I sold my house a week ago today. I didn't do much but pack, move, rent U-hauls and deal with a thousand other logistics for the week leading up to the sale and for the week since then.
There was some concern settlement wasn't going to happen on time because the appraisal report had not yet come through on Monday morning. I was relieved for the extra time. I thought I had prepared everything really well to get it all done on time. But moves never go as we anticipate or hope.
After renting three separate U-hauls as a result of my ridiculous need to keep clutter, I finally was out of the house with the kayak and last load in the U-haul. It was 11 p.m. Tuesday evening, and I was grateful to the new owner for his willingness to let me have a little extra time to get it all out of the house. A week earlier I took photos of the items I decided I wouldn't need in an RV, weren't worth paying to put into storage, or I wouldn't need on the other side of this journey. Things like a lawnmower, washer, dryer, and 24 foot extension ladder seemed silly to put into storage. I could always replace them should the time come again when I need them, although I have to say I hope I don't ever need a lawnmower again (I surprisingly detested that chore even though I do enjoy having a yard).
I made a nice chunk of change at that sale, with a portion of that being a result of my friend and sorority sister, Mary's, talents for selling items. She even sold a bag of pens out of my old laptop bag for 50 cents! The money I made was just enough to pay for the moving truck/movers, the U-hauls moving everything up to storage in Fort Collins and gas I was putting into my vehicle for all of the running around.
The movers were coming the next day. They were shocked when they walked into the house and saw it was empty. They asked where was everything they were moving. I had purged a lot.
The two efficient and pleasant guys from Two Men and a Truck carefully move furniture from my house to storage. They both mentioned they were jealous of my forthcoming plans to live on the road.
The living room furniture was gone. The dogs and cats had done a number on the leather, including removing a cushion in the sofa, putting holes in the love seat and scratching up the chair. Surprisingly I sold the love seat and chair to a neighbor who needed a quick option for a new apartment, and, thanks again to Mary's sales tactics, it was advertised as pet and kid friendly! Too funny.
I had moved my office furniture a few nights earlier. Probably should not have done that on my own because I threw my back out moving the boxes of file folders. Dang need for saving receipts for the business.
I was down to two beds, one set of dressers, some lamps, my den furniture and TV, a few bookshelves, and the family antiques. I thought for sure I had purged enough to stay within my budget and goal of no more than one 10 x 15 storage unit. The movers were optimistic until the stuff - and that is what I am lovingly referring to the items now packed into a steel box - started to fill up the truck pretty quickly.
I tried very hard to relieve myself of the items holding sentimental value. There was a lot of that in the house. The last time I moved I had just cleaned out Aeric's place two months earlier, and I was in the process of sorting through my Dad's items with my sister and Verna. I had not done a very good job of identifying the items I really wanted to keep from the two important men in my life who passed away within three months of each other. Everything had some memory attached to it, and with the feelings still so fresh when I moved in to this house in February 2013, I just couldn't go through it all without getting upset, emotional, and sentimental.
It was now 2 and 1/2 years later. The feelings are no where near as fresh but the feelings still hover below the surface. But I was able to get through some of it, until I started to run out of time.
So that extra day or two for pushing back settlement was a nice reprieve, until my realtor texted late Monday afternoon saying that although she was shocked it happened, the paperwork did happen. We were going to settlement in less than 15 hours.
"Ruh roh, Scooby!"
I looked around and said, "I can do this."
Well, at three a.m. I was still going at it. My office was not finished - all those dang papers I seem to keep in my office - all those ideas I have - and my garage had now become the dumping ground for all the things I didn't know what to do with. Settlement was now in less than seven hours.
Thankfully I gave in and reserved a second storage unit - a 5 x 10 - two days earlier when it looked like the movers wouldn't be able to stuff it all on the 10 x 15 box. It came in handy to quickly move things out of the house. I'll have to go through that someday, however, and hopefully sooner than later.
There was one last item to take care of before heading to settlement. I had one mattress set that I kept in the house rather than have the movers put in storage. My wonderful huskies had some fun with pulling the stuffing out of the pillow top over the years so there wasn't much point in saving it. But the mattress came in handy for those last couple of nights in the house without furniture.
My trash company wasn't known for picking up anything bulky without an extra fee and weeks of advance notice. A neighbor said her trash company took anything they put out so I could add it to their trash pile, which happened to be that morning.
Have you ever tried to move a queen-sized mattress on your own? It isn't an easy feat. But I discovered a technique to get it down the block to my neighbor's trash pile - roll it down the street! Another neighbor was walking his dog. I heard him chuckling. I asked him if it was really the first time he had ever seen someone flip a mattress down the street. He said it was a first and proceeded to help me carry it.
So, at a little after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, I officially became one of those folks that no longer owned a traditional home. Although my plans were to be in the RV and on the road by September 4, logistics and unexpected changes delayed that start.
My life has been stuffed into a 10 x 15 foot steel box in east-central Fort Collins, Colo. Other than the bike that will travel with me, the filing of papers in the file drawers, and the photo print supplies on the shelf for the occasional art show, I don't anticipate having a need for anything in this storage unit until I am ready to move off wheels and back into a traditional home in some un-set time from now.