© 2008-2015 Southern Simplicity All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quiet Soltitude with Pro's & Cons

It is well past midnight as I sit in our new apartment browsing the web for ideas on how to organize this small space and keep our home and life from being CHAOS! I realized that, while I don't love this apartment or very much about it, there are a few things I am enjoying. I thought I would share those with you tonight.
I love the fact that this particular apartment is on the backside of the complex facing a wooded area that separates it from the neighboring townhomes (which are breathtakingly beautiful!!). This means that we have no neighbors peeking in and can leave the windows open wide to let in the fresh, crisp, fall air!! I can sit and listen to the sounds of nature all day and night and only very rarely hear anything else. The occasional siren or car horn is about all I ever hear.
I do love that the bathroom vanity has drawers! Drawers are so useful in the bathroom and I wish more house builders would incorporate them!! It makes so much more sense than endless wasted space below the sink that is found in so many bathrooms!! The bathroom also is home to a decent size linen closet, which is another feature I think every home should have. The bigger the home, the bigger the linen closet! The tub is a garden tub with a tile wall surrounding it on three sides. Again, a nice feature. I have a dislike for small, claustrophobic tubs!
I LOVE the "desk" nook that you see as you enter the apartment. It has three shelves and room for a desk chair. It would be better if it were tiled which would accommodate the desk chair more easily but it'll do!
The closet space in the master bedroom and the coat closet when you enter the apartment are wonderful! Until my last apartment I had very little closet space and had never had a coat closet ever! Talk about spoiled now!! The master bedroom itself is a pretty spacious room, too, with three windows to let in gorgeous weather!
What else about this little place do I like?? The porch is big and spacious. Not screened in so that cats can't go outside but it has plenty of room on it for my rockers, the deep freezer, and some plants, too.
Ah, yes, that leads me to say that there is no outlet on the porch. There should be, I think! I haven't plugged in my deep freezer yet because it is on the porch and we haven't figured out the best way to run an extension cord to it. I'm afraid if we ran it through a window, we would either damage the cord because the window would have to stay shut, or we'd risk the cats getting out because the window was partially open. Furthermore, I hate to think of doing any kind of "damage" to the window/screen/wall since that would probably incur extra fees from the apartment.
In the bathroom, the two sink (another plus!) drains and tub drain, do not, well, drain. We stand in ankle deep water to shower and my sink is nearly half full by the time the water is hot enough to wash my face. I plan to run Drain-O down it this week and see if that helps!
The kitchen, while open, does not have hardly enough pantry or cupboard space for us at all. We are making do by only pulling out the most necessary items and keeping the rest in boxes and/or in storage. Talk about living on a minimum amount of stuff!!
One other odd thing about this apartment is that the bedroom door opens outward into the living room. I've never seen such a thing! That and the light switches are in weird places too!! Not a real complaint, just an observation.
Well, I think this post came from learning to be happy and make the best of what I have until I can afford something better. I could sit and complain all day about how tiny this place is or how its not as upgraded as I want, etc., but instead I try to look at the positive side and be thankful that it came open at the right time, the deal didn't fall through, we can afford it and didn't have to sign a whole new lease (just took over one), it is in a great area of town and is close to just about everything.
Hope this encourages you to look at the positive side, the glass half full, the brighter side of life!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moving...What A Chore!

Moving. If you haven't done it, and don't have to...don't!
Since Friday morning, we have spent a total of 4 days moving stuff, 2 days loading the truck, countless trips up and down stairs, and 2 additional trips back home for a total of 3 extra car loads of, well, junk!! Additionally, there were countless hands that helped out from the very beginning when we decided to move to the unloading of the moving truck!
Overall, we were on our own this move. Very few peoples were available to help us load or unload the truck. That made for a very long two days of loading the truck. We are so happy to have the majority of it over with. Still a few things to pick up at my parents house, but that's for another trip!
When you start packing to move, you realize just how much stuff you really have and you find yourself asking questions like, where did this come from? Why do I have this?? Why do I have multiples of the same thing? I think the majority of people start off trying to be super organized at the beginning of a moving process, but quickly that leads to everything being thrown into a box marked "miscellaneous". Um, yeah, that leads to not being able to find a single thing when you start unpacking!!
So all that to say, here are a few tips that might help you on your next move!
*Don't buy boxes! Ask friends & family to hold boxes for you from home, work, and school! Paper boxes are amazing!
*Packing material: newspaper works if that's what you have on hand, but if you can get plain butcher paper that would be better. It won't smear onto your dishes & other fragile items!
*Use small boxes for books. Yes, it makes for more boxes, but they will be easier to handle!
*Depending on how much time you have to pack for a move, go through magazines, catalogs, etc. and tear out out the pages with articles, pictures, products, etc. that you want to save. File them into an accordion file (or bigger if you need it) by catagory (i.e. Gardening, Cleaning, Vacations, Recipes) and donate/trash/pass on the magazines. Saves room!
*You can never have too much packing material around or in fragile items. It is worth buying the bubble wrap to use! Make sure the box isn't too heavy and nothing jingles/moves around when GENTLY shook!!
*Use towels to line your fragile boxes with...makes for a cushion on the bottom and protection on the top.
*Before a move, make a pile/designate a shelf for anything that is open--cleaners, food, soon-to-expire products. Use as much as up as you can before you move. Bless your neighbor with the rest of it or trash it appropiately.
*Make a donate pile and get a receipt to write it off your taxes, espeically if it is a big ticket item! It adds up!
*Take used books to a book store that allows you to trade them in for store credit! Also, google websites that do the same. Any books you cannot get rid of, donate to your local library's "Friends of the Library" program or a donation program for soldiers/veterans.
*Another tip that I was given AFTER I had most of the house packed is to pack the boxes by room. Start in a room that is less used than others (a guest room perhaps) and move into the rooms that are most used (the kitchen, maybe).
*Label boxes on the top and on one side, and stack them all facing the same way (works awesome if all your boxes are like-sized). Reinforce the bottoms of boxes with extra packing tape, especially for heavy items.
*Clothes can be packed into suitcases and tubs. Especially seasonal clothing that could potentially be stored in the tubs in the off-season!

Above all, try to make the best of it and leave yourself enough time to pack efficiently !!! Moving is stressful! If there are other people in your household, make a promise not to take your stress out on each other! Take frequent breaks and get out of the house (even just to the front yard, sweet tea on the porch, walk down the street). Give each person a particular room or group of items to pack/be responsible for (the kids could pack all the toys and the husband could pack the garage!).
I am not looking forward to moving again in 5 months to our permanent address, but I hope to be more organized with less stuff by then!!