the walking writer

When you haven’t blogged in months, it’s hard to get started again. My primary reason for my disappearance was due to buying a house and moving. While the idea of living in a new place is fun and exciting, the actual process is not. We live in a hot market, and the urgency of seeing places as soon as they’re listed and holding out hope that your offer will be accepted is more than slightly stressful. Now that it’s all said and done, there are a few lessons I’ve learned for the next move. I’m hoping that next move won’t be for a few years, however.

Don’t Save Your Cleaning for the Last Day

We were living in an apartment before we bought a house, and we had been there for almost a decade. While we had done a decent job of keeping the place clean, there was still quite a bit to do in the end. Unwisely, I saved most of it for the last day of our lease. By the end of the day, my back was severely complaining.

Hire Help Wherever Possible

There are some parts of moving that are difficult to do on your own. For example, we had some old furniture that we had no interest in taking with us. Due to the logistics of the apartment and our car, it wasn’t feasible to take them to be donated to a thrift store on our own. Instead, we ended up hiring a junk removal company to take care of the items. It was the best money we spent during the whole process. If you have the money, hiring other help, like cleaning or actual movers, is definitely a good way to go.

Get Rid of Stuff Before the Move

While you might end up getting rid of some stuff as you pack, you may find yourself not having the time to do more than just shove things into boxes. My regret is that I didn’t start working earlier to declutter and thus have far less things to pack. As we unpack, we’re getting rid of things, but it would have been easier to have done it weeks ago.

It’s fantastic to be on this side of the move, at last. Hopefully now I can catch up on my various online projects!

Lately, my husband and I have been a cleaning kick.  When we merged households after our wedding, we didn’t spend much time actually paring down his possessions.  We always meant to do it later, but, well, we got lazy.  Our problem is never with dirt and grime, it’s just clutter.

So far, the process has gone well and we’ve made noticeable improvements to our dwelling.  In addition, we found an old and still good gift card from our wedding and some cash.  Sure, it’s not much, but finding some extra money was a fun and unexpected discovery.

So, I’m sure there’s plenty of tips to help people clean their own homes, but here are a few of mine:

  • Don’t underestimate the value of lots of storage containers.  Since it’s January and the time of New Year’s resolutions, there are plenty of storage containers at various retailers.  If you look around, you can even find some really great deals.  Storage containers can help you add storage space to previously unused spaces, such as under your bed.  Shelves simply look better with a stack of containers, instead of a mismatched collection of boxes.
  • During each session, always work on at least one a visible area that needs cleaning.  You may want to tackle your closets or your drawers, but cleaning a visible space, such as your desk or countertop, will help you feel like you really accomplished something.  I love walking by some of our now-clean areas and admiring our progress.
  • Start small.  If spending an hour or two cleaning seems daunting, just start with small sessions of 10 or 20 minutes.  I find that I always get into a groove once I start, but cleaning in small chunks may work better for you.

Good luck!