Another Moving Update–Feb. 27


The process of sorting, weeding out, burning, and donating continues.  We had quite a bit of time on Thursday, Friday and today, Saturday to work on this project.  We also had several people help us out this week, and we are very thankful.

On Thursday, we focused on the basement.  It consists of 3 small rooms.  It is musty, full of spiderwebs, and molds easily.  The first room has some old carpet in it, but the other rooms are rocks and stone with a little concrete poured down in places.  The original house was built in 1925, so I call this my “Nancy Drew” basement.   I keep my canning down there.  There were also things like old water coolers, an old clarinet, old fishbowls, Christmas decorations that were no longer used….and so forth.  There was a place where one of the children started putting dahlia bulbs in peat moss and then decided to stop, leaving a huge bunch of screens, peat moss, etc.  There were lots of cardboard boxes and other debris from the years.  This is a picture of the first room, with all of the empty jar removed.  We cleaned that room entirely, and packed up all of the empties.  Then, I moved the full jars from the second room into this room and filled the shelves.  The second room is now mostly empty.  There is a 3rd, super small room that holds the water heater, and a little area where previous owners kept their canning.  It won’t be very hard to clean out.

On the opposite side of the room, that you can’t see in the picture, we put a pallet for cardboard boxes of empty jars.  We also started bringing bins down and stacking them to the ceiling.  The bins are filled with things that will go into storage, and putting them down there buys us a little more time before we need to rent a unit and opens up more space in the house to look better for showing it.

By Thursday afternoon, the basement was about 80% finished.


On Friday morning, very early, 2 young men came over.  They took all of this trash, plus more down to the burn pile.  It was from the basement and other places.  They climbed up into the attic above the garage, and hauled everything down.  My garage table was full, and the garage itself was full to the brim.  I could hardly walk, and actually felt so overwhelmed, it was not good, because we have so many empty boxes in there right now.  BUT, those wonderful young men took many of those bins from the attic right down to the basement (things like Christmas decorations that I had put up there the way I wanted them) and I started going through the other boxes. They took more bins that were ready to go as well, and it started to clear out.  Rob set them to work taking  more unwanted items out of the basement and other places and putting them into the van to donate. My mom and aunt showed up, and started helping clean and sort.  The boys took off, having given us as much time as they could, and Rob loaded up the rest of the van for the charity thrift shop and took off with it.  By the end of Friday, the garage was navigable, and more items in the house were packed or donated.

This morning, another crew of men, including my nephew, showed up at 7 am to work on moving some of Rob’s shop to storage at my sister’s house in an old semi truck trailer that they have.  They got 2 entire trailer loads over there.  Rob had them help load another bunch of un-needed stuff into the van and I finished filling it up and he took it off and donated it this afternoon.  I worked with Lovana on several boxes of her things, and they are taken care of.  Lovana and Ja’Anas’ rooms are both very close to being ready to show.  Patsy’s is not.  My friend Tamara and her son Cameron came over for several hours and we worked on the school room some more, and Cameron put sleeping bags into protective bags and carried them and a few more bins down to the basement.  The schoolroom was a huge task, due to having so much stuff from so many years of homeschooling.  It is getting close, and I have 4 more boxes to take and try to sell at the used book store.


The front room is finished.  I just need to keep it looking good, floors swept, etc.  I have much to do, still, but we are making huge amounts of progress every week.  We hope to have it ready to list within the next week or two.  We have a bunch of people who want to help in a couple of weeks.  We will probably have them do some yard work and a little painting.  I cannot express how grateful we are for all of the people who are helping out.  Although I do feel overwhelmed at times, I am actually feeling pretty good about the amount of things I am getting rid of, but am starting to wonder if I am still keeping too much.  When you see the stack of bins and think about how much more you still have……it’s kind of sobering.  I figure I’m letting at least 1/2 of my things go–I guess time will tell if that’s enough.

10 thoughts on “Another Moving Update–Feb. 27”

  1. As a canner myself, I just want to say how impressed I am by your canning! Is that what you put up every year? How in the world do you do it all? Maybe it will be a hidden blessing this year to not be doing the huge garden and all that canning? And I think you are doing great at the getting the house ready to sell binge. It is truly so, so much work. What a blessing that you have so many people who are stepping forward to help. I know how overwhelming it can all be, emotionally and physically but I want you to know that I am praying for you. You can do this! Hopefully, in a few short months you will be showing us pictures of your new home with it all organized and beautiful. God Bless!

    1. Thanks, Jenn,
      I can that much and more each year. We use several hundred jars of canned items each year. My main stash of tomato products are still in another room, and not shown in that picture, along with some other items. I love to can. It is a useful hobby and my mom teases me and calls me a recreational canner. We save so much money this way and can afford organic:)

      The way that I can so much, is that it is a high priority for me each summer. I am committed to getting the produce for free or very cheap by growing it, buying from u-pick, and getting lots from relatives or friends who grew too much. I take pretty much anything that is offered, and take it that day, pick it myself or go pick it up right then, even when it’s not especially convenient. I have a sister who owns a peach orchard, and generously gives me all I want. She also is given pears on occasion from another farmer, and often gets more than she can process, so passes some on. I plan out my summers, allowing for canning time. I check my garden daily and leave space in my life to process what’s ripe. Some things hold a while, than I pick and put it in the garage. I also can early in the morning and late at night, before and after other appointments, etc. I allow full days for canning on many occasions. By the time I get up early to pick produce, such as green beans, snap them, put them in the jars, and then pressure cook them, it can take many, many hours. I utilize any and all children and husband to snap, and my husband sits on a chair and watches the pressure canner many times. We run 2 canners at the same time on many occasions. If I don’t have a huge block of time, I pick things early in the morning, and refrigerate until after the appointments and then process, but straight from vine to jar in as little time as possible is best. There are some exceptions, such as Elberta peaches, which need ripening, Bartlett pears which need several days to ripen, and some tomatoes which are not as ripe as I like them straight off the vine.

      I plan for pickles. I grow dill and keep vinegar, garlic, canning salt, etc. on hand at all times during picking season. Once those cucumbers start getting ripe, they give me a new batch every couple of days, so I plan for that. If I miss a couple of days, I pick off all the ones that are too big and throw them down, so the new little ones keep growing. By having all of the needed “parts and pieces” on hand, it is only a few minutes work to make a few jars of pickles, and a few more minutes to can them up. In fact, some things can up quickly, such as cherries, while others take more time, such as tomato sauce, applesauce and fruit cocktail.

      Every week, once or twice, I go down to the basement with a basket full of empties. I put them on the shelves and choose full jars for the week ahead. I have a shelf upstairs where I keep an assortment of full jars for immediate use.

      With all that being said, I’m going to embrace my freedom this summer, and told my husband to make reservations for a little more camping, plans for a few more fishing trips to a lake we enjoy, and more picnics in the park on hot evenings. Plus, we will be house hunting (hopefully sooner rather than later when this one sells), packing and moving, and getting re-settled in a new house—–plenty to do. I also know that there are many people who would gladly let me help them can if I just can’t stand not doing it:) I’ve noticed young mothers are willing to let me borrow kids if I get lonely for little ones, people with gardens never turn down weeders…….:) I can always help my sister on her farm if all else fails.

      Thanks for the prayers. I welcome all I can get. Change is never easy and is often downright uncomfortable. We will make it through, but it’s not always fun.

  2. What an amazing stash of canned goods! I just love that picture.

    A while ago, I needed my daughter to purge some of her toys. She had mountains of stuffed animals that she no longer paid any attention to, but whenever I suggested that she get rid of some, the idea would overwhelm her. So one day I decided it was time to get this done. I told her that I would go through them one at a time and she was to decide if it was truly special enough that she wanted to keep it. She did really well and we were able to get the pile cut in half. Then I told her that I felt the pile was still a bit to large, so we were going to do it again and she really had to decide if it was something she wanted to keep. She was able to be brutal about what she wanted and the pile was cut down significantly again. I know it was really hard for her to let go, but with help she did it!

    I know your piles of possessions may be large right now. It’s hard to let go of things. When you get your new house, perhaps that will be a better time to decide what you really, truly want to put in it and what you are will to let go of in the second round.

    1. Rhonda,
      That’s what I was thinking, too. I plan to look through it again when it comes out of storage, and get rid of some more. It is hard to let things go, but some of my stuff is covered with dust, having been in the attic the whole time we’ve been here! So, it was pretty easy to get rid of those things. I am feeling very free knowing that the attic is entirely empty, and the basement is almost empty except for the huge mound of packed bins, empty jars, and of course, the full jars!

  3. I have never seen such a large amount of canned food before. I have seen pictures on the internet of people’s storage food but you are amazing. You might end up being bored this summer, all that canning must take a lot of time. Cheryl

    1. Thanks. I was worried about being bored until I thought about how many people who would gladly let me come over and pitch in, if I have too much time:) Seriously, I expect we may be moving all of our stuff out of storage into our new house as well, and that will take time. If this was canning season, I would be in trouble, since I am spending so much time sorting things out. Also, our children could benefit from more attention, always, so I plan to play a little this summer.
      I am thinking about buying a zoo pass, or something like that. While we are in the camper, I will need to drive a LOT to keep Patsy in school and take Lovana to work, and both girls to dance, etc., if the house sells before school lets out. I think we have a little time here, as the house still isn’t on the market yet, and it will take time to sell, but don’t know how much time. I am taking my sewing machine in the camper, as usual, and some embroidery projects. I will also pack the keyboard so that I can work with the girls on fair sewing projects, piano lessons, and embroidery, if they want to.

      We truly eat from our canned and home-frozen goods almost daily, and many days we eat more than one jar or package of frozen food. Some weeks I take several loads down to the cellar of empties and replace them with full jars. It’s rewarding and fun for me. I know it’s a lot of work, but a person has to do something:) We have never been hungry. When Rob decided to go to college after we had been married for a few years, we heard horror stories about young married college students who did not have enough to eat. I decided that was not going to be us, and canned extra. There was one winter when we only bought one bunch of bananas and one small bag of oranges for fruit, the rest of the fruit was from my home-canned storage. We ate home=canned green beans almost daily–it’s still a family joke, but we still love them. We lived in an 850 square foot house with 3 children. I taught piano, he baked early in the school bakery, did school, and then pumped gas after college. We got along very nicely, and have good memories of that time of our lives. Food preservation was a tool that served us well, which only encouraged my useful hobby! We have only begun growing our own meat in the past few years, before that it was fruits and vegetables only.

  4. What a beautiful pantry you have, Becky! It’s wonderful that you had so many helpers. Sounds like you’re doing great at the downsizing and packing.


    1. Thanks. I am actually blown away by all the help. I feel like I’m starting to make some progress. It’s a great feeling to think that the attic is empty. Although I could not see it, it was weighing on my mind. Other than the Christmas ornaments and the camping gear (like sleeping bags) we got rid of almost everything up there. I haven’t seen or used it for a long time, so, out it goes. Very freeing.

  5. What you are doing is extremely difficult mentally and physically. I sold a house after 15 years and there was so much to go through. So much that you really don’t need but don’t want to throw away. But sometimes you have to, and yes, that hurts a little.

    1. I think that I have gotten rid of about 1/2 or more of the things I have gone through. I just cleaned out another room upstairs, my sewing room, last night and this evening. I am donating many, many patterns, fabrics, lace, etc. Funny thing is–I still have lots left. Although that was probably the hardest room (emotionally) I’ve sorted so far, it is starting to feel very freeing. The basement got another big load when the girls carried down the bins I am keeping, and the room itself looks very inviting, and like someone could actually get to work sewing in there.

      I’m excited that a realtor is coming tomorrow morning, and hopefully she will have good tips and ideas, as well as good news as to how much it’s worth. We really don’t have a realistic idea. Of course, we want as much as we can get, but want it to sell in good time and not be overpriced.

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