Yesterday we did it. We completed the first item on our pre-Christmas list and cleaned out the garage… for the most part. Though I had dreams of it being completely done and organized in a day, we quickly realized those expectations were extremely high. Once again, the before picture…
The process was completely overwhelming and we often felt like we were getting nowhere. Those small boxes on the bottom left of the picture? Full of random papers/clothes/unorganized things that were packed in the last minute. So we’d get through a small box, only to look up and see a mountain of things that remained. One of those crates contained nearly Mike’s entire sock collection. Quite funny.
I didn’t go into detail about how our garage got to look like this. When we moved out of our condo, we were completely organized and the process was seamless. Boxes packed in an organized manner, labeled nicely and put into storage while we all moved in with Mike’s parents for 10 months. The majority of this mess isn’t from our condo move, it is from the move from my in-laws’ to our house.
Six weeks before we decided to sell our condo, our worst nightmare came true and Macky began having seizures like his brother that we lost less than a year before. We believe stress triggers them for him and long story short, Sunny once had a seizure while in a cat carrier with Macky and he is know terrified of carriers. So when we moved Macky from our condo to my in-laws’, he had a seizure while en route.
So for 10 months, we dreaded moving to our house because we were terrified of losing Macky the way we lost Sunny. We had a very detailed plan, which was to not put him in a carrier and instead put him in the back of my mother-in-law’s SUV with me. It was only a 5 mile drive and we could move him from their garage to ours, without him ever going outside. (Note: I do not recommend this under normal circumstances. A cat carrier is equivalent to putting your kid in a car seat, so please don’t try this at home) So we set a date about 2 weeks after closing because we didn’t want to move him anywhere near the anniversary of Sunny’s illness, which happened to be the anniversary of Macky’s first seizure AND which happened to be their 4th birthday. April 27th is a bad luck day for us and sometimes I am a crazy worrier, but when I told Mike that if our closing date fell near the 27th, we needed to wait to move. He agreed. Two years of bad birthdays for Macky was enough.
So we planned, closed on March 30th, emptied our storage unit into our garage and began unpacking. We would unpack after work, then go back to Mike’s parents’ and sleep there with the kittens. Then we got a phone call that the week we planned to move the cats, our driveway would be paved and we wouldn’t be able to drive on it for 7 days. Cue the panic attack. So we ended up moving the cats on during bad luck week.
Because of our garage to garage moving plan for Macky, we had to be able to park a car in there. So we quickly pushed things over to one side, moved some things to the basement and managed to get him in the house. We decided not to bring any boxes in the house for a few weeks, so he was as comfortable as possible here. Also so he didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t move any of our things out of our bedroom at Mike’s parents’ before we moved Macky. Elaborate scheme, I know, but he means the world to us.
Turns out he moved perfectly fine, though I was crammed in the back of a CR-V with him and had bruises all over my legs from his pacing back and forth, but he didn’t have a seizure! In fact, within a few hours he was roaming the house like he’d lived here all along. Finally, FINALLY, we could be excited that we closed on our house and our whole little family made it here with us.
We would run to my in-laws’ after work and quickly throw some of our belongings in a random bag/box. I believe I emptied our bathroom there into a grocery bag in about 5 minutes. I found a shoe box of things that were in my nightstand, which was not only my nightstand while we lived there, but my desk, medicine cabinet and wedding planning station (Yes, we also got married in the midst of this). Most of this stuff ended up in the garage.
Spring came and went, the hottest summer ever made our garage 100 degrees most days. Plus it was just so disorganized from our hasty box consolidation that two bikes and a dresser blocked all of our smaller boxes. Not something we were looking forward to tackling. AT ALL.
Yesterday we managed to at least organize the space, find where things were and get Mike some damn socks to wear…
It isn’t completed, but it’s a huge step. Most of the stuff left in this picture is old office furniture we plan on selling/donating. The bikes are going to get hung on the wall. At one point, Mike pointed out that we were just moving the stuff to other rooms, which was true. But it wasn’t trash… so the boxes labeled “office” were put in the office to be sorted and we got rid of very little. Our small piles of trash/recycables…
Though at the time we didn’t appreciate what we did, we now know that if we need to, we could fit our two cars in the garage and with some shelves/organization system, we’ll be done.
It’s a start, which is usually the hardest part…. and it feels pretty good to close the “living out of boxes” chapter of our lives.
ps- it’s ironic that the longest day ever resulted in the longest post ever… sorry about that guys 🙂