I was waiting for my daughter’s fifteen year-old cat to die instead of causing her stress with moving our household again. I’m such a softy – and procrastinator.
We lived in that hotbox of an apartment for ten years. I had moved there with three kids and two cats, downsizing from a spacious and increasingly expensive four-bedroom garden home to what was to be a secure three bedroom apartment.
The kids grew, some moved out, one moved back in-between training assignments, then one came back last fall after employment loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One cat eventually met his maker in 2019 at the ripe and messy old age of 18 years.
The Tabby Cat held on at 15 years old.
In January 2021, I decided to move out due to the degraded cleanliness, quality of building maintenance and security since the previous summer. I also wanted a place with our own laundry facilities – especially during a pandemic. This was part of my long term plan to downsize belongings before I would eventually retire and live in humble but healthy conditions.
By coincidence during a walk around the community in the chilly new year, I met a couple who had to break their lease on a clean, new rental due to getting a new job in a different city.
For the next three months I put my project management skills to use, increased our downsizing efforts at the old apartment, engaged with the landlord to sign forms and agree to the ridiculously high rent.
Project Management 101
- My main project resource, the Resident Millennial occasionally joined me with the downsizing and packing efforts;
- I engaged with family, friends and neighbours to relay useful belongings and help me transfer delicate items;
- I engaged with contractors for moving our belongings, removing the excess items and helping with the cleanup;
- We supported local food service establishments by ordering delivery or picking up quick and tasty meals during the messy, stressful days;
- The cat, a major stakeholder in this endeavour was curious about the boxes piling up around her domain. It was gradual enough as to not cause her stress;
- We set milestones and did the move in two phases: essential furniture, dishes, clothing and toiletries first; then boxes of extra household items, clothing and sentimental items. I have so many sentimental items.
One priority was to set up a corner for my home office since I am still performing my work with the remote option. For that I am grateful and relieved!
I was sad to not bring two of our bookcases due to lack of room in our smaller living space. My favourite books, my old friends are still packed in wine boxes tucked under counters and piled in my closet. My college program books and binders are waiting in bins for me to resume classes in the fall.
The Tabby Cat survived the move. She soon adapted to her new home, sniffed out every nook and cranny, and knew where to find me in the early hours to serve her breakfast.
I spent my spare time during the final weeks sorting the excess for charitable donations, junk pickup, and attempting to clean up at the old apartment. That was a challenge for me due to a broken thermostat causing unbearable heat and with what might be a broken toe (stubbed by anger, a bout of frustration during a laundry night session).
- Start tasks early, stay on track working towards milestones and deadlines;
- Don’t do things while angry – you’ll only hurt yourself!
- Practice patience, pray for courage and strength;
- Breathe in, out and repeat as needed.
On the final night of retrieving useful items and raising mugs of water in a toast to that hot box of hell, we left a note for the landlord’s people. I was exhausted and feeling cheeky.
The Cat, she survived the move.
The humans are still recovering.
I am still hobbling around and plan to see the doctor about my swollen and sensitive pinkie toe.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay well. Stay safe. Be kind.