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 home.
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 them.
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.