Oh, the boxes. THE BOXES! Sigh. It’s like a never ending sea of cube-shaped beige-ness in our old mauve house right now. When will we be unpacked? Soon, perhaps. Maybe eventually. Possibly never? Afterall, we never did fully unpack from our move into our last house – we found boxes that were still packed up from nearly three years ago while preparing to sell our little 1940s home.
It’s sad, and a little embarrassing, and quite true.
This time, on the unpacking list of priorities, our kitchen came first, followed by our bedroom. Sadly everything else is still in boxes. Our dining room, our living room, the spare bedroom, the office… The miscellaneous furniture, the random boxes, the extra stuff… it’s everywhere.
Please let me present to you Exhibit A: our living room…
Ack eh? Yep, definitely ACK.
It’s absolute madness.
My friend Jess (who blogs over at Little Townhome Love) would have had her entire house unpacked by now. And she’s probably chortling away (in her lovely, clutter-free living room) at my terribly unorganized and unpacked state as we speak (hi Jess! Love you!) Jess is an expert unpacker. She has unpacking skills that I will never ever ever master. She’s like an unpacking ninja, some might say. Others might call her the great relocation guru. She’s crazy for corrugation. She’s bonkers for bubblewrap. She can unpack an entire house in one, two days tops. She’s darn impressive, that’s for sure.
Am I jealous? Absolutely. She has unpacking panache that I will never be able to match.
Me? I’m a (painfully) slow unpacker. And I’ve fully accepted my box-engulfed fate for the next week. Or two. Or twenty. I’m sure eventually I’ll be unpacked. I hope.
Until then, look for me under the sea of cardboard.
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It happened. We’ve moved into the old mauve house. We’re officially home owners once again. And we’re officially elated.
Our move wasn’t without its fair share of drama, of course. Our second floor bannister was rather ruthlessly torn apart by the previous owners at some point during their departure (likely to facilitate the removal of a box spring or an elephant or something equally awkward and obnoxious.) And there was the discovery that all of our upper-level window screens are missing (so we’ve been left with a rather stuffy second floor – and while we could open the windows upstairs, we’d likely end up with a house full of wasps.) (And wasps are like little scary flying nightmares, if you ask me.) And there was an ongoing and very frustrating struggle with the past owners who were still slowly removing their possessions from our front lawn more than 24 hours after we’d officially taken ownership of the house, and who didn’t actually return for their final load until a full week after our closing date had passed.
Drama indeed! But it’s done now. And we’re in. And we finally have a house of our own again. And we’re absolutely thrilled and happy and giddy and all sorts of silly. It’s pretty awesome.
And our move wasn’t without its triumphs. Remember how the house used to look like this?
Thanks to some crazy awesome, heroic and rather epic let’s-make-a-good-impression-on-the-new-neighbours gardening, courtesy of my mom and dad (hi mom and dad!), our house now looks like this…
It looks so much better! (Thanks mom and dad!) There’s still a lot of work left to do, of course, but the house now looks like a real house. And a not too shabby house, at that! One might even call it a cute little old mauve house with character and potential and lots of happy moments destined to happen within.
And, yes, that is a random garden gnome that you see there in our yard. The previous owners left him behind. I call him Harold. :)
We’re now faced with the seemingly monumental task of unpacking what appears to be no fewer than a gazillion boxes. In a house with very few hiding places. Yep – apparently little old mauve farm houses don’t come particularly well equipped with coat/linen/storage/anything closets. Did people in the early 1900s own winter coats? I’m guessing so. But perhaps they were “casually hang it on the back of the chair” sorta peeps. Or nudists. I’m not sure. Needless to say, I’m already scouring Kijiji for cute (paintable!) wardrobes to fill this gap.
And, regardless of the boxes, the wasps, the drama, the ill-fated bannister, and all of the forthcoming work that’ll be required, we’re in. We’re in! It’s ours, squishy floors and tiled countertops and screenless-windows and all.
And I love it.
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Tomorrow we (finally!) get possession of the old mauve house.
Tomorrow I’ll do my very first happy dance in my new (sadly, mossy green-painted) living room.
Tomorrow I’ll gain access to a fully functioning kitchen and return to cooking and baking and all those sorts of lovely and ridiculously domestic things that make me feel a bit like a 1950s housewife (oh, how I’d love to be a little 1950s housewife!)
Tomorrow we’ll be able to sleep in our own bed on our own mattress in our own room for the first time in three long months.
Tomorrow we’ll once again have walls to paint, kitchen floors and countertops to obsess over, updated lighting to purchase, new windows to save for, and many many other renovations to plan.
Tomorrow we’ll reflect on the amazing generosity of the family members who have provided us with shelter and support during this period of in-between-ness.
Tomorrow we’ll set the cats free to explore their new domain for the first time. Tomorrow I will keep my fingers crossed that neither Irwin nor Erik decides to be territorial.
Yep – there will be absolutely no peeing on anything tomorrow.
Tomorrow things get back to normal.
Tomorrow we start moving forward with life once again.
Tomorrow is really really really going to rock. :)
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So we had our home inspection the other day. The results? Meh. The house needs a lot of work.
Not that any of this was new news to us, of course. Squishy kitchen floors and a little structural wonky-ness? These were flaws we were prepared for.
But still, there were a few surprises.
The workshop that Sweetie was so excited about is about to fall over. Soon. Some careless past home owner cut out all of the rafters, likely attempting to create a more functional ceiling height in the space. But, by doing so, the walls and ceiling have been rendered completely unsupported. Yep, that’s right: nothing (beyond a few nails and good fortune) is supporting the walls or keeping the roof from collapsing. And, as you can likely imagine, this is bit of a concern and immediately needs to be fixed according to Mr Inspectorman.
And there are windows that need to be replaced. And jack posts that need to be added to maintain structure. There are spots of siding missing here and there. And the back sunroom is currently being supported by a deck that was never meant to carry the weight of an enclosed room – it most definitely needs to be re-enforced. The central air unit is completely non-functioning. The second story bathroom has enough lean to give you vertigo. And the extremely overgrown and weed-infested backyard needs to be plowed under and re-seeded and completely restarted from scratch.
Oh. And did I mention that the house is mauve? Yep. While watching the inspector poke at prod at our future home, I suddenly realized that the siding is indeed mauve. What colour door looks good with mauve-coloured siding? I’m not sure…
So are we still taking the plunge? Gather up your swim trunks because apparently we’re going deep sea diving in Renoville. Yep. Despite all of this, the home inspector said that the house had good-ish bones that just need a little love. And, you know, we have lots of house-loving love to give, it seems.
Only seven-ish weeks till it’s all ours. Yay!!! Can’t wait to get started on making this house the best little mauve-coloured home it can be. :)
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Our next NEXT house (really skipping ahead a bit here – let’s imagine our house-buying world, five years from now, k?)
Soooo… (cue fanfare…)… we bought a house. Yay!!! Home inspection looming, assuming everything goes well we’ll be moving in at the end of September. And while sixty days wasn’t our ideal closing period (we were desperately hoping for a lovely and quick-ish and nice and tidy little thirty day turn around), we’re both super excited to start a new adventure in a new home in a new community.
Which house did we buy, you ask? Remember when I chatted about this house, which, in real life, looks like this…
Yep. We bought that house, squishy kitchen floor and tiled countertops and unruly bushes and far too many tchotchkes and all. Why? Location location location. As much as I tried, I couldn’t get that darn place out of my head. I love the little tree-lined street, I love the big and private (and, sadly, rather overgrown at the moment) yard, and I absolutely adore the community. The house is most definitely not perfect, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how perfect that house would be for us.
And I don’t believe that the perfect house has to be absolutely perfect.
A short while ago, a friend (having heard that we were house hunting) mentioned that a mutual friend had recently purchased a house. In fact, not just any house. A really nice house, he said. With an en suite bathroom off the master bedroom and nice finishes in every room and as move-in ready and as perfect and pretty as any house can be.
Truth? At first I was indeed a little envious. Sigh, how nice it’d be to buy the sort of house where we could simply move in, shuffle the furniture around a little, put our feet up to test the ever-important ottoman positioning and declare that – poof! – we’re all settled in. Easy peasy! No painting, no major cleaning, no planning, no obsessing. Just instant comfy-cozy comfort awesomeness from closing day on in. Just… like… that.
But then, when my wits suddenly snapped back into action, I realized that as nice (ok, way better than nice perhaps… let’s go with FANTASTIC) as it would be to find and purchase our dream home, we’re just not in that position right now. Sure, if we had the available funds and didn’t have any other high-priority items currently dominating our monthly budget, and if we both had secure jobs without worry of layoff or strike or other similarly unfortunate potential work-related circumstances, then yes – maybe a sparkly and finished house would be the answer for us. And sure, if we weren’t fairly certain that in five years or so we’ll be in a much better financial position and able to maybe buy or even (gasp!) build the house of our dreams, a pre-finished no-renos-required sorta house might be blinking wildly on our radar and we might be excitedly planning our fancy-house buying strategy or signing documents on lovely white corian (swoon!) countertops in our newly purchased swanky and perfect kitchen.
But that’s not where we are right now. As much as it pains me to type this, our next house won’t be our forever house. And as much as I dislike this whole selling/buying/moving/angst-ing process, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this won’t be my last dabble in the rather fickle (and cruel) world of real estate. This house will be yet another stepping stone house, one that we can use to keep our costs down, freeing up money for other, far more important ventures for now, and hopefully enabling us to once again make a profit when we do (a few years down the line) decide that it’s time to find “the one.”
But, until then, I’m ok with another fixer upper. It’s just a house. It’s a roof over our heads, walls to keep us warm and safe, and a place that we can settle back into life in. Whatever else it becomes is completely up to us. And I guess that’s the benefit of a fixer-upper: we are starting from scratch. The house, despite having a great layout and good bones, needs some work before it’ll be the home we want it to be. And, by bringing it up to our standards, we’ll increase the value as well. Just like we did with our last house. And just like with did with the house before that.
And, truth be told (since we’re divulging everything here!) I am kind of looking forward to finally getting my hands dirty once again. It’s been a long two-month paint-free period. I’m missing the fun of planning, and the delight of realizing that I’ve mysteriously and miraculously somehow managed to choose the perfect paint colour or I’ve rearranged the furniture in the best pattern possible or found the best deal on a much needed somethingmerother in Ikea’s As-Is section.
Yep. I may be entering reno withdrawl.
But soon I will triumphantly hold paintbrush in hand once again and proudly slap some fantastic new colour on our walls in a house that we’ll make into a home that’s perfect for Sweetie and me and the cats and anyone else who’d like to join us there.
Until then, I’ll start planning the fixer-upping yet to come for our next little fixer upper. Quite excited. Quite giddy, in fact! Our new house may not be perfect and sparkly or have an en suite loo or anything else fancy like that, but it’ll be perfect for us once we’re done with it.
You’ll see. :)
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