Two weeks from today, I will be loading up the truck to move HOME. I am excited, anxious, worried, stressed, elated, and a bunch of other things that I cannot put into words. I am trying to work on everything one day at a time, but I cannot help but get overwhelmed. I do not know what to do with a lot of the stuff that we have. Some of it, I don't even know where it came from, and at least once a day I find myself staring at some random object that looks vaguely familiar but I am not exactly sure what it is or what it goes with.
When we moved here from our house in Georgia, I was pregnant with kid number four and I was miserable. I ended up throwing EVERYTHING into boxes and bins and just carting it halfway across the country thinking that I would deal with it all later. Over the past 4 & 1/2 years, I have weeded out most of the garbage, thrown away the trash and donated the items that we no longer needed, but I am still finding things that I brought with us that I don't know why we still have. I still have all of the kids crib bedding. I think that the plan was originally to save them to give to my kids when they grew up and had kids of their own, but realistically, I know that they are not going to want that crap. I finished breastfeeding my youngest almost 3 years ago but I still have all of the Medela breast milk bottles that I used with the electric pump that I have either already given away or just haven't found yet. I have clothes from just about every age and stage of my kids lives even though I have personally donated enough to Goodwill over the past few years to keep them in business. Apparently, I have Hoarder tendencies.
And it seems to be genetic because my kids are the same way. All of the random crap they want to keep is making me crazy -- the notebook that has 2 sheets of paper in it that haven't been filled with galactic battle plans or "I (heart) Justin Beiber," the cardboard box that is decorated with water color and stickers and has one torn side, the electronic toy that somehow got a bath in the toilet, is missing a battery cover, and doesn't work -- it's all trash and needs to be thrown away, but my kids act as if I am trying to throw out money or something.
I am only renting ONE truck. We have opted to move ourselves (much to the disappointment of "Oz" from Across USA Moving and Storage who has called me LITERALLY 10 times a day to try to change my mind). So a lot of this stuff HAS to go. We cannot pack up garbage because my kids 'love it.' Not to mention that since we don't actually have a house to move into, I have no idea how much room we're gonna have.
My kids seem to think that we are moving to paradise -- we're gonna live in a mansion where everyone has their own rooms, we'll always have plenty of money to do the things they want, and we're going to buy all new stuff. They are wrong. The cost of living difference between there and here is minimal, and the increase in pay is not the reason that we took the job -- we took the job to go home. And yes, things will be better as we will have more of a support system than we have ever had since we moved away, but we will still have to stay on budget and live within our means, and our 'means' are not going to skyrocket.
I have tried very hard to stop looking for a house online because every time I come across one that is an area I would like to live, that is the right size and price, it rents before I can get there to see it. So we are planning to move most of our stuff into storage and start looking when we get there. However, every time I turn on the computer, I inadvertently open a new tab and search for "Rental Houses in Huntsville" and get sucked into an hour or so of perusing the listings and crunching the numbers in our budget. I look through the pictures and try to envision our stuff in the space and then I send an email to the listing agent and get disappointed when I hear back that it is already gone. It's a vicious cycle.
I am not a fan of uncertainty and this move is fraught with uncertainty. I am trying very hard to focus on the task at hand of packing, sorting, and purging our stuff, and trying to remember that God is in charge and it will all be okay somehow. I think that the idea that I might be stuck living with my family for a month or two has me a little freaked out. It probably has them a little freaked out too. I mean, would YOU want me and my four minions in your house for 6-8 weeks?
Now that I have sorted through all of these thoughts and bored you all with the details of my move, I must get back to work on the packing and purging. I must pry the trash away from my kids, throw away the half-eaten Pop Tarts (the count is up to 4, by the way), and call about the lease, the utilities and cable, and the kids school and medical records. So much to do in such a short time. Exciting and stressful, and an adventure that I am thankful to be making....most of the time.