P.T.M.D. – Post Traumatic Moving Disorder.

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It’s officially been one month since we moved into our new “old” home.  In one of my previous posts  I explained how we fell  swiftly and deeply in love with this home.  We have now entered the phase where the glow wears off a little and you wonder if you can handle living with the way your new boyfriend chews his food for the rest of your life. Things get hard and you find out real quick if the love is a fleeting feeling of passion or something deeper and more permanent. My body and my brain are exhausted, often I feel like I am struggling to put together coherent thoughts.  Here’s a quick tally of where we stand:

  • Children’s bikes and scooters I have run over: 2.  (The bike was run over the day we were moving, as I attempted to pull my suburban out of the driveway  so the movers could pull their truck up. Not a great way to start the day.)
  • Number of new cleaners purchased in an attempt to clean surfaces different from our previous home :  11.
  • Number of hours I have spent staring at the cleaners in the grocery store aisle:  5   (Did you know that Windex makes a glass cleaner called Crystal Rain? Is it just me, or does that sound like the name of stripper?)
  • Number of senior aged beagles that have been traumatized by the move:   1.
  • Number of times said beagle has peed in our new home:  I stopped counting after 16.
  • Number of new rugs ruined:  2.
  • Number of house centipedes I have encountered:  about 10.
  • Number I have killed:  about 5.
  • Number of brown oversize wolf spiders I have trapped under a glass jar in the basement because he’s just too big to kill :  1.

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  • Psycho Birds obsessively attacking it’s reflection on its reflection on our bedroom window:  1.
  • Number of dandelions in our front yard: 3,622.
  • Number of times I have locked myself out and had to find a way back in: 2.

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And to answer some frequently asked questions:

Is moving one of the hardest things you have ever done?

By far. The apple cart was upset physically and emotionally for 4 people and 2 dogs. We are still working on putting said apples back on the cart, and we will be for a while. The foyer below came together pretty well. But in the upstairs hall the charming, but original (think rope pulley) window needs to be replaced. The pulley rope system is broken. If we want to keep it open we use a bottle of Kahlua to keep it propped up. Keep it classy San Diego.

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Any regrets?

I wish I would have gotten rid of even more stuff. I could almost see myself at some point living in one of those “tiny” houses. Okay, maybe one for each member of our family.

The 204-square-foot “Wind River Bungalow” is the Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of tiny house enthusiasts Travis and Brittany Pyke, who started Wind River Custom Homes to help others fulfill their dreams of living simply in mini dream homes.

I also regret that I set my standards too high. Not on the house itself but on the idea of change.   I know it sounds ridiculous but I pinned high hopes that somehow our kids would get along better and I’d finally be on top of the laundry. The reality?  Our kids are still arguing a lot and I am drowning in an avalanche of laundry.  You don’t realize it at the time but you pack up any existing issues and take them with you when you move.  A new home won’t cause our family to suddenly start sitting down together for nightly meals. We still have baseball, activities, work and I sure as hell still can’t cook. My brain forgot that to have change I have to change more than just my address.

An older home has limited closet space, where do you put all your clothes?

So the master bedroom has a sitting room of sorts adjoined by a door. In that room there are 2 smaller closets that I so graciously gave over to my husband, as I opted to go with racks.

And I truly do try to practice what I preach in terms of editing and purging. Every year I feel like my style changes a little bit, and I try to get rid of the things that don’t fit my body or my life.I actually have far less than most people think.

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We are also lucky enough that there is a huge walk in closet on the third floor that everyone could put their off-season clothes in. As you can see, it’s the classic case of the shoemaker’s kids, as I have been busy with my client’s closets but have not had time to get this area properly organized. Right now it is a communal dumping ground of sorts.

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Do the kids like it?

Ten year old girls freak out about everything from not having enough syrup on their pancakes to claiming that their little brother’s haircut is annoying them, so I did expect some tears over moving. For the most part the kids seem to have transitioned pretty smoothly, probably even better than me and my husband. They love the yard, as there are beautiful trees and a meadow with trails behind our house. The house is less square footage than our previous home but there are more rooms, so they can get away from each other when needed. They also can’t hear me when I call them to do something and they know I am too lazy to go find them.  Hide and seek is a lot more fun in this house.  They also have an official playroom on the third floor that is perfect for hosting friends and sleepovers. I was so excited about how cute it looked when I first set it up. But you know how Newtown’s Third Law says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? The current status of the playroom illustrates this perfectly.

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It’s kind of like the aftermath of the show The Bachelor. Chris Harrison isn’t waiting around with envelopes and limos and the couple have to see if they really love each other or did they just love the Hollywood idea of each other. So we are settling in as a family. We have pictures up on the wall, the beagles have found good nap spots, and we are slowly but surely finding our rhythm.

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Are you happy with the house? 

I love it. Although there are hiccups with the process of adjusting to something different this house feels like a great big hug.

Even though moving has been painful, (childbirth comes to mind as a comparison), I am reminded everyday in so many ways why we picked this house, or maybe why it picked us. The rooms are cozy. The colors soothing. The stone walls make me feel safe. The back patio takes my breath away every morning and every evening. The third floor claw foot tub makes me feel like I have been transported to a pied-à-terre in Paris. I absolutely feel we are where we need to be. Our love for this home is in all the little details. In some ways it feels like we have been here forever. In other ways it sometimes feels like we are on vacation and at some point will be going “home.”  We are a family, no matter where we go and where we live. To have things be different, I need to learn to act and react differently. It’s a process and a journey, and I feel lucky to be on the ride.

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*Insider Tip – No closet? No problem!

Limited on space for clothes storage? Consider displaying items in ways that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Check out my board on Pinterest (click HERE) for tons of ideas using different types of racks and display options. It might seem daunting at first to keep your wardrobe out in the open but there are so many pros. Having items front and center makes them easier to see and pull together outfits. It also encourages you to keep things clean, simple and organized. I am so much more likely to pick up my clothes and keep everything properly put away when I know that I am having to visually face the consequences.  Even if you have a great closet make sure the things you need most are displayed in ways that make it easiest for you to access. Get motivated by using storage materials that a visually pleasing to you. From distressed woods to sleek metals, no material is off-limits so feel free to think out of the box!

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Bookshelf that I re-purposed for a client to help create extra storage.

Thanks for reading!


Published by suziegaffney

owner at Suzie Gaffney Styling

3 thoughts on “P.T.M.D. – Post Traumatic Moving Disorder.

  1. Great post, Suzie. Especially since we are going thru the same thing right now.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Suzie! The house is gorgeous! And thank you for sharing your ups and downs! Although I giggled often while reading, your reflection on “change” is spot on. You know what they say “nothing changes if nothing changes”.

    Many blessing in your new home!

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