Save the handyman

Yeah, I’m writing about moving again. Expect more of the same until I reach a state of normalcy. I’ll try to make it interesting, or at least funny, if not both. I don’t even have endorsements of companies who have helped us. My realtor, though fantastic, has her own form of advertisement. The housecleaners were adequate, as was the carpet cleaner, at least I didn’t have to do the cleaning myself.

The only advice I’d give is if you’re moving locally, choose a moving company whose policy is to physically come into the home and take stalk. We packed our own belongings, moved most of the boxes ourselves, yet there wasn’t enough room to transfer all our stuff. They took the square footage of our house and didn’t listen to me about having a ridiculous amount of patio furniture and only sent one small truck. It didn’t matter anyway, because they didn’t even make it out of the house. Not only that, but they helped move our queen size, platform bed out to the patio so I could sell it, and a gargantuan desk so we could disassemble it for the dump, which is good because they wouldn’t have fit in the truck anyway. The actual movers were fine young men. It wasn’t their fault. The schedulers put them in a tight spot by not being thorough. I do dislike companies that put all their efforts into making a sale and drop the ball on the working end.

The best thing that’s happened in this whole move, is finding our handyman. As you can imagine I have a big mouth, I’ll talk to anybody in a store if they seem to have similar interests, discovered by what they are purchasing. I was in the Home Depot paint department and started a conversation with a random woman. I told her the quote I had gotten from a contractor to paint the entire inside of my house. Needless to say it was way over our budget. I mean really, I was going to paint myself, so you can imagine how over-priced it was. She said, “You need a good handyman.” And she gave me her guy’s phone number. I don’t know how you feel about receiving such information, but for me, sharing that kind of treasure is like being told where gold is buried.

Back in the early days, when we hadn’t lived in our house very long, my husband and I had a good handyman. He was elderly at that time, and we lost track of him after several years. He was a heavy smoker, and most likely passed by now. Though if I knew if he was alive and where he was I would’ve drug him out of retirement, probably hooked to oxygen and using a walker, and begged him to paint my house. Instead I opened my mouth to a complete stranger in Home Depot.

Still I went home and attempted to do the painting, because though I’ll talk to strangers in stores, I hate making cold calls, explaining that though I knew the woman’s name who recommended him, I didn’t know her at all. But as you read a couple columns ago, just the taping of the hallway to prepare for painting drove me to make the call. I’m so glad I did, he painted, made repairs, pressured washed the outside, caulked, grouted, and refinished our hardwoods. It’s one of those situations where if there were a fire, I would struggle over who to save? My handyman or my family? Hmm. I’ll get back to you on that one.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in the hub of the community. You can read more of her writing on her website, on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Life section.