Loaded Up And Left Coast Bound

Aug 5

I can’t believe it’s here.
It’s real. It’s surreal. It’s happening. It’s sad….
….For now.
Hard to say “I’ll see you soon!” to the friends I’ve made and cherish, but exciting to have the opportunity of new experiences ahead. As I type this, I’m sitting in economy plus with a cat (who has once already escaped his pet bag and made a b-line to first class) and we’re heading west to San Francisco.
A lot of emotions to share, but I’ll save those for another day. For now I’ll focus on what keeps me sane – the organized side of this pack-up and loading process. And friends, I can happily report it went off without a hitch. *pretty much*
Let me start by saying this…Facing a 4th major move, this time I decided to go with a local mover. Yes, it cost a little bit more money, but it was completely worth it! For so many reasons.
1. We know the owner’s personally and wanted to support their business.
2. The packers are a team of 3 amazing women! Never before have I had more fun working with movers packing boxes at my house. They had gentle hands and were thoughtful/organized with the way items were packed. Can’t make this girl any happier!
3. The guys that loaded the truck on the pick-up end now have a personal relationship with me – because we spent 2 days together loading the truck. And those same guys will be with me on the California end unloading the truck. Basically, they know just how crazy this girl is about organization and they are totally looking forward to spending 3 days in California with me. *insert sarcasm*
4. When an issue pops up, I know exactly who to call and have their cell number in my phone. When I’ve had questions, they are quick to respond. On our 3 previous moves, we went with a national chain and they didn’t come close to this level of service. (Not to knock them, by any means.) When you are faced with a major move across the country, you already have so much stress on your shoulders. Having a responsive, supportive and reliable moving company makes all the difference with that stress level. I could say more but then I would be heading down that “knocking the national chain” road.
Moving on…
5. Since the movers are local to the southeast and it’s not typical to have a customer requesting a move to California, they decided to rent trucks for the job. They rented 3 penske trucks and this morning started the drive across the country. Once they are done unloading, they’ll drop the trucks at a rental location in California and fly back to Arkansas. I take comfort in personally knowing the guys driving the house contents across the country and, more so, knowing exactly who will greet me to unload on the other end.
As far as the packing and loading process…
Before the packers arrived, I made sure the items around the house were exactly where they needed to be. Was everything perfectly put away? No. all I did was make sure the office stuff was in the office, toys were in the playroom, garage items were on the garage shelving – you catch my drift. Now, when the boxes get plopped down in the new house, I know everything inside will be unloaded in the correct space.
I also pulled aside anything I didn’t want the packers boxing up. Things like my phone or laptop chargers, my moving binder, my purse, or anything important that was going in my carry-on bag…
And finally, I had my toiletries and clothing set aside so those weren’t packed.
The packers worked for 1.5 days getting the house boxed up. Here we were at the end of day 1….






There was one sad mommy in the house at the end of this day. Because I was ultra sensitive (and totally alone), scenes like this broke my heart…

An empty art room…

An empty playroom…


An empty little girl’s room…

And 2 empty boy beds…

Charlie sums up how we both felt at 7 pm Tuesday, July 30…


On day 2, the packers quickly finished up the rest of the house by noon…





The only items unboxed were my coffee maker and beans. A girl has her priorities. Especially during a move….

At noon, I signed off on the box inventory…

Then, around 4pm the guys showed up with the trucks to start loading…

They worked hard into the evening for a solid 4 hours…



On day 3 we hit the ground running and never stopped. The loaders arrived around 9am and shut the door on 3 penske trucks around 6pm. While they loaded, I made myself busy doing fun disgusting jobs like cleaning the fridge, scrubbing the oven and sweeping 1,000,000,000 bugs off the patio and out of the garage…

Gotta love an Arkansas summer!

The work paid off though. A much better outdoor patio rug ready for loading…

I even vacuumed it to be certain nothing from Arkansas made its way to California to breed. 🙂


End of day 3 (Thursday, August 1), we’re officially loaded up…What a day!

Empty storage space (which was the 3rd garage stall at the rental house)…

On Friday I ran around town finishing errands. In the late afternoon a cleaning crew helped me deep clean the house.

Saturday, more errands and the carpets were cleaned.

Then …. Suddenly, a clean and empty house. While very sad and hit with a reality sinking gut punch, I still managed to have a smile on my face. Thanks to the friends that took me out to dinner all week….

That’s it. Our entire house is now on the way to California. and I can’t wait to greet the truck drivers to get this next chapter started on the west coast.
In the next few days I’ll be sharing a post about what city we lived in (I received many questions over the last 2 years about where exactly we lived…Can’t wait to tell you), but for now I’ll share a little secret I’ve been hiding since I sold the house in January….
Yup. The rental house was literally across the driveway from the old house! This was one of those moments when you understand something bigger is happening in the universe, someone is looking after you, or you have really good karma.
When the house sold, after a short 5 weeks, I was faced with locating a place to live so the kids could finish out the school year. I had no luck while searching around town with my real estate agent. Then I remembered our sweet neighbors across the street had their house on the market for 2 years. Sitting empty. I wondered if they would consider renting to me. Well, sweet they were indeed – because they said yes without any hesitation.That’s southern friends for you.
So I literally wheeled our house from one driveway to the other…
The beautiful home above is where I’ve lived since January. So grateful to our neighbors!
Now…A new adventure begins. While it was incredibly sad driving out of my neighborhood for the last time, making that long drive to the airport with a sad feeling in my heart/stomach and then reluctantly boarding the plane…I am really excited to see the new house and progress made in the last 2 weeks. This week I’ll be meeting with contractors, running a million errands and getting the house cleaned up before the trucks arrive Wednesday.
Back soon!

comments +

  1. Simply LKJ says:

    Girlfriend, you have been quite busy! Having moved more times than I can remember growing up, I can totally relate to that feeling seeing the empty house. It really doesn't subside until you step foot into the new place with all your stuff waiting for you. Best wishes!!

  2. Carol says:

    I'm wishing you much good luck, Samantha, in your new location. It's really been fun watching the process. I was so surprised that your rental home was just across the street from your previous home — how great that was for you and your children. I'm so excited to see how you decorate and organize your new CA home!

  3. Melissa says:

    Wow! Crazy that you guys lived across the street from your old house all that time!

    So many exciting new things happening for you guys- best wishes on the start of your new beginning!

  4. Wow this is so bittersweet, I have chills reading and looking at the pictures. That's such a beautiful picture of you in the empty house. All the best moving forward! Can't wait for updates on how the new house comes together.

  5. I've really enjoyed your posts about moving. I've also learned a lot of organizational tips as well! Looking forward to seeing how you decorate/organize your new home. Every time I visit California, I don't want to come home. Love, love, love California weather!!

  6. Wow , was not expecting the " move across the street" surprise! , but how fortunate you were to rent so close to your former home! After living in my current home for 12 years,having two children and a dog, I couldn't contemplate a move now so well done for the terrfic organisation and for sharing it all with your readers. Good luck in your new home and I look forward to reading through your blog your ideas for your next big project. Best wishes.

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