Did you think I forgot about you? That I let my blog go…? NEVA! Or at least, not yet ;) The last time I shared my thoughts, I was living in the city about to start packing my boxes to a new journey in the suburbs. Understandably so, MUCH had to be done from then until now: planning, logistics, wrapping and all the while slowly stripping myself of my Griffintown badge. Since leaving the city is such a big deal for me, I thought I would give you an update on how it all went down and a few psychological factors that came into play. Also, I will share some realities that occur when arriving in a new hood/home and what helped me out most throughout the process.
On June 15th, we traded our efficient city nest for a real suburban bird house. Ok full disclosure: we crashed at my parents’ for almost a month since we were only getting the keys to our new home on July 9th. May the universe bless and guard such generous and welcoming individuals for putting up with my chaos.
Getting into Gear with the new
So after we packed our boxes, lived with them for a while, then unpacked them…I found myself super excited but also, quite overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the physical and cerebral energy of the move but also by the home itself and it felt like so much was going on at the same time. It was weird. “What am I doing here?” part of me thought “did we really need all this space? The city’s so far away…”. Say waaaaaat?!? This was clearly old Ivana talking mixed with fear. This was also 100% normal. Considering that environment and culture are VERY important to me (says so in my psychometric test results too), I had just lost my highly active and stimulating hood along with my good old habits, my morning routine which I had perfected down to every second and most of all, I just missed the feeling of being “home”.
I had two choices:
I said I would share a few tips on what helped me most during our move, and still today as we are still unboxing and getting settled in.
sustain structure while accepting chaos
I was no pro at moving since this was my very first official move. Moving downtown was relatively easy since we had no furniture and purchased everything more or less as we moved in. So this time, I knew I needed to establish a system. It really helped to have a structured way of packing. This may seem trivial but writing the name of the room in which the packed items are is ESSENTIAL but also writing a few of the packed items on the box will help you remember where everything is, should you for example be looking for something important in the middle of it all. N.B. The person who does most of the packing will be responsible for knowing how all objects are regrouped, if you don’t want that responsibility to yourself, share it with your partner and get him or her involved in the joys of packing.
On the other hand, as much as structure helps in staying organized and abreast of things, there will be moments of pure chaos where one does not know where everything is and there are just boxes everywhere and all your stuff is mismatched. That doesn't matter anymore. You need to survive and that means accepting that you won't be as efficient right away in your new routine. For a while. I'm working on that.
Having a TO-DO list. That simple. I have a notebook in which I write all of what needs to be done, even of it’s an OBVIOUS task that you are sure to remember. Write that sh*t down. There is so much to think of, do yourself a favour and release your hippocampus from having to hold all that information for too long. It was so efficient, Phil and I were addicted to that notebook and kept close tabs on it. Sure enough, all was getting crossed off in a timely fashion.
advice: take some, leave some
So as with every situation come the experts. I have no problem in hearing tips and tricks (as I am sharing some myself right at the moment), but both the attitude with which it is presented and the credibility of the source are important. Also, keep in mind that you may be tired and wired and therefore not receptive to hearing any of what other people have to tell you about your move (not theirs). So far the best advice I heard was “live in the house before hurrying set it up” which I 100% agree with. While there are things you can easily buy (TV, couch, bed), the rest will require time to get to know the house and your habits around it. Unlike the condo where we got to select our colour scheme, cabinets, tiles and floors, a new house is not a blank canvas. You have to work with what's there and with a budget. Styles and décor are so personal and everyone will have their two cents. Take some, leave some.
crushing crappy comments
“Wow, all this space for TWO people!” – to which I respond that my pet zebra, giraffe and two monkeys will be moving in too to fill the space. Oy….really? Then again, when we first got the condo everyone was all “but it’s so small”. People will judge.
“OMG so much cleaning to do!” – FALSE! Though I have heard this one right left and center, I have had LESS cleaning to do. How? There air is clean in the suburbs. There is simply less dust, period.
“OMG you have to water the grass” – FALSE! Just kidding, that one’s TRUE I just wanted to make your eyebrows lift for a bit. Lucky me I have a husband who is all over that. And there is nothing like the sight of him happy and satisfied holding a huge bucket full of pulled out weeds.
While we left the proximity of friends in the city, we also gained back our childhood friends who remained in the West Island. We also have had many cool new neighbours welcoming us with friendly gifts and kind greetings. They don’t know it yet but I’m planing on making some sweet treats for them too, ya know, once I know where my mixer is. Just kidding. it’s on the top right of the left cupboard. Like I said, structure.
While I was always so attached to the city, here are some awesome newfound perks of the suburban life if you are one still debating:
Slowly but surely, we are taking care of this lovely new home and I am beginning to feel as one with it. It will take time to be fully set up and all decorated but we are taking the advice of first living in it to see what we need.
To this day, I still find it hard to believe that ten years have gone by since our early days in the Griffintown hood. Back when there were no restaurants open for brunches on weekends, one pharmacy, one expensive grocery store and everything had yet to develop. In a snap, or so it seems, everything popped up like mushrooms. New condos buildings, four new pharmacies, SAQ, Winners, Dollarama, etc. This reassures me, because it also means that the REM (Réseau Express Métropolitain) is sure to appear faster than we expect. But that’s for another post! Until then, this city dweller still takes long walks on St-Catherine’s street to recharge her nervous system before headed to the bird chirping suburban dream.
Have YOU moved this year? Do you feel connected to your community?
New Bee hive xx
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
Like my blog? Sign up to the news letter!
Follow me on Instagram!