Tips for Surviving New Carpet

4 May

If you are moving or are getting new carpet or have another life change wherein all your worldly belongings must be shoved aside for a day or so, I have some tips that might help you with the transition.

Ye Olde Stoveside Changing Station

1. I set up a changing station in the kitchen that I could access by entering the house through the garage and then into the kitchen, but just incase I also had a diaper bag packed and ready to go. If I had to I could have changed her in the trunk of my car.

2. Think about the essential items you’ll need immediate access to during this project: a sweater if things get suddenly chilly, prescription meds, keys, phone chargers, laptop, snacks and a change of clothes for your kid.

"Sorry! Occupied!"

3. Call your friends and ask if you can use their bathrooms in advance. We planned on keeping at least one of ours open but the carpet installers didn’t know this and had other ideas.

4. Plan out how and where your kid is going to nap through this. She could have always skipped her nap but dealing with an insane toddler while putting our house back together is pretty low on my life list. It’s tied with “getting to know Fire Ants up close and personal.” Isobel ended up falling asleep during the car ride back from Grandma’s. I called Anthony who got the bed  ready to go. She slept outside for an hour and a half, which is a successful nap in my book. The only problem was the wind. It wasn’t cold but it was touching her and that sent her into a mini, rage-filled hate spiral before she passed out again.

5. Realize things are going to be a crazy mess and that’s okay. By the end of the day our carpet guy was like, “Do you guys have a calculator handy?” It took some measure of self control to not be all, “Does it look like I have anything handy?” Prioritize the things you really do need an let go of the rest.

6. We have an extensive home library collection. It consists of four tall Billy Ikea bookshelves against one wall, and a shelf devoted to D&D books on another. Each shelf has a unique arrangement depending on what it stores, and considering I have devoted a huge chunk of time organizing it loosely based on the DDS, I wanted to preserve that work. Honestly the thought of taking it all down and packing it away in boxes made me slightly unstable. Too keep things organized I numbered the shelves 1-4 & D&D. I packed up the books in order of the shelves and I labled each box according to their context, like so: Shelf 2, Row 3. To keep track of which shelf went where I taped a note to the immovable shelf noting its particular number. Although we removed the indivdual shelves, the pegs stayed in place so theoretically things should go back in order realtively easy. If you think manual labor is easy, that is. I do not, but that’s neither here nor there. The important thing is that organization is preserved.

Justin and Jake, who helped us throughout this ordeal.

7. Purge what you can. I took a fully stuffed car with me to Goodwill while packing our house up. I’m good at decluttering and I still had a mountain of donations to drop off. Other, more patient people might consider a yard sale, but I did not want to find a spot for all of this crap, and I’m notoriously bad at yard sales. I mean, I’m good at going to them, but let’s just say the Goodwill people recognize my car when I pull up to the donation area and their eyes turn into dollar signs when I give them sacks full of stuff.

8. We locked our cats in the garage until the carpet men left. They are insanely curious and would have gotten into as much trouble as they could manage. They did sneak out on a couple of occasions, but over all the plan went well: their food and litter box is already in the garage, and the weather was mild enough that I didn’t have to worry about them overheating. They did meow pitifully the entire day, which was annoying, and when we went to let them out after it was all said and done they were not interested in leaving. Cats, yo. They’re nuts.

Has anyone out there gone through something similar? Have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them.

13 Responses to “Tips for Surviving New Carpet”

  1. Kim (2of62) May 4, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    We’re waiting on the carpet guys and/or landlord to get their act together then we are going through the same thing, hopefully this month. My sister is away for a week this month so if the dates coincide we can move the cats, rats and ourselves to her house til it’s done (I hope, I hope!).

    Otherwise we are doing much the same as you, all living room stuff into the bedroom, kitchen and detached, musty garage. Unfortunately we have two full sized couches to store and neither of them are going into the garage. And only the jam packed bedroom to lock the cats in if the dates don’t line up. So, possible chaos and stress, possible serendipity.

    Also, my first garage sale! A good chance to purge a lot of junk, which I’m not very good at. I’ve got very strong packrat genes.

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      Really hoping this works out well for you guys! Especially with the animals, poor things.

  2. AmandaStretch May 4, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    My parents re-did our common room floors (carpets, tiles, the works) when I was a senior in high school. Fortunately, I was out of town on drama tour for most of the week our fridge lived in the nook of our picture window in our front room. It was pretty strange, but you just have to remember to be flexible and take it all in stride.

    When I last moved, I bought a big carpet piece for my new place, so I got in that in the day I moved in and it worked out well. As for my boxes, I labeled each and every one of them, especially the kitchen boxes. I taped 3×5 cards with a detailed list of the box’s contents, so that I knew which boxes to unpack first and where things were in the meantime. It was so well labeled that even though they all entered the apartment and got put in random places, one friend was able to put them all in the appropriate rooms in the space of an hour or so. Saved me a bundle of time. I also got all unpacked within a week. In a 300 sq. ft. apartment, leaving stuff packed and strewn about isn’t really an option. Hyper-organized librarian brain FTW!

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      I am totally going to do this if we ever move. Especially for the kitchen drawers. I was really lucky I didn’t have to move all that crap.

  3. dingey May 4, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Aye Carrumba. Moving across the country was an interesting project for two slightly unbalanced pack rats. Sweet baby jebus on a piece of toast do i know what you mean about Goodwill V. Garage Sale. I can’t tell you how many people said “OOOOOOH I can’t WAIT for your garage sale!” and “You should have a garage sale. You should have a garage sale. You should have a garage sale,” to which I silently gritted my teeth and thought “the HELL we should!” What the hell do they know? Oh, sure, you can make a little cash and whatnot, but living with someone who is descended from people with GENUINE HOARDING DISORDERS….well, let’s just say, it was hard enough to get him to even sort through his crap, and the minute he acknowledged that something could go, it was OUT THE DOOR. TO GOODWILL. WHERE SOMEBODY ELSE COULD BUY IT AND I WOULD NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT IT AGAIN AND HE COULD NEVER CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT IT! My own hangups involved sorting through every single note and drawing I’ve ever made. I resoved it by sorting and resorting and allowing myself to look back over every single damned thing, which made me love it less enough to be objective, make a big pile of shit, and actually torch it in a burning barrel in the backyard. This proved to be an incredibly satisfying and cathartic thing. I am no longer young and egotistical enough to think that anyone’s going to open a Museum of Me that will require the vast library of personal ephemera that I had magpied away over the years. I mean, jesus. That’s what the internet’s for! CONGRATULATIONS on getting through your ordeal. I just realized that I used this space to bitch more than to share tips and advice. Okay, here’s my advice: Yardsale HELL! Don’t even take it to Goodwill. BURN THAT SHIT IN THE BACKYARD! You’ll feel so much better.

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      Actually, I’m very happy to hear the cathartic ramblings. I’ve never had to make a move that big. Getting rid of stuff immediately gives me such a strong sense of satisfaction.

  4. Windsor Grace May 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Do you mean you have an entire book shelf devoted to Dungeons and Dragons books? (shock and awe) Also, what do you recommend if you’re moving for a second time in 3 months, your roommate is trying to steal your stuff and your dad is freaking out and screaming at everyone?

    • Hannah May 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

      I know you’re not necessarily asking me, but I feel your pain and would recommend that you start abusing drugs, alcohol, or your klepto roommate. Take your pick (it’s okay to go for more than one).

      -clearly nuts in Ohio

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      Yes, a whole shelf. There are a few math texts and vintage sci-fi and some manga, but for the most part it’s all D&D.

      Also, your roommate sounds like an ASS.

  5. Hannah May 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    A lifetime of jobs at libraries and bookstores have led me to the following simple and yet so easily forgotten packing tip; write on the label if the books were placed in the box left to right or right to left. It seems silly, but is the easiest thing to confuse and the most obnoxious thing to explain.

    I’m about to embark on the most horrid packing and repacking and unpacking of my life–the yearly cycle between school and home. I’m hoping that somewhere amidst the procrastination a blog will be birthed. Got any tips for a newbie, Little Big?

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      I’m far from an expert, so my only tip is this: write about your passions and you’ll always have something to say. Best of luck!

  6. Shane May 5, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Ooooo I miss new carpet. Don’t miss having to do all of that stuff up there, though. OK, I can’t miss it because I do it every day, but I mean if I were getting new carpet, which I’m not.
    When was a kid and we got new carpet I would roll around in it for awhile, like a dog in a new pile of poo. It’s all good.

    • LittleBig May 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

      Isobel has been rolling the hell out of this carpet. It’s been fun!

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