Living over 2 years ago by Liz Adams

All About Our Move to Charleston

I can’t believe it has been almost 3 months since our move and I haven’t really talked about the process yet! I feel like you’re all well aware (thanks to my oversharing) that the move was somewhat emotional but it was also pretty seamless. Our decision to move probably felt pretty sudden although the idea of this move had been discussed since the early days of Liz and Dave (circa 2012!). I feel grateful that Charleston has always sort of felt like an extension of home to me, my grandmother lives here and I grew up coming here numerous times a year my entire life. It is a familiar place so there was/is a comfort in our move.

We feel more and more settled with every day that passes and truly pinch ourselves that we live here. We have met so many amazing people, are slowly getting more and more involved with the kids and really feel like this is home. I feel proud of us that we took this leap of faith in believing that living here would be a good choice for us. I would have happily lived in Chicago forever and there are parts of it that I really do miss. But starting this life for our family of five feels really special.

I had a lot of questions come through about our move so wanted to answer them here! Let me know if you have any additional questions in the comments. ALSO – I want to hear from you. Scroll to the bottom for my question and give me your feedback!

How did you decide it was worth the effort? Currently considering a move but struggling with the idea of completely starting over.

So this is something we had considered doing for YEARS but when we finally decided to do it, it happened really fast. I don’t think I had much time to “decide” if it was worth it or not. We knew that the process was going to be a transition and a shift but that if we truly wanted to do it, then we sort of had to just go with it. A big thing I tried to remind myself during the process was that nothing has to be permanent. If a few years down the road we feel like we are meant to be back in the Midwest, then we will go back. I moved in the third grade and I think maybe my first day of school was nerve-racking and after that it was totally fine! Starting over is hard. I’m still trying to find my groove but our reasons for moving were/are more appealing than the decision to stay at this stage in our lives.

How did you introduce the idea of moving to your kids?

Luckily our month of November sort of made this process easier for us (for those of you who don’t know, we rented a house here for the month of November to see if we could see ourselves moving – we bought our house during that month!). We have some great friends that lived across the street from us then and we used them as a way to introduce our move. The boys were so excited that they would get to leave near them, living near the beach, talk of our friends and family from Chicago visiting, etc. After 2020, our kids are so used to being only with us that they were excited!

How did you decide which moving company to use? Did they help you pack, too?

We used United Van Lines. Dave called around the 4 or 5 companies and United had the best customer reviews to price situation for what we were looking for. We did majority of the packing because we really went room by room starting in December, purging and packing what we could. We did hire them to pack our entire kitchen and dining room (basically all the fragile stuff) and they did a great job. They were quick and efficient and our stuff arrived in Charleston in just 3 or 4 days!

How long did it take you to pack? Where did you start?

Well we probably started really packing about 6 weeks out from our move and would slowly pack a few boxes a day. But the last week we moved the boys to my parents house so we could have free-range of all of our rooms and that’s when we really started boxing things up. We started with clothes, basement stuff, toys, miscellaneous items and then finished with kitchen, fragile pieces, lamps, decorative items and so on.

How did you stay healthy/positive during the moving haze?

Oh my gosh I didn’t. I legit don’t remember much from the 7 weeks leading up to our move and after having George. I would literally hide in our bedroom until Dave made me leave because we had to starting packing it. I think I tried to ignore it as much as I could and hold onto time in Chicago/with my family and friends. It was a lot of change all at once and needless to say if I can do it, you can too.

What did you decide to keep/purge?

I basically wanted to purge everything. Our house here in Charleston is so different from our house in Chicago and I knew our decor would be a different vibe living in a more coastal environment. We sold a lot of our old furniture to the buyers of our old house which was great! Then we brought furniture to basically be a place holder for new items that have a long shipping window. I purged a lot of clothes, a LOT of toys and just wanted to start fresh. I’m not one that holds on to sentimental value of things so it’s usually a quick decision if something stays or goes.

How did you get your old house clean + ready for buyers when you were moving cities?

So the timing of our home buy was kind of crazy. We put an offer on a house in Charleston while we were still here in November, had the inspection and once everything looked like it was going to be smooth sailing we called our realtor in Chicago to list our house (all while still being in Charleston for another week). Briana Murray is our relator in Chicago and she is a DREAM. She has an amazing eye for interiors and also offers staging services. So when we called her to put our house on the market I asked if she could get into our house, stage it, take photos and everything before we returned home. That way the kids weren’t destroying the house and everything looked good! She is so accommodating when it comes to scheduling showings and we ended up selling our house pretty quickly with few showings needed. She made it so seamless!

Did you have a system for organization? What did you send with movers vs. move yourself?

The only items we physically moved were Dave’s golf clubs, our coffee machine (haha it’s our baby) and Webster. Everything else went in the truck!

How long did it take you to unpack once you arrived in Charleston?

We are still unpacking! Physical boxes are all gone but all of our art/photos that should hang on the wall are all still bubble wrapped and stacked in our bedroom (the last step of decorating our rooms). Also, I desperately need someone to come organize our closets because we kind of just threw stuff somewhere to get it out of boxes. So I guess boxes are all unpacked but we are very disorganized.

How many boxes of sentimental things did you keep? We are moving and having a hard time giving things up!

So I guess sentimental means something different to everyone! Each of my boys has a box with their “sentimental” items. Things like their hospital bracelets, the first blankets they were wrapped in at the hospitals, special presents (like Tiffany’s sterling silver mugs with their birth stats), school art work that is actually good/special or has their hand prints on them (and not all of them) and birth certificates.

Where did you get the boxes you used?

Briana (our realtor) had some clients who had just moved and had a ton of boxes that we reused! Then United brought extra wardrobe boxes and enough packing supplies for our kitchen/fragile items.

Anything you would do differently the next time around?

Hm, honestly no! Our move was pretty organized from a tactical standpoint. I mean I maybe wouldn’t recommend the short time frame of our decision to move to welcoming George to then moving but also I don’t think I would have committed to doing it any other way. I think if we would have come back to Chicago and waited to buy, we would have had George and I would have been comfortable and happy where we were (I still would have been!). I’m such a creature of comfort that the fast change sort of had to happen for me.

So I want to know:
Did you make any drastic changes after 2020? Did you move? Change jobs? Choose a new path? I want to know!