We started our search for a new house last
February, signed a contract to buy a gut-rehab in May, sold our old
home in early December and moved into our brand new house (about 6
blocks from our old place) on December 21st. We don't celebrate
Christmas, but my mom and her husband were coming for a week-long
visit on December 25th. And even if I didn't have only four days to
prepare for their visit, I was so tired of packing and storing and
staging and packing that I just wanted everything put away as
quickly as possible.
I wanted our beautiful new house to feel like
So I worked like a madwoman. The box cutter was my
friend as I sliced open boxes, triaged decorative items and art on
the dining room table and folded and hung clothes. (We finally have
closets--yippee!) As fast as I could flatten and bundle all those
cardboard boxes, I was posting them online and sending them out the
door. Every box we used was second hand and nearly all were in good
enough condition to offer up again to locals who wanted
I couldn't sleep the first two nights because I was
so wound up with ideas and projects and mental to-do lists. We made
three trips to IKEA, two to Target and one each to Home Goods and
World Market. I organized my books by color and used up half a box
of picture hooks hanging music posters in carefully art directed
arrangements. I was a whirling dervish, but so much progress was
being made. Just three days into our move I decided I revive an old
tradition - the New Year's Brunch Open House. It would be a
housewarming party and I could invite our new neighbors! I was so
pumped that I sent out the invitations without first checking with
my more conservative, thoughtful husband.
But by New Year's Eve I really was ready to welcome
old friends and new into our new (forever) home. As the snow fell
outside and dozens of boots piled up inside our front door, I
couldn't have felt more at home.
Alma Klein has been blogging since 2006. She works full-time as a creative director at a shopper marketing agency in Chicago and lives in the practically-perfect village of Oak Park with her husband Josh and elementary school-aged daughters.
See more of Alma's stories here.
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