Sunday, May 15, 2011

The System

So I don't believe I've mentioned the system I developed for keeping organized during our move. I think Diane at Tomato Soup Cake would approve.

My niece took pictures to show the receiving end of the system. You see, each box was marked with a color coded, alpha-numeric label. That label was recorded in a spreadsheet which listed the contents of the box. This meant that at any time, I could look at a box and identify the contents by looking in the spreadsheet. I was also able to keep track of which boxes I wanted to open first.

On move in day, I labeled each room so that the folks helping to carry boxes could tell right where to put the boxes based upon the color coding and alpha designation.

It worked quite well. Overall, the system was worth the little bit of extra time it took to label the boxes and record the contents on my laptop. I also put together a kit that I could take from room to room as I packed. Among other things it contained the prepared labels. Additional labels for "fragile" and "climate controlled", scissors, packing tape, duct tape, paint tape, box cutter, and markers.

So here is the bathroom marked for the stacking of boxes for cleaning/laundry/bath.

And the boxes that were carried in and stacked there in an orderly fashion.

And boxes bound for the kitchen

And the sewing and craft room.

Val was pleased that when I asked her to find some cleaners, she was able to look on the inventory sheet and immediately locate the supplies.

It facilitated the unpacking, as well.

A Quick Spruce-Up

Let me start by saying that in this whole dance of getting us and our things here, one of the big considerations was getting the house clean before our belongings arrived. The house had sat empty for over a year at this time and, in addition to being unattractive, it was dirty. Val and Steph were a big help with this. I had thought to come out ahead of Kent and get it cleaned but that left Kent without backup while loading the trucks and getting final things done. Then one morning, I think the Spirit put it in my head, I woke up and thought, "I'll bet there are some hard-working Amish ladies who would be willing to clean for a day!" At that point, I called Val and things were magically cleaned when we arrived. I say magically, I know on this end it involved coordinating the "staff", transportation, hauling 5-gallon buckets of hot water from Val's house since ours didn't have any, a side trip to the hardware so that "Grandpa Schwartz" could fix a plumbing leak, and so forth. For me it was more or less "magical".

But that still left what I affectionately referred to as the butt-ugly interior. Nasty, stained, smelly, dirty indoor/outdoor carpeting in the living room, dining room, stairs, and upstairs bedrooms. While vacuuming did remove some loose debris from the surface, it was still painful to behold. The living room, in addition to the stained, dark red I/O carpet, had walls painted what I can only call "swimming pool" blue. It was not a color meant to appear on any interior wall of any home. And it had been painted over paneling and fake brick. Oy!

The dining room, with it's stained, lime green I/O carpet was no better for the lack of paint due to the super dark paneling that created a black hole effect. The dining room itself was dark and, I think, it may also have been sucking the light from the adjoining rooms. At least it seemed that way to me.

SO! Steph was game to help me paint. After an early trip to Home Depot to get paint mixed and some basic supplies (as mine were all on a truck somewhere in Iowa), we set to it. Here you can see the lovely blue of the walls and the doorway to the black hole, light-sucking dining room area.

And the completed living room the next morning. It is interesting to note that the fake brick even became tolerable with the "Weathered Sand" paint applied. At least it looked like something that might actually occur in real life.

And the black hole was redeemed and transformed. I'll be able to see what I'm eating here!

Is next - carpet removal. Even though it appears to have 3-4 different colors of paint in various stages of wear, the tongue and groove pine flooring is miles ahead of this excuse for carpeting that covers it.

Not that it was all gloomy. Here you can see spring, though cold and damp, gearing up outside my kitchen door.

Next, we'll tackle these enormous, dark, impractical cabinets that soak up not only light but space in the kitchen. I have plans for them in the laundry/entryway. The larger of these two bad boys measures 84 inches tall, 66 inches wide, and 28 inches deep. Will they even fit through the door or were they built in place!?

Friday, May 13, 2011

We've Been Busy

I'll give you a couple of clues as to what we've been doing.

It involves large trucks filled with boxes

And cars with furry travelers.

This is Socks, Blogging Assistant and Traveling Companion. For the first five hours of our 24 hour cross-country drive, he acted like a cat possessed. I thought he'd developed multiple personalities as the sounds coming from the carrier began to sound like the cacaphony of at least 7 different cats. And the carrier itself was bumped around and then he'd grab at the wire door and bang it while shrieking. It had really gotten old by the five hour mark. So while we gassed up, I decided to see what he'd do OUT of the kennel. It turns out that he isn't a bad traveler - he just hates the kennel. As you can see, I tied his leash to the handle over the passenger door (to prevent him from trying to ride in my lap) and put a blanket on the top of the kennel. He passed the next 2 1/2 days of driving happily watching the world go by.

That trip began two weeks ago today and culminated in our arrival at our new home on the late afternoon of May 1.

I'll be posting more soon - so stay tuned!