Preparing to Move

Empty shelves in VirginiaI started packing as soon as we returned from our land purchase in New Mexico in July 2007, even though we didn't move for another 18 months. If you do a little bit each day, the job doesn't seem so big. Pretty soon I had torn up all the careful staging I set up to sell the house. No more pretense during a showing!

Ted began to notice that stuff was disappearing; indeed, the shelves turned bare, but they were easy to dust.

Boxes in the back roomEventually, we had a big heap of boxes in the back room. Ted grumbled because I packed away his reference books. I set up an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of each carefully numbered and labeled box, but I wasn't specific about book titles. Ted grumbled some more.

I discovered how easy it is without all that stuff and started to wonder why I needed to take it with us.

I called a couple of movers or two for estimates, which came in at about what I expected. The one I chose said "just tell us when, but the estimate is good only till about mid-May, when the rate goes up." So the question for Ted and me became "When do we leave?"

Work on our house lagged during the winter. It was apparent the house wouldn't be ready by early spring, but might be finished by June. I absolutely did not want to spend another summer in the mid-Atlantic climate. In fact, I wanted to be out of Virginia 40 years ago. I was patient, don't you think?

Neighbors to the north of us in New Mexico finished their house last spring, but spend their summers in Minnesota. They invited us to live in their place while ours was being finished. So we had a place to live, whether or not our house was finished. It also seemed like a good idea for us to be around when the builder was installing cabinets and fixtures and flooring...