Pretending it’s home makes it home

Moving is hard.

Every single obligation I have has fallen by the wayside and making this apartment *home* has become my sole purpose in life. This, as you can imagine, might be stressful, since people still expect me to show up for work, the dog still expects to be fed and walked, and my affianced still expects me to be present in our relationship. The demands! Oh the demands.

This morning – Saturday morning! – I woke up at 5:40 thinking “I need to put up lights in the kitchen.”  It was even in italics in my head.  I have this huge sense of urgency that I have to get all of these things done now, or else it won’t be home, and then how will we function?!  So I spent an hour and a half lining our new, fairly dark kitchen with strings of white lights.  My fingers hurt from pushing so many thumbtacks into the walls.  And then Turtle got up and said (read this in a very ambivalent tone), “Well… I like it.  It’s a little… well, it’s nice sweetie.”

Moving in with someone is hard.

When we first moved in together, we rented a very small, brand new apartment.  They had just gutted it all the way to the studs and redone the whole thing.  Every single thing in the unit was new except for the fridge and the toilet.  And it was beautiful.  We did some minor cleaning, and focused more on how to move in together, how to live together, how to balance this new portion of our relationship.  As we settled in and got some more things and Mr. One-Eyed Jake moved in with us, the apartment started to feel too small, and that is why we moved.

This place is enormous.  We have an entryway larger than the second bedroom in our old apartment, a living room, kitchen, and dining room! and pantry!! AND two large bedrooms, AAAAND a front deck and back deck.  And a small but very real, very sunny and grassy yard.  Last night we spent our last “walk” running around and tossing the ball for Daphne in our yard. This is good stuff, people.

Anyway, back to what is hard: what is hard is having two people who have very different approaches to packing and unpacking.  I was to get all the boxes empty, put the pictures up, and make it look like our space in as little time as possible.  I don’t care if the couch is not in the ideal place – it rarely is on the first go.  I don’t care if the pictures aren’t centered, just get them up!  Turtle, on the other hand, wants to make sure everything is in its right place before we put it there.

We are doing a good job compromising on things, and I think, two days in, we are doing a good job settling in as well.  Which is not to say that there are not boxes everywhere.

For your entertainment, two pictures of the process: one of the corner that I look at when I want to pretend we are happily living here, and the other of what the rest of the apartment looks like:

We totally live here, and it's clean and relaxed.

um, living here for real.

Suggestions? Comments? Tell me your magical moving tips, please.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Pretending it’s home makes it home

  1. akc

    I’m the same way as you– I unpack everything, get overwhelmed by the mess, and then set up one little section and just stare at it so I feel like I’m at home. This is probably why my parents no longer let me help with moving. Good luck!

  2. Sue B

    I have lots of experience with moving, both by myself and with boyfriends, and future husband. What I have learned over the years is this: I do the bedroom first. Completely. Get the pictures up, the bed made, all the clothes unpacked. I put all the bedroom knick knacks in their place. That way the cat can snuggle under the covers and stop freaking out, and I have a room I can look at that is completely done and “HOME’ when I get overwhelmed by the rest of the mess in the house.

    Then I do the kitchen. Because for me if the kitchen is done and I can make pots and pots of coffee without wondering where I put the filters, I can do just about anything!
    The rest of the house will get done in time, but the bedroom and the kitchen, for me, are the beginnings of cozy, welcoming, warm “HOME”!

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