Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011


The Movers Came And Left Us Boxes

Which was the whole idea, of course!  We weren’t sure if the huge tractor-trailer was going to make it into the complex, but there is a back entrance and it worked out just fine.  They unloaded in less time than it took to load the truck, so it was quite nice for it to be done in under three hours.  Of course now we are surrounded by boxes; but we are able to find what we need by referring to our list.  What a time saver that has been!  The movers commented on how well packed the boxes were, and were a little surprised at how little furniture we brought with us.

Looking back I believe we’re both regretting the decision to not move our bed.  We chose to do this because the mattress was not comfortable anymore, and it made financial sense to buy new mattresses when we arrived.  The airbed was a practical solution.  However, the airbed did not hold up its end of the bargain, and it blew a hole Wednesday night; repeated efforts to fix it with duct tape only made the hole bigger.  So we’ve been sleeping on the floor for right now, as our expected expenses were much larger than we anticipated (details in blog post coming),  and we are unable to return the airbed as it was purchased in a store that exists only in the Midwest.  We were able to unearth Ben and Catie’s body pillows, in the hope that laying on them will prove to be a little more comfier than the floor. We both feel, however, that the temporary discomfort of sleeping on the floor is just a minor blip.  We love living in Florida; we have found most people to be very friendly and nice and willing to help out.

So today we’ve been slowly unpacking boxes and trying to make our apartment our home. Catie has done an awesome job with her room, though we’ve discovered that Brighthouse will need to come back, because the cable outlet in her room is not functional.   The kitchen, although small, has some very roomy cabinets, so we’re confident that everything will fit. We’re thankful there are recyclable dumpsters in the back, which allows us to easily dispose of our cardboard boxes and packing paper.  It seems a little “un-green” to not Freecycle them, but with the gated entrance it’s not a viable option.

We also drove around the city of Clermont to sightsee and locate the public library and the middle school.  It was too late in the afternoon to go to the library, but we will do that during the week to check it out.  We took what we thought were pictures of the area, but they ended up being videos instead, so we will go around again later and take pictures and post to the blog.

We discovered our local Winn-Dixie grocery store, and we were quite impressed by it. Winn-Dixie does have a saver card (the only one of the three main grocery stores to have one), and we probably will frequent this store quite a lot.  We were originally put off by Winn-Dixie because we had visited one in the Kissimmee area two years ago while on vacation and were not impressed.  The store in Clermont, however, is fairly nice and the prices are not unreasonable.

After dinner we took time to swim in the pool, which is so nice to be able to do that.  Ben is turning into a regular little fish, and I”m sure it will not be long before Catie is as well. Tomorrow morning we will visit a church that is one of our top choices, and are really looking forward to getting settled into a church close to home.



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Approaching the End

Last week we received a call from our landlord, stating he was going to send us a checklist of things we need to complete if we want to receive our security deposit back.  He called this morning to check to see if we received it, and as of yet, we haven’t.  He then stated he would get it to us soon, but we’re not overly concerned with what’s on it.  This will be the fifth time we’ve moved in thirteen years, and we know what needs to be done, and are working on completing it.  It’s exhausting to say the least, but we are thankful the end is in sight.

Today we pulled all items off Craigslist, except for the lawnmower, and will donate them to Goodwill.  The kids’ mattresses were picked up today, and the television armoire was also picked up today.  Yeah!   Our garbage can and recycle bin are overflowing, as we tried to dispose of as much as we possibly could, so as not to leave the cans full when we leave.  (Pick up is Wednesday morning)

Today was Ben’s last day with Ray* (*name changed to protect privacy).  Ray has been Ben’s therapist since Kindergarten, and he has really helped Ben to grow and mature, and understand his autism.  We have had several therapists come and go in our household, but Ray has always been there for Ben; he has been his steady rock in a world that seemed always changing and unfamiliar at times.  Ben knew that no matter what happened; Ray would always be there for him. Over the years Ray went from being a therapist to one of the family, and really provided that Grandfather presence that Ben lacks.  We are so appreciative of Ray’s devotion to our son; there is no way we could ever express how much it means to us.   And so today, we said good-bye to Ray; there were tears, but Ben handled it really well.  God bless you, Ray, for making a difference in the life of our child.  ♥



Moo-ving along!

 We’re from Wisconsin–we had to include a pic of a cow somehow! 😉

We have reached a point in our move where we need to examine what we will need for the next few days, and pack the rest away.  It’s very refreshing not to be hassled at the last minute, as we have been on all our other moves. Instead of being in major packing mode, these past days have, for the most part, been pretty routine.  Catie’s room is done, except for the last minute necessities that need to be packed up, and the kitchen is slowly getting packed away, as we decide on whether to keep certain items or give them to Nick.

On Monday we received 25 boxes from a fellow Freecycler, sturdy boxes from a moving company, and we were so grateful to get them!  We are currently trying to dispose of the rest of our furniture, and will have to decide soon when the break point is when we pull everything off Craigslist and donate it to Goodwill.   We also have a lawnmower, which is less than a year old, and a weed whacker, which is less than a month old; if these do not sell before next Friday, then we will give these items to Nick to try to sell for us.

We’ve finalized the payment for Mayflower, and are really excited to see that part of our journey unfold, as we’ve never used professional movers before.  We’ve learned so much about the “right” way to pack, which is really a consideration if you are moving such a long distance.  Please see our earlier post ‘Packing Those Boxes’, published in March, if you are looking for more detailed information.

Thank you for following us along on our journey!



Pack Only What You Love

One interesting aspect of moving is the realization that your possessions are simply that: possessions.  We made the decision early on not to move most of our furniture, simply due to the condition the items are in.  If you can sell your couch for $50 but it costs $100 to move, it simply doesn’t make financial sense to do it.  There are a few pieces that we are moving, mainly due to sentimental reasons:  a hand-painted stool given as an anniversary present, the kitchen table that has been in the family for decades, and of course our computers that are too expensive to replace.

Today we had our Freecycle “garage cleaning out” event, and we were able to dispose of about 60% of what was out there. It’s not a bad result, and only required an hour of our time.  Our goal is to get rid of all unwanted items, so that Nick doesn’t need to deal with it on his moving day. We have the items up under the “free” section of Craigslist, and we’ve already had a couple of bites on our TV armoire, so we’re hopeful that we will be able to give it away.   Our city does not have a bulky pick-up, so any unwanted items needs to be brought to the drop-off site.  Nick is renting a U-Haul truck for July 21st to clear out his bedroom and take our mattress set to his apartment, and the back-up plan is that he will remove any of our unwanted furniture for us, by bringing it to the disposal site.

We needed to buy more packing tape, so we went to Wal-Mart afterwards, where we made an interesting discovery:  they sell boxes, and at about half the price U-Haul charges.  We picked up a few, but I anticipate we’ll be needing to go back and get some more.  We’re nearing the end of our packing, and we don’t mind paying for a few to get the job done.   A word to the wise:  you will need way more boxes than you anticipate; start collecting them early.  We have needed to pack our boxes more securely than if we were just moving across town; which requires the use of more boxes, tape, and paper than we have utilized in the past.  Currently we have 206 boxes packed; which seems like a lot but realize some of these boxes are smaller boxes that Nick was able to bring home from the restaurant: free is free after all!  We don’t even want to consider how many boxes we would have needed if we had kept all our belongings:  we estimate that we have disposed of approximately sixty percent of our possessions.  Only pack what you truly treasure, as it will save you time and money in the long run. ♥

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It’s Not Just About Packing Boxes

One of the biggest challenges we are facing right now is not packing up the boxes, but finding the best way to dispose of our unwanted furniture and other assorted items.  As you know, we opted not to go the garage sale route, but are using Freecycle and Craigslist, which have their limitations.

Our furniture is not in the best shape, which is why are opting not to sell it (or move it). The difficulty we are encountering with Freecycle is that people initially show an interest, but then fail to respond to the email or fail to show up.  This weekend we are opening our garage up and letting people come and just take what they want, and we’re hoping they will take it all!


Our Craigslist sales have been slow but steady, and we’re very curious as to how much we’ve been able to save using this method.  We think we will break open the piggy on July 20th, as he (the piggy) will get packed.  If you are choosing to sell your items in this way, we recommend starting at least three to four months in advance of your move.  We’ve been able to sell pretty much everything we’ve put on there, but it involves having the right person see it at the right time, which means you’ll need to repost the ad regularly. Craigslist recently did an update, which allows you to renew your posting, instead of deleting it and relisting it; this is definitely a time saver.

Please follow us on Twitter @FondyMark and @jvitek, as we continue to tweet about our progress!  Thanks for following us along; like Tiana sings:  “We’re almost there!”