The Great Migration: How We Made The Move
Moving can undoubtedly be a pain. Here are some tips from Robin Halpern to make your great migration to the 'burbs a smooth one.
Robin Halpern and her family were getting closer and closer to their big move to the ‘burbs (Syosset, New York, specifically!). When it came time to pack it all up and leave the city for good, Robin had some smart tips, tricks and must-tries that emerged from her own experience heading from urban to suburban…and her “personal Q&A” will no doubt help any family about to make the leap!
The big day was fast approaching—we were closing on our new forever home in a month! I was stressed about packing especially since my husband insisted on doing it himself rather than paying for the movers to do it (side note: take it from me, it’s worth the $$!). But I was more worried about bigger things, with the same enormous questions swirling around in my head day after day…
“What should we take with us?”
When you live in a two-bedroom apartment it feels like you have so much stuff. But it’s not nearly as much as you think, trust me. As you get closer to moving you realize “apartment stuff” might not make great “house stuff.” We started by selling some of our furniture, specifically the “space saving” and “storage maximizing” pieces that would look ridiculous in a right-sized master bedroom or be totally dwarfed in a formal living room. With the constant influx of college grads and starving artists, things move much faster on Craigslist in the city versus in the ‘burbs!
“How am I going to decorate this house?”
Like countless other projects (and because I don’t have a creative gene in my body) we needed help decorating the house to make it our own. We decided to get a head start, and had floors refinished and walls painted ahead of time. That way, come night one, it wouldn’t feel like we were having a sleepover in someone else’s house. It took an extra few weeks, but it made a big difference—turning the key, opening the door and walking into OUR HOME was incredible.
“Will my kids adjust?”
We decided to ease the boys into suburban life. Rather than just pick them up and move them from one bedroom to the next, we brought them to the house a few times before the big day. They picked out their own rooms, helped the crew peel off the dated wallpaper, watched movies on the floor of our (new!) empty den and played frisbee in the backyard (and the backyard weeds). We even installed the swing set ahead of time—instant comfort! They couldn’t wait to use it every day. When it came time to move, we sent them to Grandma’s house and she dropped them off that evening to a big “Welcome Home” sign on the door. It was a great start to an excellent new life.
Then the day finally came—it was time to leave the city. After the movers had cleared out 12 years of our life in an hour, I stood in my apartment which, except for the dust bunnies, was totally empty. Nails sat where our family memories once hung on the wall, and I could almost hear the echoes of my kids laughing and playing up and down the halls. It was a great run and, in that moment, I was sad to walk away. But in my last elevator ride down those 14 floors the nervous excitement in my chest reminded me I had a big house in Syosset waiting to be filled—filled with more (bigger and better!) furniture, more laughter and many, many more happy memories.
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