, I was truly grateful to have everyone over for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I absolutely love the holidays because it’s the one time of the year that everyone makes the time to get together and it is so much fun and makes me so happy having everyone together.

Our old house went on the market on November 23rd, right before Thanksgiving and within 3 weeks – we had an offer!  The good news is that it is in negotiations.  The bad news is that it is still in negotiations!  I hate to keep bringing up previously mentioned items (welcome to how the last 4 months has been for us) – but remember when I said we were done with contractors…I lied.  The home inspection turned up a few minor things that needed to be done and quite honestly, we probably could have handled most of them but at this point, we were done with home improvements, so we called in a reputable plumber to tackle the entire list for us.

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While we have spent most of the last 4 months remodeling (whining) and making minor repairs (complaining) to our old house, we were extremely lucky to have an accepted offer within the first 3 weeks of listing.  Since then, we have been able to turn our full attention to our current home and start putting our personal touches on it, after putting away the Christmas d├ęcor of course.  Obviously, I have also had a little time to sit and write (exhibit a: this post).

I know I promised you guys some Moving Tips and Tricks for Spoonies and I still intend to share them with you, I just didn’t want this post to turn into a novel – right now it’s just a short story…and hopefully not too boring!

Thanks for all your support guys!  I truly appreciate the emails and comments.

You mean more to me then you’ll ever know!

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