Sunday Salon: Packing & Changes

Tomorrow we will receive the keys to our new home. This is the first time Bas and I will actually move to a place together, as I had been living in the apartment where we have lived the last seven years a few years before he moved in.

These last few weeks have been marked by slowly packing up as much of our stuff as possible, to make the move a little easier. The new house still needs to be painted and partially needs a new floor. We need to have moved out of our apartment before the 1st of July. Since we have never painted a full house, we have no clue how long this will all take, but hopefully it won’t be too stressful.

Since I am pregnant I am not allowed near paint the whole day. I am also unable to help much with manual labour. So my job? I will probably take care of food for the people who are painting. And I’ll be working during the week as I try to complete an insane number of deadlines before pregnancy leave at the beginning of August.

Getting there.. one box at a time.

Getting there.. one box at a time.

Meanwhile, I am packing up my books. Slowly but surely. I suspected that people might be overreacting when they told me that come June, I might not be able to lift much. But they were right. It has been rather disappointing to notice that after packing two boxes of books, I need to sit down and rest because my abdominal muscles are already painful. And this is just taking books from shelves and putting them in boxes, mind. Bas carries them to the larger pile later on.

I knew I had many books but it has been a surprise to see how many boxes are needed to actually pack them up. I am down to the last bookshelf, that is, if I don’t count the review copies still hiding in another closet. Packing books has made me long for a time when I will have read all the unread books and might actually buy books I want to read at that very moment (give me a couple of years!)

I have purged quite a lot of books from my shelves (around 150), but it has been rather problematic to think of a way to get rid of them. Charity shops in the neighbourhood don’t really accept books at all anymore, and since I read in English and most read in Dutch they’re unlikely to accept my books. (There’s still one at a 5 km bike ride that I might try – but try getting there with 150 books). Selling them has proven incredibly difficult, even if I offer them for 20 cents a piece (and I don’t want to say “for free” on a general site as they then pop up in advertisements of resellers for ridiculous prices – this has happened before). And I just cannot cannot cannot fathom the thought of throwing them in the trash.

–  –  –

The move is both scary and exciting. As much as I complained about this apartment in the last couple of years, I am sure I will be sad and a little nostalgic when the time comes to leave it. I have been walking around the neighbourhood lately (restless legs means I simply have to walk sometimes or I cannot sleep), and even though I wouldn’t want my child to grow up here, there are still some places of beauty around. I will still be visiting this city every week as I go in for work, I will be seeing my friends that still live here, but it won’t be the same I’m sure.

And then there is the new town, the new neighbourhood, new people to get used to in the new house. It always takes me some time to settle in – more than it does for others, I guess. I cannot wait for the feeling of “being home” to arrive sooner rather than later. It scares me at times. But then I remember the space we’ll have compared to now. The garden. The nearness of actual nature and not miles and miles of flat grasslands outside the city. The idea of building a home there together with Bas. And with the little one.


As I navigate these changing circumstances, I thought it might be nice to keep a photo log. I have seen the #100happydays challenge around at the facebook of a colleague, and lately quite a few bloggers have started as well. I do not quite see myself remembering to take a picture each day, but I really really want to try. Pictures will be posted on my instagram.

– – –

I hope you do not mind these rather more personal updates. I think they might become more regular from now on.

Have a happy Sunday everyone!

21 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Packing & Changes

  1. Lisa Hill

    I have a suggestion about the books: you could donate them to less expensive hotels that cater for international guests. Some of the hotels I have stayed in, in non-English speaking countries (Spain, Italy, France) have a sort of book-swap shelf where tourists leave behind the books they’ve read, and take away one left behind by someone else. I found these to be a boon on my holidays when I ran out of books to read, and I was only away for 6 weeks. I can carry enough books for 4 weeks, but not 6, and goodness knows what I would do if I were away for longer than that. eBooks don’t entirely solve the problem, because you’re not allowed to use them during take off and landing and you need something to read for what amounts to a whole hour of complete boredom…

    1. Iris Post author

      Dat is die op 5 km afstand😉 Moet nog even bedenken hoe ik daar de boeken heen ga brengen. Maar is inderdaad de optie die ik open houd🙂

  2. rhapsodyinbooks

    I like that idea too about the hotels. But I have found it’s incredibly hard to get places to take books, even places you would think could use them, like women’s shelters. Re paint, I am allergic to the new paint smell, and so have paid lots of money for special non-fume paint, only to find it didn’t make much difference. It seems like a good idea just to stay away from it!

    Scary and exciting sounds about right for a move. I wish you luck (and fun!)

  3. Caroline

    Good luck, Iris. I had n o idea about all those chnages in your life. i wish you all the best with everything. I hope you’ll let us know more in the future.
    The hotel book swap idea is great indeed.

  4. james b chester

    I always donate to my local library. There’s a “Friends of the Library” group who keep a second hand shop and hold monthly book sales as a fundraiser. I had no idea it was hard to give away books in other places. Though my reading is all in English.

    I hope you love your new home. And I say blog about whatever you want to, personal topics or books. You may lose some readers but you’ll probably gain others. Blogging should be about having fun at the end of the day.

  5. Christina

    I certainly understand your anxiety about the changes that moving will bring, but hopefully things will go smoothly and it will quickly begin to feel like home. Just don’t hurt yourself trying to move all those books.

  6. Samantha

    I wonder if selling them through your book blogging community may help find beloved homes for at least a few of them. We all follow your blog because we have similar tastes and value your recommendations, so perhaps a good number of us would love to take one or two books off your hands. It could minimize the work for you if you asked folks to purchase a whole group of books instead of individually – just a thought! (I know I’d love to know what you were giving away!)

    Otherwise, I just wanted to wish you many enthusiastic congratulations about all the exciting things going on for you and Bas!

  7. Nish

    Congratulations. I didn’t realize you are expecting. You need to take it easy with the books and the packing. And all the best with the move.

  8. Charlie

    Agreeing with the hotel idea, too, it’s a great idea. The feeling of being home will just happen, you might not even notice the change straight away (that’s kind of nice, though).

  9. Care

    Congratulations Iris! I saw your post recently but didn’t have a chance til now to properly express happiness for all the excitement in your life!

  10. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I know what you mean about your books needing more boxes than you anticipated! Good luck with everything and do take good care of yourself❤

  11. A.M.B.

    Good luck with the move! I moved into my home almost seven years ago, and I’m ashamed to say so many of my books remain in boxes in my basement. It was difficult to maintain bookshelves with infants crawling around (and ripping pages from my books!), and I now I read mostly e-books.

  12. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Best best best of luck with the move! I will keep a good thought for you and Bas and the little one that everything goes smoothly. I hope y’all settle in quickly to the new place — the best thing is to try early on to find a place nearby (a coffee shop or bar or restaurant or whatever) where you feel perfectly comfortable. That has always been my personal shortcut to getting the “home” feeling about a new place.

  13. Lu

    Moving is always so daunting, I can’t even imagine doing it pregnant! But also, moving into an apartment/house together is so nice. I know that when I moved into Michael’s apartment I never really felt like it was “our” place until we moved into a new one. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve actually enjoyed coming up with my #100happydays post every day. I thought it would be more of a challenge, but it’s fun to create something happy if the day hasn’t been perfect. Good luck with the rest of the move! I can’t wait to hear more about the new place.

  14. Lu

    (Also I can’t believe I wasn’t following you on Instagram!! I definitely thought I was. I’m convinced Instagram unfollows people for me sometimes.)

  15. amymckie

    Good luck and congratulations🙂 I hope that the move is progressing well – it must be hard when you are so limited in what you can do right now! Packing books is definitely difficult. That is too bad that there isn’t much you can do with your old books – I’ve donated some and there are also bookstores here which will buy (for a tiny fraction of the value) used books to re-sell them, which is nice.


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