I had hoped to write sooner, but we’ve had a lot come up recently. Long and short is we’ve moved house at the end of June. And things haven’t slowed down since. (Appointments, a bit of travel, termites in the new house and lots of baby prep….)
I’m still very tired and struggling with energy. That’s partly because I was anemic for a while and have low-blood pressure. Even with fatigue, the pregnancy is going well. We’re now 40 weeks tomorrow. And we now know that we’re expecting a — Baby Girl. We’re both excited and looking forward to meeting her- at any moment.
Why the move? What pushed us over the edge was an excessive rent increase. It was discouraging and very tiring to be “forced” to pack up and move and clean to meet the real estate’s cleanliness standards, but we know that Lord had reasons for us to be in a different place. Our new rental home is much cheaper rent, closer to my in-laws, and closer to the hospital and a shorter commute for my husband. So those were great reasons to move. The draw back was having to move at all. We’re hoping to move closer to church early next year, so we may be looking at another move in in six months time.
I thought I’d share a few things that helped us with our move. We had an inkling that the rent issue wouldn’t clear up so we had a bit of a head start (I started packing non-essentials long before we decided to move). Even so, we had three weeks from the time we put in our notice to the day we moved and we had to have a lot happen in those days.
Moving while pregnant Tips:
Start Packing early. Because we sensed that we might have to move, I began packing up boxes early May (we put in our notice in early June). I packed the decorative stuff and the seasonal stuff and the kitchen things we don’t use very often. Steven made a spot in the garage and I packed up a little at a time for weeks before we knew for sure that we were moving.
Purge a lot. I purged as I packed. A few people I’d read about online were doing a 100 items purge and I spent days going through stuff and tallying up what I was throwing out or sending to thrift stores. My tally went up over 400 items and I’ve done more purging since we’ve moved into our new place.
Label everything. I listed items as I packed them into boxes and labelled each box with the room it was to go to. I have a big roll of sticker labels and I just used the labels to mark all sides of each box the room it belonged in, and had one detailed label listing the items inside.
Anything labelled Kitchen was kitchen related and I listed the items as I packed them so one box had pots and lids and frying pans. Food/pantry items were labelled pantry. Things from our bedroom or bathroom were labelled bathroom or bedroom. That way movers would be able to stack the boxes in groups, and I could find stuff quite easily once we got in the new house. We got free boxes from the hardware store, a bookstore and some friends. I used large rubbish/garbage bags to pack up pillows and bedding. I labelled the bags with stickers so they were obviously not rubbish.
Get help. I did a big google/youtube search for packing tips and several sources said for moving to enlist help. and especially for when moving while pregnant. My in-laws helped with moving some of the big items to their home since the day we needed to move they wouldn’t be available to help. They also helped with several cleaning tasks to help us prepare for the final walk through with the real estate. A few of my friends offered to help so I had some help packing up the last bits and they were a huge help on the day of the move to do the final wipe downs of window ledges and walls and the bathroom. That last week in our old home I was beyond exhausted and aching and not feeling well, so it was such a blessing to have these ladies encourage us with their help.
We had one option that few have and that was to move a bunch of stuff to my in-laws home for a few weeks, so we did that, and had very little left at home the last week. That allowed my husband to do almost all the moving by himself on the day of our move. Our friends helped clean and make sure all was ready for the carpet cleaners and “white glove” the house. We slowly brought things from my in-laws the next week, and a few weeks later a young man from church helped Steven move the last of our furniture.
Just as important as getting help, is accepting it.
Rest. I tried, but I didn’t succeed very well, especially the last few weeks. I didn’t sleep well at night and I struggled with being able to stop doing things during the day. So I overdid it and had to rest a lot once we were moved. I didn’t do much that first week in our new home.
Make lists. I reached a point where I couldn’t do very much, probably from overdoing it in the mid-stage of packing. So I made lists and our helpers checked off the items for me. Having written down the tasks allowed them to see what was left, and we didn’t forget anything.
Make freezer meals or have simple foods on hand for when cooking is difficult. I knew I’d need to have a good part of the kitchen packed up and would want to deal with clean-up so I cooked several things that could be frozen and then reheated as needed in that last week. One of the things my father-in-law helped Steven do was move our fridge from our kitchen to the garage under the house. I still had a fridge, but it was no longer as handy as before.
Empty the fridge/freezer. As well as using up our freezer meals that week, I tried to use up everything we had so that we would only have one or two eskies/coolers to shift on the day of the move and not have any food spoiling. It meant that the day after we moved we had to go grocery shopping, but we had slightly less to move.
Get help unpacking. A dear lady from one of my craft groups offered to help me unpack the kitchen. It was so nice. She came on three different days to help me put away dishes and baking items and then the pantry stuff. A young man from church helped move furniture. We enlisted family for parts of it as well.
Feed your helpers. I tried to have snacks and water available for our moving day helpers, but they didn’t eat much of what we had on hand, but we did order pizza and had a lunch break that really helped us all to take a rest.
It was lot of work, but I’m thankful we didn’t hire a cleaning service or moving service. We couldn’t afford either. With my meal prepping ahead of time we didn’t eat out very much so that was also helpful to keep costs down. We did buy a few take out meals, but not nearly as many as we could have.
If people offer, let them help. I struggle with asking for help and it was a blessing to have people offer.
Keep purging. We found the new home has a larger living space, but less space in other ways. We used to have a garage, so Steven’s tools and workbench and other things had to find homes in different places in our house or the tiny shed out back or go up to be stored at his parent’s home. Thanks Mum and Dad! We did find in the shifting and rearranging and trying to make room for incoming baby stuff that our “container” couldn’t hold as much as we wanted. So some things had to go. We worked out the extras, and what we thought had some value we listed on our local craigslist type page, Steven’s work classified site and got cash for some old technology from an entertainment exchange shop. I’m happy that all the big items have gone and there’s only a few things unsold. So we’ve made room for the basic baby stuff, and I’m hoping to keep the house clear of excess for a while. We’re not done purging though. And now with a baby arriving any minute… there’s a lot more accompanying stuff we’ll need to make room for.
About a month after we moved into our new house, termite treatment had to be done so that meant moving furniture away from walls and we stayed somewhere else the nights after the treatments were done, so it has only been since mid-August we’ve been able to set up the baby room/ guest room. I’ve been learning patience and focusing on other things. I’ve been working on my “before baby comes” list.
Last week my mom came from the States for a month-long visit to help with running the house and us learning the ropes of caring for a baby. We’re hoping Baby comes soon so we can sort of get into a routine while she’s still here with us.
With Mom’s help I’ve been able to tackle some of the projects on my “before baby” list. And the burden of keeping up with housework and cooking is off my shoulders for a few weeks and that’s helping me rest a bit more.
Thanks for reading,