Even with all the advance preparation, the last couple days were a whirlwind. The day before closing, the movers took all our big furniture, while we moved delicate items in our van, up to our rental property for storage. Closing day should have been a simple matter of packing up the rest and cleaning…
This move went surprisingly smoothly: the garage held all the furniture we wanted with room to spare. We spent a couple hours organizing our small outbuilding, unpacking some bins onto shelves. It was tight but we were able to find a place for everything, overflowing a couple ottomans and a bin of bedding back to the garage. We set up a dehumidifier with a constant drain line on a timer to run for a few hours each evening to keep the humidity down.
That final evening we had a sense that things were in hand. We slept on our camping pads on the floor in our master bedroom for the last time. I washed the shower and bathtub before bed to get a head start on the cleaning. On our closing day, all we had to do was pack our clothes, toiletries and what was left in the kitchen and clean the house. Piece of cake, right?
Finishing everything up on closing day turned out to be harder than we expected.
As we packed up our clothes, we both realized that we still needed to put more in the donation pile. Much had to be folded as we had many things hanging in the closet. Thankfully I had already fully purged and sorted out our toiletries so moving that was easy.
The kitchen however was more work than I expected. Even though I had already spent some time purging out excess packaging and moving things to smaller containers, it was still a lot of work to finish it off. Then I realized I hadn’t actually washed my fridge in awhile and it needed a really good scrubbing. Fortunately the oven was already clean and the cooktop didn’t take too long to scrub down.
Somehow we still had a fair bit of kitchen equipment to pack – some would be going to the trailer, some to storage, some to donate. We also had stuff in the basement that was destined for the trailer too. As I packed and cleaned, James piled and loaded the van. At 2pm, James had unfortunate news: he is 90% sure it is not all going to fit in the van. Hmmm.
Fortunately several friends had generously offered to help us out if we needed it. So we called up our good friend Melissa to ask if she could pick up a load of stuff. Our destination was Margot’s sister’s house in Brampton, 50 km away. Miraculously Mel said yes and showed up at our house a half hour later and worked with James to fill up her car.
Around 4:20pm we got good news from the lawyer’s office: the deal had closed! Hooray! I shared the news with James by saying:
“Good news, we are officially trespassing!”
Still racing the clock, we kept working away packing, loading and cleaning. Somehow, we managed to get everything loaded up, with James set to ride the motorcycle over and Margot to drive the van. The van was so full, Sadie had to sit on my lap while Emma’s travel carrier was wedged in on the passenger side. Still, I was pleased that we managed to fully vacuum the whole house, wet mop all the hard floors and fully scrub down all 3 bathrooms. The lawn was mowed and everything was in good working order. Phew! We made it!
We say we bought our first first house by the skin of our teeth, now we can say we left our last house by the skin of our teeth!
At the end, I walked around the house with Sadie and she was shivering when she saw it empty, devoid of all her familiar sights and smells.
Always the photographer, James still remembered to take a few last photos to commemorate the big move. We drove off at 6pm, somehow still ahead of the buyer, meeting up with Mel in Brampton closer to 7pm to enjoy well-deserved Indian take-out for dinner. James on the motorcycle, passed me on the highway and we expected him to arrive at my sister’s well ahead of me. Wouldn’t you know it, he had to fill up and upon exiting the highway the street was blocked by police due to a factory fire … long story short, he eventually gassed up and our first road trip after selling our house we still managed to keep the Tortoise and the Hare analogy going!
We were out but we still had another mountain to climb.