The Storm Before the Calm

I’ve forgotten how hard moving is. Not just the organizing and packing but the time spent in small details; the time spent on the phone and mad-dash trips to the store for tape and bubble wrap.

My husband and I have lived in our current house for just over ten years. We had moved to Harrisonburg as an escape from Washington DC, where our work commutes into northern Virginia were beginning to feel impossible. Not wanting to prolong the move by taking the time to buy a house, we rented. And on moving day we quickly threw our possessions into the back of a U-Haul and hightailed it out of the city.

To-do list
tuesday to-do list by Stacy Spensley. CC license.

We only lived in that apartment for about six months before we found a house we wanted to buy. Maybe it’s been the passing of time, or perhaps the excitement of buying our first home, but I swear that move went more smoothly than any we’ve done before. Much like the phenomenon of women giving birth forgetting the specifics of their pain, I only remember a frenzied air on the actual moving day. Everything else seems to have been repressed. So when we decided to move this time I didn’t have the sense to get geared up for the stress waiting on the horizon.

Packing the majority of the house wasn’t too bad, it just required some organization. What really marked the beginning of the stressful transition was the first set of phone calls to the new utility companies. The energy company said they would need an inspection from the county before it could be put in my name. Then the satellite company needed to be sure the satellite could point in the right direction. The company I called to put in a water filter has to go test the water before they can even make a recommendation of what to use, much less actually installing it. None of these things could be settled immediately, all adding to my rising stress level. Luckily there were a few things that were easy to set up, keeping me from the edge; the U-Haul reservation was made online, as was mail forwarding through the Post Office.

Sold sign in front of a house
House Sold by CC license.

Now I’m getting ready to have a yard sale—we have a plethora of things we don’t want to take with us to the new house. And it’s all currently sitting in the middle of our dining room, in the way of pretty much everything. And once we’ve gotten rid of all that mess I can start packing the last of the things we want to take. And call the county inspector again to see if they’ve done the check for the energy company on the new house. I’ll also need to call the water filtration company again to find out when they can put the system in place. I need to start looking for a new dentist, pharmacy and vet. I just ran out of tape and boxes, so that’s another trip to the store.

So between phone calls and shopping trips and panic attacks I’ll continue to repeat to myself “It will all be worth it.” And when I’m in our new house I’ll be sure to have forgotten all of this. In the meantime I may just hire a personal assistant.


Picture of author Emily LittlewoodEmily Littlewood lives with her dog, Animal, and husband Jason in Harrisonburg, Va. After getting a degree to teach English, Speech and Theatre, she began working in banks. She is currently working back toward her passion, copy editing for Streetlight.

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