Home Sweet Apartment: Making the Move
Dan and Bonnie Carlson had just committed to a new life at Overture Ridgmar and were thrilled with their choice. But in between signing on the dotted line and becoming part of an exciting and stimulating community, lay the daunting task of moving. The idea of packing up an entire lifetime of accumulated stuff and figuring out what to keep and what to leave behind, was both overwhelming and exhausting. In part 3 of Dan’s four-part series on “rightsizing,” Dan shares their strategy for success.
As soon as we settled on Overture Ridgmar for our new home, we listed our house with a realtor and crossed our fingers in hopes that things would move quickly. And they did. Our place sold in less than one day!
We celebrated our good fortune, of course, but as euphoria faded to reality, the enormity of the task that lay before us came into focus. We knew that time would be an issue, for the buyers had asked to close in thirty days and we had agreed. The clock was ticking, and there was no time to waste!
When we began to identify the veritable mountain of chores that had to be accomplished in such a short period of time, we were reminded of a popular aphorism:
Question: How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.
Our solution to avoid being overwhelmed by events was a simple one. We compiled a list of things that needed doing, and then went about accomplishing them in a gradual and methodical fashion. We would check off items as they were completed, and add new things as they came to our attention. Sticking to this comprehensive but flexible list (updated regularly) gave us a feeling of confidence, for we could see that we were actually getting things done.
And much like eating an elephant, we knew everything could not be completed on the first day or even in the first week. This project would take time, and it would be important to stay rested and focused. To that end, Bonnie and I made a commitment to continue one of our hallowed traditions, afternoon naps. And while it may seem counterintuitive to carve out time for naps, or other diversions, in the midst of all that needed to be done, the value of setting aside time for rest cannot be overstated.
Over the fifty years of our marriage, Bonnie and I had accumulated a lot of “stuff,” and much of it had outlived its usefulness. In preparing for the move, we separated items into four categories: Take With, Give Away, Donate and Discard. Our children helped by identifying and accepting items they were fond of, and several local charities were appreciative of the things we gave them.
We took this process seriously, and were uplifted by the cathartic effect of being freed from having to store and haul around an enormous load of unnecessary baggage.
Although we had not yet selected a mover, I was certain about one thing: I was not going to be doing it myself! Any thoughts I might have had about a career as a mover ended years ago when a friend asked me to help move a piano to an upstairs room in his home. With only a few minor abrasions, some damaged wallboard and a broken railing, we finally succeeded, but I learned a valuable lesson that day: it is worth paying professional movers who know what they are doing.
Now that the move was behind them, Dan and Bonnie eagerly faced the next adventure: Becoming an active and integral part of their new community. In the final chapter of his “rightsizing” series, Dan celebrates completing this life affirming transition.