I know you're probably expecting me to discuss my new place and how I'm settling in, but that's actually a post for a different day. Today I would like to talk about clearing out of my old place. Arrival at the new requires leaving the old.
I lived there for ten years. I've never lived anywhere else for ten years in my entire life. So leaving this apartment meant leaving the place I have lived for the longest. As you might imagine, especially for someone as sentimental as I am, that was emotional.
First, of course, is the part where you put everything in boxes. That right there is already physically and emotionally difficult. But then also just seeing your life pile up around you in cardboard and knowing you're about to pick it up and plop it down somewhere else in a different configuration, where it will never be the same again . . . while it can be kind of cleansing, it's also very final.
I've never been a huge fan of final.
I started packing relatively early because I do not like to rush, do not like to be surprised, and like to handle stressful situations by overcompensating with meticulous control of the process. For this, for me, that meant labeling the boxes clearly as to their contents (on three sides!), labeling them with which room I wanted the movers to put them down in (on a bright yellow sticker!), and marking them with a number so I would know how many to tell the movers I had.
It worked out well, but I did have to put in a lot of long hours toward the end just because I had so many setbacks along the way--spending one weekend with my mom in the hospital, getting an entire weekend and then some stolen by the hurricane, etc. But even though I was offered help, I wanted to do it my way, and I did. It just meant I was literally still putting things in boxes the night before I moved. But I did have enough time to get a good night's sleep.
Saturday was interrupted by going to the new house with my mom--we brought some stuff I hadn't wanted to pack, and she also helped me finalize where the big, less movable items were going to go. I packed all day Saturday except for that interlude, and did a thorough job packing my kitchen and one of my closets. I began posting photos to social media to get some motivation from people cheering me on.
But when Sunday came--the day before the move--I still had five closets, under the bed, and my bathroom to pack.
I got up early on Sunday and cleaned out the outdoor storage unit before breakfast. That meant breaking down the cinderblock shelves that were out there and sweeping everything out. It looked weird and empty.
And then I went to breakfast with my friends, haha. Jeaux took me out to Cafe Hey and we had the Not Just for Omnivores Breakfast, and then Eric took me back to my place and helped me pack my fragile framed art and computer stuff in his car and took me over to my place. That was nice of him. (I bought both of them breakfast for their trouble.)
When I got back I went into hardcore packing mode. First came the bathroom.
And I cleaned out under my bed.
And then my huuuuuge back bedroom closet, which I then started putting stuff in again to hold it for after the move. (Mostly clothes and large or fragile items I didn't want to pack; Mommy was going to help me move them by car later.)
And I cleaned out another closet too.
Guess that was as ready as I'd ever be.
The morning of the move came and I had a bunch of stuff figured out. A bag for my bedding. Food packed up. All-important coffee machine used for morning coffee and then packed. Snacks and drinks set out for the movers. Supergirl!
My movers arrived in the morning and they were fantastic. I had two guys helping me and they went above and beyond, really--one even unhooked my washer and dryer for me even though I was told they wouldn't be responsible for that, and he hooked it up at the new place too. My mom came over shortly after they arrived to help me get over to the new place and take a carload of stuff.
It all went more smoothly than I could have expected, honestly. At the house, they unloaded my stuff quickly, I paid them and tipped them, and then I did a few things with Mom--putting together a coffee table, locating a couple missing boxes that had ended up in the garage despite labels, putting away a few things and organizing a few things, and assembling a couple new chairs.
|Look! New chair!|
That's kinda where things get a little sad.
I knew this was the last day I'd set foot in the place. I cleaned the kitchen first. It does not look like anyone lived here for ten years.
|(I took the food when I left.)|
I had to take a break to attend a training webinar for work, weirdly. And then I cleaned up the dining area. After ten years, obviously they will have to paint, but I still put the spackle stuff in the holes from pulling out nails and screws.
And then, even though they will obviously have to replace the carpets, I did the whole shebang--vacuumed and stuff in the living room.
Then came a difficult part: the utility closet that used to hold my laundry machines. There was a LOT of lint buildup. I got in there with the vacuum and sucked it up.
The hallways were reasonably easy, but there were a bunch of holes in the wall to fill.
My bedroom was next. That took a long time because I shoved bags and plastic packing material in the closet there in case I needed it, and I didn't need it, so I had to make a bunch of trips to the dumpster before that room was done.
Next to last on the agenda was the bathroom. I spent a little too much time peeling the sticky ducks off the bottom of the tub. Other than that, it was a relatively quick experience.
And finally, the room where I spent the majority of my time while living here: the office.
It was all done. I went and turned in my keys.
Time for a few last selfies.
By the last one I was sad. :(
My mom came to pick me up to take the last junk and my cleaning supplies over to the new place. I locked the door and never came back.
Fun fact: The shirt I'm wearing is the same shirt I wore to clean my last apartment ten years ago. (It says "I should be in the kitchen!" Sometimes I wear it as a joke when I must engage in domestic toil.)
|Flashback photo! 2007!|
Said neighbors stomped the entire time the night before and the entirety of the time I was there cleaning, and after I'd swept the porch, the kid from upstairs threw a bunch of Minions sticker wrappers off his balcony so they scattered all over my porch and in my bushes. Awesome. When I left, the kid was in our shared hallway, shirtless and dripping from the pool, throwing a ball very hard around the stairwell and not caring what he bonked it into. His inconsiderate guardians are training him well to become an inconsiderate adult, I'm sure. (Kids will be kids, of course, but considering how those folks move furniture and stomp all the time, and considering it goes on until 1:30 AM EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. . . . I don't think this is a case of just a kid being a normal boisterous kid.)
Anyway, THAT I will not miss, but I gave some very good years of my life to that apartment. I played tennis. I wrote books. I got a book published. I drew tons of webcomic pages and learned to play ukulele and had a bunch of parties. I decorated it and furnished it so nicely, and it was home.
I'm on to a new home, but I will miss it.