The First 2 Weeks in the New House

These past couple of weeks have been extraordinarily busy, but also the most productive weeks we've ever had. On Friday we closed on the new house ((insert happy dance!)) and promptly drove up to it with the kids. Because of the distance and our tight budget we only had one day in which I was able to be there for house hunting and in the end house hunting spanned nearly 2 months. So the day of closing was the very first time I would see this house in person! I had seen it via FaceTime when we did the first showing, but of course things are always different in person. All I knew were the specs and that it was on a mountain somewhere in a sort-of-neighborhood.

Fortunately, that was enough information! The house's location is good and the layout is perfect. It's a cute ranch with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on the main floor and then a half-finished basement that already has a large bedroom with walk-in closet 90% finished. The basement is even studded,  insulated, and plumbed for a third bathroom adjacent to the bedroom and laundry room, as well as a workshop and a big family room/playroom/schoolroom with doors that lead out to the backyard.

I'm not going to lie, there was a lot more cleaning to be done in the house than I expected. I'd been raised to assume that everyone cleans a house before they hand over the keys to a new owner. We'd always left our houses as clean as possible. But apparently that's not always the case and there was an inch of dust everywhere and all of the appliances and bathrooms needed a good scrub. We also realized that when the new laminate floors (which are beautiful and very well-done by the way) were installed the previous owners didn't paint over the baseboard when it was replaced. Read: nail holes and builder-grade primer on the baseboards in the entire house.

So, we spent the first week camping out on sleeping bags in the new house and scrubbing every last inch. Well, I scrubbed while the kids explored the yard, my husband worked, and then we spent the evenings tag-teaming painting. We didn't get nearly everything I'd wanted done but we still accomplished quite a lot.

Our first priority in any new home is to get the kids' bedrooms set up first. This serves two purposes:

1) The kids feel settled and at home in the house house more quickly.

2) I have a safe, kid-proofed area to let them play.

I'm not big on child-proofing but even I admit that paint cans and tools lying about don't exactly make for a safe room for a crawling 9 month old, and that rooms full of stacked and unsupervised boxes are far too tempting as climbing-apparatuses for my squirrely 3 and 5 year olds :P

So we painted the three kids' bedrooms ASAP, including the trim and baseboards. It was exhausting but very satisfying too! There's nothing for gratification like the look of fresh, colorful paint on the walls or crisp white trim.

I also, because I'm a little crazy and OCD, insisted on painting the one true eyesore of the house right away: the maroon front door. I just really could not stand the way it made the front of the house look to have an ugly white storm door and a dark maroon door behind it, flanked on both sides by windows with dark maroon shutters.

Before we moved in I settled on a nice robin's egg blue color for the door and dark gray for the shutters. I started in on the door immediately because I knew it was the type of project I would put off for months or years because it was non-essential but that would cost just $15 and a few hours of my time to do!

Between timelines and weather (it rained for days and days!) I still haven't gotten around to painting the shutters but that is on the docket for this weekend, weather permitting.

The frenzy of painting and cleaning all led up to the big weekend, when my husband drove down to our rental and back up with the moving truck. We were blessed with tons of help from family, friends, and strangers alike to load and unload the truck. I think the entire thing was unloaded in less than 8 hours on this end.

There is no better example of the phrase, "many hands make light work," than when one moves! It truly was amazing! Also, I have to sing the praises of teenage boys! We had a couple present at the loading and unloading and it's funny because on the front end two teen brothers took apart the bed frames and bunks while on this end a day later another teen put together the same bed frames and bunks :) Apparently great minds think alike. And because of those hard-working and independent teen boys we all had actual beds to sleep on that night! In fact, I was even able to make the beds with sheets and blankets. It was super fancy for the first night in a new house!

And I think I'll leave it there for now, because this post is already far too long. I'll update with Part 2 tomorrow....