The Day My Appliances were Installed

IMG_1454My husband and I got a great sale on the appliances during the President’s Day Sale.  We were able to buy the washer, dryer, and refrigerator.  We were so excited about our side by side stainless steel refrigerator.

The day that the company came to install these items, they told us that we were supposed to have a vent and certain cords to attach the washer/dryer.  Thankfully, the workers who came to install it had one in the truck.  I had no idea that we had to buy these items when we bought our new appliances.  So please learn from my mistake, the workers do not have to have carry the cords and vents on their truck-I just happened to luck out.  I gave the guys who came a $20 tip for helping me out.

At the end of the installation, I had to run about a gallon of water from the refrigerator and dump it out.  I also had to dump out the first batch of ice cubes.  Later that day, I realized that one of the refrigerator drawers wasn’t working well.  It was scratching on the side of the refrigerator and difficult to pull out.  I had the workers come back the next day and look at it, but it looks like it is the make of the refrigerator.  So, we are going to grease it a bit with vegetable oil to try to take the squeakiness out.  The rest of the refrigerator and freezer is amazing!  So we are otherwise happy.

Day 3 of Unpacking

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Finally, I am able to sit and play my music on Pandora and get my closet organized.  I used one of the guest room closets for my summer/spring clothes and shoes.  And my master bedroom walk-in for my fall/winter clothes and shoes.  This way, I can trade out closets when the seasons change.  I also have another spare bedroom closet that holds my work-out clothes and shoes.  I also have my ski gear and bathing suits in here.

My husband has a small closet in our master bedroom that he has his work clothes and shoes in.  And then in our upstairs living room, he has his work-out/hang out clothes and shoes.

The extra closets make it easy to get organized.  I was getting so far along with the organization that my husband was even starting to think where he could hang up some of our wall decorations and pictures.  And the laundry was getting down to the last few loads.

After days of working ten hours a day on organizing the the house, I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was so exhausted and soar, I would only take breaks to do yoga stretches around the house to loosen up my aching muscles.active-athletic-exercise-female-40974.jpeg

Day 2 of Unpacking

The second day of unpacking was just as overwhelming as the first day.  I felt like I was making good progress, and then I woke up and had to jump over piles of shoes and bathroom supplies to get to the master bathroom.  This day got tedious.  This was all of the little soaps and lotions that needed to be organized and put under bathroom cabinets.  I also had to get pajamas, t-shirts, shorts, work-out clothes, socks, etc. folded and put into dressers and other drawers.

Since we don’t have a master bedroom set yet, we have been staying in a spare bedroom. We are still using all of our old furniture to store our clothes in.  So to get ready, we have to visit at least 2-3 rooms upstairs now.

By the end of the second day, I was feeling a bit relieved.  I was also starting to catch up on six weeks of laundry.  I was dreading this so much.  But, I do love finally getting organized and things put away.  I am making strides to getting settled.

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Day 1 of Unpacking

The first day of unpacking was very overwhelming.  We had to get the kitchen wiped down and unpack all of the kitchen items from the boxes and tissue paper.  It took hours just to get everything on the countertops.  Then, we had to start to figure out where all of the kitchen supplies will go based on cabinet space and how much I had of each item.

The kitchen is always the hardest room to start in, but it begins to clear so much space downstairs.  Along with the kitchen stuff, I also got my china out of the boxes and laid the boxes in the dining room.  I kept the office boxes and bar stuff in boxes for a bit and then started with the rooms upstairs.  It was easy to get the furniture and big pieces into the correct rooms.

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Getting the upstairs boxes in the correct rooms was a very important step to start getting organized.  I started in the master bedroom taking the wardrobe pieces out.  The clothes were already organized by color and the rubber bands and garbage bags were still over the clothes.  This made it easy to start hanging them in the closets.  The boxes were easy to get rid of at that point.

Closing on a House

My husband and I had a unique situation to close our house.  He was going to be working at a conference in another state and I would be closing our house solo.  We were also staying in a hotel where his conference was until the morning of”closing day.”  The morning of the closing day, we packed up the car for the hundredth time and I drove to our house.

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The first thing on the agenda was the walk-through.  My real estate agent met me at the house.  This is where we checked that all of the finishes were done correctly.  I also checked that the water and power was working.  I turned on all of the sinks and showers.  I also turned them on warm to make sure the water would get hot.  And I flushed all of the toilets.  I brought my phone charger to each room to try the outlets.  I also turned on all of the light switches.  It is important to have a checklist.  That way, you can contact the builder to make sure to get any adjustments necessary to make your house move-in ready.

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Closing solo took a bit of preparation.  The next step started weeks in advance.  First, we had to go to an attorney’s office to get “power of attorney” for my husband since he wouldn’t be there in person to sign.  This was simple to do-the real estate agent told us an attorney’s office to contact and my husband and I just had to pop in, show our license, and sign a form.

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We also had to have the money to close on the house.  This is where things got a bit tricky, we use a national bank and the attorney’s office that we were closing through used a more local bank.  We didn’t know how much we needed to close until the morning of the closing day.  My husband put the money in our account.  All I had to do was wire it to the bank.  This is where things got complicated.  The local bank said that they wouldn’t take money wires from our bank.  I was unable to go to “our” bank because the closest bank was 3 hours away.  I had to call my husband so he could get onto his computer account to make the transfer “wire.”  Then, I had to check if the local bank had received it.  It usually takes a while to show up at the bank after it is wired.  So, I literally went the the closing meeting just hoping that it went through.  Thank god the attorney had gotten a confirmation email that it did go through.

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After what felt like five hours of signing all of the paperwork, the house was finally ours. I was so excited!  It is an amazing feeling to close on the house of your dreams.  I couldn’t wait to go into the house and finally feel like it is mine.  I enjoyed this feeling for the rest of the night-until I had to check into a hotel and leave my amazing house.  The movers weren’t coming for another four days-possibly the longest four days of my life.

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My Current Nomadic Lifestyle

I am on week 5 of driving around from hotel to hotel and pushing and carrying bags to each location to live out of.  I am so exhausted.  I have been trying to stay as organized as possible to keep my sanity.  It is becoming very difficult to keep everything in order and cart things around.  It is so tiring to unload and re-load the car every 2-4 days.  We do our laundry once a week on the weekends.  And as hard as I try to keep clothes neatly folded, they flop all over the suitcase when rolled out of hotels.  And we are sharing one car-it looks like we live in it.  Of course, we don’t keep any garbage in the car and keep it clean, but the bags are jammed in to the point where we just make sure we can see out of the windows to drive.

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It is honestly getting exhausting just getting ready in the morning.  The minimalist part of me is ready to just get rid of everything.  I have even been skipping my make-up routines in the mornings.  I just honestly don’t feel like opening up my bags to put on make-up and get my make-up brushes and mirror out.  I am kicking myself for having packed so much.  When we left Rhode Island, we weren’t sure when we would close on the house and have the movers come.  We still aren’t sure-but we are getting a lot closer to the move-in date now.

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I packed sweaters, scarfs, hats, gloves, boots, and especially snow boots.  Of course today it is about 70 degrees-I packed a car full of stuff and have nothing to wear for the weather today.  The irony of this situation is not lost on me.  I cannot wait to have all of my stuff in one place finally.  I am sure that once I get all of my things back, I will be overwhelmed with the amount of stuff we have.  Since I haven’t seen it in so long, I almost forgot that I had other clothes.

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This morning my husband and I packed up the car-which felt like the millionth time we have done this.  After I dropped him off at work, I rushed out to sit at a coffee shop.  I feel like I am trapped in the hotel all the time and crave to get out.  Exercising each day keeps me busy, but today, it is my birthday, and I needed a change of scenery.  I can’t wait to feel settled and organized in my new place.  I hope the end of my nomadic lifestyle is coming soon.

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How To Organize Your Master Bathroom

Organizing your bathroom is very important.  This is a place you want to go to and relax.  You want to be able to pamper yourself here.  I love getting organized and enjoying all of my things.

The first thing to do is to organize your countertop-I make sure that I have a toothbrush holder on the counter top. I also had my water flosser and Listerine dispenser.  I try to keep it as clutter-free as possible.  I do add my decorative candles.  I keep the tissue box and room spray above the toilet.

I use small boxes to keep my things organized under my sink.  I categorize all of my things that I use each day.  For example, I have my ring cleaners in one area.  I have my sanitary supplies in another box.  I keep my soap and room spray in their own box.  I put my nail polishes in pink closed boxes.  I keep all of my hair products in one box.  Then, I put my bathroom creams and lotions in another box with some essential oils and some other bathroom essentials like witch hazel.

I also keep my drawers organized.  In one drawer, I put my toothpaste, floss, and other daily dental needs.  In another, I keep my hair supplies like brushes, clips, and hair ties.  In another drawer, I keep my hair dryer, straightener, curler, and rollers.

In my linen closet, I keep my toilet paper, garbage bags, and old towels on top.  In the next shelves, I keep my nice, new white bath towels, hand towels, and face towels.

The bottom shelves hold extra bathroom items.  On the first shelf, I keep extra lotions in on box, and shampoo/conditoner/body wash in the other box.  I use a small box in the middle for razors.

Underneath that, I use boxes to organize extra dental supplies.  I have one box of extra floss, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.  And another of extra mouth wash.  I keep my retainer cleaners in another box.  In the back, I store q-tips and cotton balls.  On the floor, I keep my travel toiletries (I actually keep these mini-bags packed all year long so I am ready for any trip).  I also keep extra mouth wash cups on the bottom.

I am a bit nervous to see what type of space I will have in my new house to organize my bathroom!

Here is my favorite item that helps me keep my bathroom organized.  It looks so sleek on the counter top and it is a lot nicer than seeing a big Listerine bottle sitting on the bathroom counter.  It is only $19.93 on Amazon.  An awesome investment to make your bathroom look fancy!

 

 

Urban Vs. Suburban Living

Many people who grow up in suburban America all have the same life trajectory expectations or dreams if you will.  They  all dream about growing up, finding the perfect person, falling in love, getting married, moving into the suburbs in a beautiful house with a white picket fence, and then having babies.

I am on track with the beginning of the dream-I grew up, found someone special and got married.  The next part doesn’t match up-I adore living in cities, not in the suburbs.  Living in a city is AMAZING-the world is literally at your fingertips.  You can have your choice of food stores, markets, exercise studios/classes, activities, restaurants, and bars.  The possibilities are endless.

For years, my husband and I have lived in cities.  Like right IN the city.  I love city life.  I think it might be because I grew up so close to New York City, I was able to visit anytime I liked.  And NYC sets your expectations super high.  NYC is the ultimate city.  As a child I was so captivated by the excitement, the lights, and all the things to do.  Everyone seemed like they had the most thrilling lives.  After I graduated college, I couldn’t wait to move to Hoboken-which is an amazing city in and of itself.  Not to mention, it is a ten minute train ride on the PATH to Manhattan.

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When my husband and I reconnected in Dallas, we had so much fun going out to the best bars and restaurants the city had to offer.  And Dallas is an amazing city-there is so much to do, the bar scene is amazing and not to mention the delicious food.  Tex-Mex is one of my favorite types of food.  I always spend an immense amount of time visiting the best BBQ and Tex-Mex that Texas has to offer.  Even though I have to diet after my trips there, it is well worth it.

Living in Baltimore was another wonderful city.  In Baltimore, you can get any delicious food you can think of-COVERED IN CRAB.  I am talking about crab dip on top of tatter tots and crab macaroni and cheese.  This is real crab-not the imitation crab you might see in other places.  If you haven’t had it, I advise you to put it on your bucket list.  Baltimore is another amazingly fun city.  The brunches and bars are so much fun.

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Providence is a much more relaxed city than the other cities that I am used to.  There were some great places to eat-and of course the seafood is fantastic.  Federal Hill is awesome for Italian food.  This city has a lot less bar options for a young crowd.  There were some places in walking distance, but we mostly got around by car and Uber.  Not the most exciting city that we have lived in.

After all of these years living in cities, I am now venturing to the next phase of my life-which is the house and white picket fence in suburbia.  This will be my first time since growing up that I am living in a suburb.  I have to admit, I was struggling with this at first.  I was very concerned about how I would feel living in a neighborhood with NOTHING in walking distance.  Of course having more square footage in a house is amazing.  But not being able to walk to a bar or restaurant is foreign to me.  Anything that I need, I have to drive to-I have never had to do that in the past…

Goodbye Bustling City and Hello Quiet Neighborhood!  Here we goo!

What Is the Meaning of Minimalism?

Some people hear the word “minimalism” and think this is negative, there is no abundance.  Some people hear the word “minimalism” and feel free.  What does “minimalism” mean to you? Is a positive or negative word?  Is it something that you would like to have?  Or does the word make you cringe in disgust?

Since I have moved out of my apartment, I have been living out of bags.  I have 2 suitcases (1 small, 1 large), 2 large bags of shoes, 1 electronics bag, 1 make-up bag, 1 bag of scarves and hats, 1 bag of toiletries, and 1 bag of vitamins/medications.  My whole life is in 8 bags/suitcases.  I do have some clothes and jackets I am traveling with that are on hangers.  On top of that, I have my most important bag-my purse.  Carting around all of these bags is so stressful.  I know where everything is and I love that I have each bag organized by its contents.  But still, I am out of sorts.  And I am living everyday shuffling around bags.

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Being away from a home so long really makes me think about what is the purpose of carrying around all of these bags?  I am in a prison of my own belongings.  I am constantly shuffling around my bags and looking for things.  The ironic part is that I only use about 10% of of all the items I trek around with me each day.  It really makes me wonder what I am doing with all of these things.

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Today, in the hotel I am staying at, the fire drill went off.  I was napping at the time and woke up in a panic.  I quickly grabbed my sneakers, my phone, and my purse.  I left all of my 8 bags, my hanging clothes, and my husband’s two suitcases in the room.  So after carting around heavy bags for WEEKS, the only things that were actually important to me could be carried lightly in one hand.  That was a revelation for me.  If I only have a handful of important items, then why am I carting around 8 bags?

I am looking forward to getting into my new house and liberating my home by getting rid of items that don’t serve me anymore.  I always enjoy purging items (especially in my closet) to make room for the new.  But this time, I am really looking forward to letting things go that I no longer need and hopefully donating it to someone who would appreciate it.

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I feel like lately I am serving a jail sentence of carrying my things around and am anxious to find freedom from them.  Things aren’t what define us and make us happy.  I find happiness within people I love and care about and wonderful experiences that I have.  Having too much is almost as bad as having too little.  There needs to be a healthy balance.  I have watched the amazing documentary called “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  I felt like it was so freeing to watch Americans take control of their lives by gaining freedom from things.  Things do eventually weigh us down.  Instead of having material things, life is about keeping the items that serve us and actually living our life.  I feel that life is about the people we meet and what we do with our time, not about how many material items we can buy.  When I am old and grey, I want to remember all of the wonderful people and experiences I have enjoyed and made connections with, not the things I have owned.

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9 Unexpected Items that Movers Won’t Take

If you are hiring a moving company, there are some items that they will NOT take the liability of packing.  Here is the list:

  1. Flammable Items-such as, gasoline for a grill, lighters, candles, aerosolspexels-photo-266623.jpeg
  2. Bathroom Liquids-this means all the soaps for the bathrooms, showers, shampoos, conditioners, Listerine, and lotionspexels-photo-433624.jpeg
  3. Kitchen Liquids-some examples are condiments and oils (even if they have NEVER been open)tomatoes-ketchup-sad-food-161025.jpeg
  4. Open Food-this would pertain to food in your pantry like a bag of pretzels and/or half-used milk in the fridgepexels-photo-479620.jpeg
  5. Cleaning Products-this is your bathroom toilet cleaner, detergents, lysol sprays, shower sprays, glass cleaners, etc.
  6. Light Bulbs-the movers/packers will usually un-screw them from lighting fixtures and will leave them for you to packpexels-photo-256307.jpeg
  7. Frozen non-food items-this is means freezer packs, specialty drink coolers or ice cubes (my husband has special grey gin ice cubes for his drinks and beer cooling sticks to chill beer)glasses-ice-cubes-illuminated-drink-162475.jpeg
  8. Cash-which is a NO BRAINERpexels-photo-545065.jpeg
  9. Valuable Jewelry-they will not pack your expensive jewelry.  You will need to make arrangements yourself to move your expensive things yourselfpexels-photo-265883.jpeg