Starting to feel like Home

Moving house in the same period that the children were returning to school has proved to generate even more chaos and stress than we envisaged.  It was critical that we get the house up and running and be fully functioning as a household in time for the boys returning to school but, as if to thwart our efforts, our packing boxes just kept breeding.  Every time we emptied and flattened a box, the space created would almost instantly fill with another box or package.  It was as if spare space in the house was a black hole sucking everything in.  This past little while has been a whirlwind of packing boxes, labelling boxes, moving boxes, stacking boxes, arranging boxes into the correct rooms, unpacking boxes, flattening boxes, stacking flat boxes and turning around and seeing yet more boxes arrive – thanks to two trips to Ikea.  Boxes.  I never want to see them again.  This is the second time this year that I have packed up all my worldly goods into boxes, unpacked them and found the contents new homes.  I am done.  I am going to freecycle the boxes so that I never have to see them again.

However, somehow amid the chaos of all this unpacking and sorting, furniture deliveries (we didn’t own a sofa) and building of flat-packs, the house is beginning to take shape as a home.  The moment this crystalised in my mind was when I pegged laundry out for this first time.  I have not pegged laundry out for eleven months, since I left my in-laws’ house to emigrate to America.  The rental house did not have a laundry line and, when I bought one, I discovered it had to be cemented into the ground.  No good for a temporary residence.  So the rotary line moved to our new house with us and – because I finally have a house to call my own again – it could be cemented into the ground.  I have missed hanging laundry out to dry.  It was incredibly frustrating to spend so many dry and sunny days with laundry being dried in the tumble dryer – especially since I do at least six loads of laundry each week.  Drying outdoors is kinder on the wallet and on the environment plus I just prefer it.  Hanging laundry is the one household chore I enjoy.  I have missed it.  So standing in my back garden, looking at a load of laundry hung out to dry, I definitely felt like I was in a house that was becoming my home.

Sometimes epiphanies are small, mundane and domestic.


The Home Run

This is my last week of living in our rental property.  Friday is our settlement date on our new house and we will be all moved in by next Tuesday.

I cannot wait to be a home owner again.  I know renting works really well for some people and there was certainly a period in our lives where it worked well for us.  However, I need the stability of owning my own home and now more than ever  – having started over in a new country – we need the financial security of investing in bricks and mortar.  We feel both lucky and glad that within a year of emigrating we will own our own home for just those very reasons.  There are things I will miss about our rental house – for example, from when I first saw ‘Gremlins’, I always wanted a laundry chute and the rental house has one whereas our new house does not – and I will miss the lovely neighbours we have but there are also lots of things that are aggravating about the house and which we, as tenants, did not have the authority or autonomy to put right.  We will have somewhere we can actually call home.  I cannot wait to move.

I am excited to have a house I can put my own stamp on again.  I already have a bag full of paint cards to browse and we will have to pick out furniture and then arrange our possessions throughout the house to have it feeling like us, personalising the spaces, filling it with our old memories and making new ones.  We will have a kitchen on the same level as our garden once again which means opportunities for outdoor dining, and not just when having a barbecue; the boys will have bigger bedrooms so we can fit more of their things in their rooms and can have the rooms reflecting their tastes and interests; there is a breakfast table in a very well-lit corner of the kitchen that I can use as my art table while looking at birds gathering at the feeder outside; I am going to somehow turn the unused basement into a spare room / kids’ TV room / playroom and transform it from being a blank and unloved space into a cosy hangout;   I have so many plans and ideas!  I cannot wait to start putting them into action.

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An art journal page I created to commemorate us moving into our new house.