Moving in Mid-retirement, Part II: The Challenging Decisions

When we returned home from our two-month dress rehearsal in early March we needed to accomplish a great deal. during the two months we had purchased a house that was to be our new home and expected it to be ready in mid-June. With about ten weeks to sell our house, pack up and move we were always busy… and exhausted. We built in about three or four weeks as a buffer after the move in case our house was not move-in ready.

Before we arrived home we were in touch with John, a terrific real estate professional, about selling our house — where we had lived for 38 year — and by the time we got home he had visited the house with a stager and had a list of items for us to accomplish.

For those of you who, like me, have not staged a home, it is a challenge — more than a challenge, actually. It is really difficult to accomplish, especially if you live in the house while staging is occurring. First off, you are told what to pack up and remove. Then you need people to come in and paint, fill holes, and adjust all sorts of thing in your house. Our stager provided us with a helpful PowerPoint file for each room, illustrating what we needed to do. Next the person who is staging moves in a few things. The process is hard, but it is a step that contributes mightily to selling the house.

We immediately realized that we would be packing, spiffing up the house, and having an open house all at the same time. So we brought in one of those storage containers for our driveway, a container which we then had to remove when the house was actually open and on the market and then bring back when it was time for us to finish packing. Everything that we deemed unnecessary for the next few months went into boxes and into temporary storage while our house was on the market.

What to do with all the stuff? We knew that this was the first downsizing of several we would likely be doing in the coming years. All-in-all, we took 14 full car loads of pretty nice stuff to thrift shops. Our rule of thumb was to think about when we last used it and give away the things that had not been used in the past year or so. Among the items we gave away were clothes, dishes, small appliances, furniture, and books. We also parted with many items given to us by family members which were nice, but not especially meaningful to us.

The biggest challenges were the basement and the garage. Those spaces had accumulated so much stuff — items that we thought we might use some day. Well some day never came, and we either tossed or gave away most of what occupied those spaces. The rest went in one huge load to 1-800-junk — not the cheapest pick-up but worth it because we could schedule a specific time and be assured that the truck would show up.

Thus during the first four weeks after returning home, we packed things, threw and gave away items, and supervised painting and carpentry work on our house. At the end of those four weeks, our house sold, and we spent the next six weeks focused on getting ourselves ready for the movers… and moving day.

We did it all in ten weeks. But we had an excellent realtor and an especially wonderful neighbor, and the time was perfect for selling a house. I do not recommend doing it over such a short time. But we managed.

One thought on “Moving in Mid-retirement, Part II: The Challenging Decisions

  1. Pingback: ≫ Mudarse a mitad de la jubilación, Parte II: Las decisiones desafiantes

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