Moving Into A New Year


January 1, 2015 by Jean

foyer from living roomYesterday was move-in day! My contractor and one of his workers spent the morning installing the backsplash and cabinet hardware in the new bathroom, doing final touch-ups of paint, and cleaning every inch of the new space. The curtain that has separated the part of the house I am living in from the new construction was removed; then we took apart my bed and they moved it from the old bedroom into the new. Although they still have work to do outside, the interior space is essentially done!The view above is looking from my living room (part of the original house) into the new front entry and foyer, to the new master bedroom and bath beyond the foyer.

new bedroom2I have been having a wonderful time getting settled in the new bedroom. I have brought up two small chests of drawers that have been stored in the basement for months to act as nightstands, brought up a bookcase as well, hung pictures on the walls and put down scatter rugs on the floor, and then started moving clothes into the closets. It was a special treat to go to bed last night in this room with its enormous window and view of the night sky and an even greater pleasure to greet the New Year by waking up here for the first time this morning. And how nice to have room to do my morning stretching exercises without bumping into furniture and to go into a closet and get out clothes to wear without having to climb over boxes!

The new bathroom isn’t fully functional yet. The plumbing fixtures are all hooked up and working; but in my despair over whether the job would ever be done, I neglected to order accessories like towel rods, a toilet paper holder, or a vanity mirror. Those items should be delivered and installed in the next week or so, and then I will be able to celebrate by inaugurating my luxurious new shower.

new bathroom new shower

I feel as though my life has suddenly gotten unstuck. I’m excited to take on all the various chores involved in moving into this new space. Today, I moved books into the bedroom bookcase, and tomorrow I will put together a set of glass shelves to make a home for houseplants in the bedroom. I’m also eager to get moving on the long list of projects to reconfigure other rooms in my house. Now that the bed is out of the room that will become my new study, I can begin work on that transformation. It’s time to buy a gallon of the paint color I picked out for the walls in this room. Once the walls are painted, I can assemble the wall of floor-to-ceiling bookcases that have been sitting in boxes on the floor for weeks. Then I can move my desk into place and transfer my computer, printer and files into this room. The area rug for the room and the desk chair can be brought up from the cellar, pictures hung on the walls, and many boxes of books unpacked. And once this room is functioning as a study, I’ll be able to transform the small room that has served as a study for the past 25 years into a combination guest room and sewing room.

All of these interior projects will keep me plenty busy through the winter. But even as I do all this, I can also dream about designs for the new front garden that I will begin working on next spring.

Today is the first official day of my retirement, and it feels like the first day of my bright, shiny new life as a retiree!

14 thoughts on “Moving Into A New Year

  1. Jean R. says:

    What a wonderful way to start out the new year! I love your windows in the new bedroom, both the big ones and the little ones on the bed wall. They should bring in a lot of light. The color to the trim and floor is exactly to my tastes as well. Your winter is going to be so much fun, especially after the long road you’ve been on to get to this point. Congratulations!

    • Jean says:

      Jean, I am loving my new bedroom; it is a wonderfully light and airy space. In addition to the windows you can see in the photo, there is a glass door (behind me as I was taking the photo) leading out to a small deck.

  2. Congratulations on really ‘moving’ into the new year. I’m sure it will be challenging but very satisfying to get everything in order just the way you want it in plenty of time before the 2015 gardening season starts. 2015 – it’s going to be a good one for you. 🙂

    • Jean says:

      Judy, I’m taking my time getting things in order in my new space. I’m still buying some furniture and slowly unpacking things that have been in storage for months. One of my favorite ways to nest is to hang artwork on the walls. Each day, I get one thing unpacked and/or moved into its new home.

  3. Diana Studer says:

    now the fun bit, when you CAN do the things you want to!
    No more waiting, waiting, waiting some more (as we still are ;~)

    • Jean says:

      Diana, I hope your remodeling project goes more quickly than mine has. It is wonderful not to just be waiting anymore but to have fun doing things (and finally being able to invite friends to my house).

  4. Jean, The new rooms look lovely! It’s nice that you have all winter to decorate and organize everything to your liking. Happy New Year!

    • Jean says:

      Happy New Year, Rachel. You are right; despite my frustration over how long this project has taken, winter is the perfect time to be decorating and getting the new space organized.

  5. Carole says:

    Just beautiful! I love the paint colors, the tile, the hardwood floors. The bathroom is gorgeous! It will be very satisfying to get settled into your new space. 😊

    • Jean says:

      Carole, We must share a similar aesthetic sense. I still haven’t started using the new bathroom. Today, the last of the accessories for the bathroom arrived, and I began moving linens into the new bathroom linen closet. I hope to inaugurate the new shower this weekend. I am finding the process of getting settled into this new space very satisfying.

  6. What a great celebration Jean. I love your new space and all the windows. I can’t wait to see more. Even though it has been almost a year, I wasn’t ready to move in to my home and make it over for my retirement…I just started as well, clearing out the old, unused and no longer needed items and making new work spaces as I start many projects….just going through all my books and CDs took one day and over 8 hrs…Happy New Year Jean!

    • Jean says:

      Donna, I’m very impressed that you could go through books and CDs in one day! I spent months doing that before I left Gettysburg last spring, and it will take me many days to unpack books at this end and get them all put away in the right place. Happy New Year to both of us as we move into our first full years of retirement!

  7. Roger Clark says:

    Hi Jean,

    What a marvelous blog site. Didn’t know of it, or of your retirement, until today. I can imagine that being able to move into your new/old home has been a real turning point. Love the honesty of your October reflection and the excitement of this one! Happy New Year! The house looks great. Enjoy!

    • Jean says:

      Roger, How nice to hear from you! I’m delighted that you found your way here. I am learning a lot about the sociology of retirement and aging as I triangulate my own experience, reading of both research and theory, and some informal research on the experiences of others. I am loving my “new” house and looking forward to starting work on the new front garden in spring.

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I am Jean Potuchek, a professional sociologist who has just stepped into the next phase of my life, retirement, after more than thirty years of college teaching. This blog is about my experience of that new phase of life.

Please join me as I step into my future.

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