Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

As I blogged about earlier, when we decided it was time to move forward with our retirement plans, including a downsize and a move, the thought was overwhelming. I almost had to turn my 'no stage fright' title into a mantra for my emotional support.

As I mentioned, I used my dog-eared room planner to organize the condo space.  I then turned to my project management skills as I began to look at this transition like any other project I've managed. The compulsive me made a Gantt chart and got to work. The chart showed all the tasks that needed done in preparation for our move, including things like room-by-room decluttering, packing, condo kitchen remodel, winterizing the hot tub, selecting a realtor, listing the house, contacting an auctioneer, contacting a mover, etc. The chart also showed how long each task would take and where it fit in the scheme of the move.

We decided the condo kitchen remodel would best be done before we actually moved into the space, so we went ahead and designed the new space and set the contractors to work.

We turned our weekly trips to Columbus to monitor the remodel progress into opportunities to take carloads of things down with us, thus easing the burden when moving day would finally come.

In the meantime, we continued to find homes for the things that could be rehomed. Once donations had left the building, the basement was turned into two discreet zones: condo and auction. Those items from the condo zone that would easily fit into the car would be taken during one of those regular trips down to Columbus.

We contacted a realtor, mover and auctioneer in early December. We chose to go with the realtor and movers who we had previous experience with as they both had a proven track record with us. We had already decided we would move out with our pets before listing the house. We had enough furniture being left behind that the house would be staged adequately and not appear empty.

This decision to vacate first was made based on previous experience with trying to show a house while having pets... something I would highly discourage anyone from doing if at all possible due to the logistics involved.

Moving day was set for early January. This would give us one last holiday in the 'old' house, with lots of space for all. It was a bittersweet Christmas for our family but we all agreed that being closer to two of our daughters and their growing families was well worth the sacrifice.

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