Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Moving Update

Ok, so we're in the new place. There are still some stragglers and bastard boxes left at the old house that I cannot for the life of me get motivated to deal with... but we have til Saturday so I'm just counting on some form of divine intervention to relocate them and then do a light cleaning.

The main event took place on Saturday. Most of our belongings were boxed up and ready to go when our movers showed up. I should point out that our movers this time around were Becca and Ross. Last time, we hired a moving company because I insisted that asking friends to help wasn't en vogue for people of our age. And while having professional movers was fine, it ended up costing about 3 times as much as we'd planned and I just wasn't prepared for that kind of expense again.

So for the price of a Uhaul, bagels, beer and pizza... we got some much needed assistance. It was actually way more fun having them around -- I'm sure they just had a blast shlepping things in and out of the truck -- and they moved just about as quickly and efficiently as the "real" movers. I, on the other hand, was completely useless owing to the very publicized rule that pregnant ladies should not be lifting heavy objects and moving furniture around. I tried to busy myself but scooting around the house like a fat crab, gathering loose ends, tv cables, and whatnot.

Within a few hours we had the Uhaul absolutely stuffed and left behind a heap of things to be moved via car in future shuttles back and forth. At the new place, unloading went even faster, particularly since we had reinforcements -- Ryan and Steve (just in time for lunch... clever).

It was at this point that I realized the carrying stuff around part of moving is perhaps the most physically grueling, but it's all the peripheral stuff that really crushes your soul. Packing, unpacking, organizing, searching around in boxes for your belongings, closing up old utility accounts, setting up new ones. Movers don't help with all of that. I don't doubt there are people you can pay to do it for you, but I'm sure they're out of my price range.

I spent the rest of the weekend being depressed and irritable because I was living in what I considered to be a hell hole, or what most people would consider to be a new apartment that just needs to be set up. In response to my frequent sighing, whining, groaning, and yelling, Devin kept reminding me that everything was going to be fine. My stance was more, "Shut up and let me be miserable because this sucks."

Monday night, Katie and Becca came over to help me arrange and clear out the living room. It was then that we established there is absolutely no logical place to put the television (pictures to come later). The apartment was built in the 1950s before every home needed spots to clearly place a couch and TV. We eventually reached a conclusion that involved improvising a TV stand out of one of those $10 Lack Ikea tables that everyone has at least one of. What really would've come in handy as a temporary solution is the TV stand I JUST FREAKING SOLD during my craigslist fury. Sigh.

Anyway that's been the only major disappointment now that I've calmed down and am settling in. That, and the fact that we -- for whatever reason -- don't get cell service in our apartment. We'd planned on getting a land line anyway, so I suppose in this phase of our lives we'll be kicking it old school on a cordless phone. Or maybe one of those ones that mounts on the wall in the kitchen and has a really, really long spiral cord. You know, the ones you don't ever want to be on because texting is so much simpler. Devin says it'll be nice not to be reachable all the time. Yeah, we'll see.

More to come!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Space Bags to the Rescue!

I've already started complaining about my spatial concerns for the new apartment. So in keeping with that theme, let's move on to my worries about closet storage, shall we?

In our current living situation, we have 2 full size bedroom closets, each with their own wall of cavernous built-in cabinets, shelves and drawers that we've managed to pack to the gills with clothes, luggage, old paperwork and god knows what else. We also have 2 hall closets, also filled with odds and ends -- extra bedding, camping supplies, Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes.

In the new apartment, we'll be confined to one small bedroom closet, no built-in anythings, and one ok-sized closet in the living room. Technically there is a lovely-sized closet in the baby's new room and since his clothes are tiny and he has no clue what's going on in the world, we could take over his closet. Right?

This is what I thought until gifts started showing up by mail off our registry and are now cascading throughout the living room, hallway, and half the spare bedroom. Apparently babies require a disproportionally massive amount of stuff in order to exist. (Or so Babies R Us would have me believe...)

I was dwelling on all of this back on my sick day the other week, as I launched my Craigslist venture (btw - I've sold or gotten rid of everything but the desk!). Then, as luck would have it, I saw this lengthy commercial for Space Bags.

I actually saw it about 15 times while watching a marathon of Snapped on Oxygen. But it only took til the second viewing for me to hop online and order me up some space saving technology!

Then, 400 other things happened in my life and took up all of my attention and by the time the bags were delivered to my office on Monday, I'd kind of forgotten all about them. But their arrival renewed my vigor for sucking the life out of everything in my closets and I spent the rest of the day showing off my new purchase to anyone who would listen. Actually, I didn't bother opening the shipping container, so really I was just marching around the office, cradling a cardboard box and shoving it in coworkers' faces. Look what I've got! Jealous?

When I got home, it was time to get to work. Starting with the "cube" bags, which are meant to be ideal for bedding. Here's a heap of stuff.

Into the bag it goes. Don't worry, Midge the Cat was not included.

Presto, sucko and...

Ta-da! A rock hard sack... that isn't exactly cube like.

A little disappointing, but moving on... old Halloween costumes, including this little number. These were taking up a whole box in the closet. Totally unnecessary.

Give em hell, vacuum hose attachment!

Oooo. Now I've got a pallet of Halloween fun.

Time to try the cube again. They're supposed to fit in the little zip-up organizer included with the bags. Looks at those neat little cubes!

An illustration on the bag says to put the cube bag in a box, and then I guess it takes the box's shape as you vacuum seal it. Fine, I'll try anything. Into the box it goes.

What's that you say? You also have no life and get excited by storage solutions? You'd actually like to spend time watching the air be removed from a bag o' bedding? Well, I aim to please. (See what happens when I don't drink?)

And we have... another not-cube to put with the lumpy pile. Oh well.

Here I stopped, unsure of what I could bag up next. All of my non-maternity, normal human clothes are a good candidate, but they've already been brought to the new place. I'm tempted to seal up things that we need on a regular basis, like towels, just for kicks. I've still got 6 bags left! I'm sure there's loads more pointless air in our house that I can get rid of!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Friend Craig

Much the same way it's said that a goldfish will grow larger depending on the size of its tank, Devin and I have a habit of spreading out and obtaining as many belongings as are necessary to fill our current home. And in all of the years we've lived together, we've always had two bedrooms that we could really fill up to our hearts' content.

Now we're getting ready to move into our new apartment, but this time our home will be smaller. And, for the first time, we're going to have to confine ourselves to one of the two bedrooms so that our brand new baby can have a place of his own.

But what can we get rid of? I'm no hoarder but I want all of my things.

After humming and hawing, breaking out the tape measure, and weighing our options, I came up with a list of stuff that had to go. And then it was time to embark on my biggest Craigslist venture ever.

The patio furniture, office furniture, pub table, tv stand, the fridge, old air conditioners, gardening supplies... everything must go! As hard as it was to think of parting with some of this stuff, once I started posting things, I turned into Crazy Gideon. Asking prices got lower, my sales pitches got pushier, and I tore feverishly through the house seeing what else I could get rid of.

Once everything was put out there into the internet universe, I waited impatiently. By coincidence (or maybe as a result of overexerting myself), I came down with a nasty cold and stayed home sick the day after I went live with my moving sale. I spent the whole day on my couch, next to my laptop and surrounded by used tissues. By late morning, the first few emails came in.

And they were dismal. Confusing sentence fragments, spam, and my personal favorite, an email that just read "Joe" with a phone number. I responded to everyone anyway. But once I'd answered questions or placed calls, the trail went cold. No one went any further. New emails would come in and I'd answer them psychotically quickly, but there was no promise.

By early evening I'd given up hope. I know, I'm quick to throw in the towel. But I was sick so everything in life just seemed worse than it was. Then, between my 86th and 87th attempts to clear a particularly difficult level in Super Mario 3 for Wii, a glimmer of hope appeared in my inbox. A perfectly constructed email from a woman who wanted the patio furniture set. I sent my desperate response in about 4 seconds. YES YOU COME HERE AND BUY NOW PLEASE I NEED HAPPINESS. To my delight, she wrote back again within a few minutes and we set plans for her to come by and get it that night.

She, her roommate, and some guy they'd coerced into using his truck and carrying things, showed up at my doorstep after dark. They quickly decided they wanted the table. Then, admiring the string of lanterns I had hanging around the backyard, one of them commented they'd need to get some for their own patio. "OH! Take them!" I blurted out.
"How much?"
"Oh, you can just have them. Do you need other stuff for your apartment? I have so many things."
"Um... mostly just outdoor stuff. Like a fire pit..."
"I have that! It's yours. 10 bucks. And here, take this firewood too."

By the time they pulled away with a truckload of backyard stuff, precariously tetris-ed in and tied down, I had the feeling things would turn around.

Since then, I've sold off the pub table, an office organizer, TV stand, and the old fridge (I think... if she actually comes to pick it up.) I gave away the grill for free since I felt ridiculous asking anyone to pay for that beat up old thing. Of course, when the girl came to pick it up and remarked "Oh! It looks great!" I wondered if perhaps I'd cheated myself out of a few extra bucks.

With a few items remaining, I've so far earned $280 (More if the fridge works out). Enough to be a big help paying for all the new stuff I'll need to fill every nook and cranny of the new apartment.