Part 2: The best laid plan of mice and men often go awry
Read part one here
On paper it didn’t seem too bad, the house needed some work to get ready for sale, mostly just a fresh coat of paint in the bedrooms and bathrooms. We got a deal from Carpet Bonanza and had new carpet put in the bedrooms. The worst project was repainting the balcony which was a messy 2 month job. It was a lot of work but not unexpected and we got started in April with plenty of time to spare.
The other big task was downsizing our stuff, we were going from around 3,000 square feet of living space down to 298 and in the words of shady tv ad men, “Everything Must Go!”
The plan was simple: pack up everything we didn’t need anymore and move it all into the garage and then have a massive garage sale. Anything left over would be carted off to a donation place. The past few years we had been getting rid of things we no longer needed here and there and the occasional decluttering frenzy inspired by the Hoarders TV show so we thought we were in good shape. The problem with owning a good sized house however, was that there’s plenty of storage space to tuck away things you don’t really need anymore but are still useful so there’s no real incentive to get rid of them. So after the rooms were cleared and the garage was pretty full we tackled the closets and basement shelves. And the piles grew and grew and grew and we had no idea we had so much stuff or where it was coming from.
And then there was the garage sale. Seems like nobody wants to pay more than $10 for something decent but will happily snap up junk for fifty cents. Still, we sold a lot of stuff and with the help of Facebook sold a bunch of the electronics and furniture. And the garage somehow managed to fill itself up again. My advice to anyone considering full time RV living is start getting rid of stuff now, you have way more than you think.
Now the house was clean and a shiny new for sale sign posted in the yard and a week later everybody wanted to buy it. No, that wasn’t it, everybody just stopped buying houses. A house just down the street went up for sale with a higher asking price than ours. A house further down the road with a lower price and right across the street from a house that sold in 1 week earlier in the year also went on the market. And nobody wanted any of them.
So rather than trying to maintain a showing-ready appearance (I dare anybody with 3 elderly dogs try to keep their house clean 24-7) we made our move into our fifth wheel and got a spot in a local campground. Although it was cutting into our savings in hindsight it worked out well for us as we were able to figure things out with our new lifestyle while still having the backup of our house.
The summer flew by, people were looking at our house but not showing interest. September came and at the campground they drained the pool and slammed it shut immediately after Labor day. Finally we got an offer and had a closing date, October 26, the day before what was supposed to be my last day at work and 5 days before we were supposed to pack up and head to Gulf Shores. October was a difficult month, there was still a lot of unsold stuff in the house needing to be taken to donation places, the campground shut off the water in mid October, and worst of all there was the unexpected death of Kendra’s sister.
We kept pushing on and somehow got it all done. We closed on the house on Thursday morning, went to our last day of work on Friday and I don’t remember anything of Saturday or Sunday but on a dreary cold rainy Michigan Monday we pulled onto the highway for the start of our new adventure.