Next week on a very special episode of Hoarders

If it wasn’t for Mary Virginia’s extensive duck collection, we probably could have stayed in our old house for a few more years.

Immediately after I took this photo, I found four more rubber ducks. (And this doesn’t even include her plush ducks.)

I got so much awesome moving advice, and now that we’re on the other side of it, here’s my best moving tip: never move.

We’ve unpacked every box (I think?) and (mostly) put everything away. We’ve sorted and purged, organized and alphabetized, and then we’ve closed our eyes, thrown things into closets and walked away.

This house was almost completely move-in ready, but since we took a pretty steep jump in square footage, not one of the rooms is completely furnished with our existing belongings — not even the bathrooms.

Disorganization and chaos don’t really bother me. I can function pretty well in tumult (actually, probably too well), but this has been hard, even for me. I can live without art on the walls and with the furniture looking wonky in these rooms. I have no trouble sleeping in a bedroom with wallpaper that clashes (CLASHES!) with my comforter. The hard part for me is that our daily systems aren’t in place.

The rhythms of our day were settled in our old house.

We have a mudroom and a garage now, so it makes sense for the kids to put on their shoes in the mudroom before we go anywhere. But it also doesn’t make sense because when I put Thomas down to fix Mary Virginia’s shoes, Thomas crawls up the stairs. Soon, Thomas will be stable enough to trust on stairs, but for now shoes in the mudroom is really, really inconvenient.

Having kids is all about systems, patterns, routines. There are so many tasks throughout the day that you do with muscle memory alone. And you simply cannot dress, feed, diaper, and entertain children if your trash can is in an inconvenient place. It all works best when your right hand knows where your left hand is going — and not because you planned it that way, but because you’ve done it so many times that it flows naturally.

We grew into a family in our old house, so the systems slowly developed as our kids grew. I’m impatient to develop the same thing here.

Whenever I’ve gotten overwhelmed, I just give up and throw the kids in the pool (after crisscrossing the house several times looking for bathing suits, sunscreen, and puddle jumpers, because we don’t have a LETS’ GO-SWIMMING! system yet).

Because even though this house doesn’t have systems, it does have a pool. And with one, I promise you don’t even notice the other.

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