People, our plan is in motion. It’s still fairly nebulous, but that’s okay. We have steps to take, and then steps to take after that, and at each point, we can (and will) revisit our decisions and change our direction, and yeah, okay, we’ll probably be flying by the seat of our pants a little bit, sometimes, but that’s okay, right?
Step 1: Get the house ready to go on the market.
There is SO much to do for this step. We met with our real estate agent, she brought over a stager who made a ton of notes for us to follow to make our house look as perfect to prospective buyers as possible, and then we spent last weekend getting of SO MUCH STUFF. The Salvation Army truck came by Saturday morning to pick up that extra dryer we’ve had in the basement since we moved in and about 30 boxes of books. We did a sweep of the entire first floor and filled up my car with stuff for a trip to the Salvation Army Donation Center near us, and when we got back, we made a sweep of the entire second floor and repeated the trip. Sunday, John worked on his car (because it needs to be able to go with us), and I started packing up OUR books for long-term storage. We finished that project last night and moved all of the books that were in our dining room AND all of the shelves into the basement. Tonight (or possibly this weekend), we’ll do the same thing with the library (the room that used to be the dining room). The stager says we should switch those rooms back, and losing the bookshelves will make the rooms look bigger, so okay. It’s possible that we would have ignored that advice, but those things will need to packed up in the near future anyway to go in storage (they can’t come with us!), so it helps us to get them packed up now. We’re going to use that crib we never managed to get to Erik and Margaret (sorry, guys!) in our guest bedroom to make it look like a nursery, so we need to get the full bed that’s in there down into the basement, and once we’ve finished moving furniture around, we can call the painters and have them fix and paint the ceiling by the stairs and paint the walls and ceilings in the upstairs hallway and the stairs. Oh, we need to paint the outside of the front door, and we need to get the guy in to paint the railings of our deck. Those are the big things, I think.
Step 2: Put the house on the market.
We’re aiming for mid-October. Might make it. Once it’s listed, we just have to keep it clean. We’re going to have to figure out what to do with Riley, though. Maybe we run home and take him for a long walk? Maybe he’s fine in the backyard? He’ll make a ton of noise, though. I don’t really want to have to crate him in the basement every day, but that might be the easiest thing to do. We’ll talk about it.
Step 3: Find a place to live.
Once the house sells, we’ll need a place to go. We’re planning to find an apartment or some sort of rental in the area, near enough to commute to our jobs. Rent has to be less than our mortgage (shouldn’t be difficult), the lease needs to be short-term, and they have to allow dogs, of course. I’ve done some preliminary searches – those places exist not far from us.
Step 4: Find portable jobs.
We’re not going to stay in the area (that is NOT the plan) long term, and we’re not ready to settle in any one area right now, so we need to have jobs that will let us work remotely 100% of the time. Once we find those jobs (John’s current job might let him do that. Mine will definitely not.), we can leave the area. The job search can start any time, but will certainly start in earnest once the house has sold.
Step 5: Decide where we’re going next.
The sky’s the limit. We have some ideas, and it will depend on our timing, but we can go anywhere.
I’m sure there are other steps, and I’m sure there will be other steps, but I think those are the main ones. We’re doing all of this even though Riley just had his leg amputated, and even while he’s going through chemotherapy. Dogs are portable, too, and he just wants to be with us. It doesn’t matter where. We’ve run out of reasons to delay – we are ready to go.