Oh. My. Goodness! How do four people accumulate so much stuff? I’ve given myself a month to get moved into our new home. I don’t think it’s going to be long enough. Seriously. Really. So much stuff.
Now that the boys are gone, I can get busy. Since I’d resigned from one job and was waiting to start the next one, I’d have two weeks to get as much done during the days as possible. Then I’d have two weeks of afternoons to work since I’d be working each morning. One little woman vs. one small house. How could this be a problem?
Excuse me while I go laugh myself silly.
When we’d moved out of the house we’d shared with Bubba, we lost half of our square footage. We’d down-sized significantly. I’d given Bubba all of his possessions but we still had had a ton of stuff that needed weeded out. I’d had yard sales. I’d donated loads of stuff. I’d gotten it to a manageable volume to fit into our new, smaller house. But during the two years we lived there, the kids and I acquired more stuff thanks to Goodwill and friends.
Once again I found myself needing to weed out what we no longer needed. And now I had the added bonus of trying to organize Treun’s house so that we didn’t have duplicates of everything taking up space. I had one month to get out of one house and blend our stuff together into another. This was complicated by the fact that when Treun went through his divorce, his ex-wife left their garage full and he just didn’t ever go into the garage. It was full of stuff that he hadn’t looked at in four years.
I ended up taking car load after car load of household goods to the domestic violence agency that had helped me so much when I left Bubba. We took down two crock pots (because for some reason, Treun had two), two sets of Corelle dinner ware (because I hate Corelle and he had beautiful Polish pottery stored in his garage from when he and his ex-wife had tried a trial separation), tons of linens, toys, clothes, and many other items. When I realized that I had furniture that I needed to give away, I asked the director if there was a woman who was starting out on her own who could use it. She got me in touch with a woman who took all of the furniture we had because she left with nothing but her and her child. I also gave her many of the small kitchen items we had duplicated.
Cleaning out my bedroom was tough for me. It was the first place I’d had that was truly mine. I’d painted it the way I wanted, decorated the way I wanted, and used it the way I wanted. I’d found so much healing in that space that it was hard to say good-bye to it. Treun and I bought a new bed. His queen wasn’t big enough and my king had too many bad memories in it. A friend of Treun’s was looking for a bed for his guest bedroom so he took my bed. It felt good to say good-bye to that. There were days that I’d work in my bedroom and sit in there and sob because of the reminders of the past. I found a card from Celia and cried for an hour. It was emotionally exhausting to clean out the past.
The kitchen was the easiest room to clean. I can be very practical when I want to be. I kept what items I used and got rid of things that I hadn’t touched since I moved in. As my kitchen was small, it went pretty quickly. I’d turned one corner of the kitchen into the donation area. It worked really well. When it got too crowded, I’d load it in the car and take it to the donation center.
I was finally able to get into the boys room and clean that. I gave myself a couple of days to do that and it ended up taking the majority of a week to get their room done. Since Shane wasn’t there to complain about every broken toy being thrown away I was free to dispose of anything that wasn’t whole and complete. Shane just had so many toys and books that it took more time that I thought. I had to go through all of the boys clothes and decide what of Liam’s could be handed down to Shane, what Shane had outgrown that I could pass along to a friend’s son, what Shane didn’t wear because it felt weird, and what things I needed to keep.
After an entire month I was finally done moving and cleaning the old house. The last thing I had to do was find someone to give my washing machine. I advertised the washer online and a young couple with a baby responded to the add. We met them at my house later that day. When they showed up, Treun helped the man get the washer into his truck. As they were talking they mentioned that they needed a dryer too. I’d given my dryer to Arcadia since mine was newer than hers. Treun had a brand new dryer at his house that he’d bought for Noble but we couldn’t get it in the door of Noble’s apartment. Since Treun’s dryer is only two years old, we’d just had the new one sitting in the garage. Treun told him that we had an extra dryer and he was welcome to it. We gave him the address and he said he’d be over as soon as he took the washer home (his truck was only large enough to move one at a time). Treun and I went over to his house and switched the dryers out and gave this young couple the two year old dryer. It was just another reminder that I’d married a good man. We hadn’t planned to get rid of the dryer because if Noble moved, he’d be able to use the dryer in a different house. But Treun saw a need and filled it for this young couple who was just starting out.
I turned in my keys to the landlord and drove away from that house and that life. I was no longer a struggling single mom. It was time to go on my honeymoon and start enjoying my life with a wonderful man.
It’s too bad our peace didn’t last very long.