There are so many wonderful, exciting things about moving into a new house!
This is about none of them.
After finally finding the right house, making an offer, having the offer accepted, waiting 30 days while all the proper procedures needed to buy a house were completed, signing enough papers to give me writer’s cramp, and finally receiving the keys, I reached the conclusion that essentially every step in buying a house can be considered “the hard part”.
Moving in has been no different.
The first night in the new house I started noticing all the things that tend to be taken for granted in an established home were missing. Soap. Sheets. Towels. Toilet paper. Preparing to spend the night in a new house is just as complicated as planning a camping trip, except that there’s no tent or fire to worry about, if everything goes well.
The next morning wasn’t much better. Sure, while the house came with a lovely refrigerator, it sadly was not stocked with food. Nor were the cupboards full of dishes on which to eat the non-existent food. Luckily, it turns out that there are some pizza joints that make early morning deliveries.
The plan of the day was to move all the boxes that had patiently waited in a rented storage locker into the new house. Oddly, it seemed that during their year of solitary confinement, the boxes somehow managed to double in number, as well as weight. Which led to a further conundrumistical discovery – when unpacking twice as many boxes as I originally packed, how is it that so many things seem to be missing?
The answer, it appears, lies in simple misdirection. For packed boxes take up space. A lot of space. Unpacking and sorting out a new house is like trying to solve a puzzle while you’re stuck in the box and buried in the pieces. Frequently, boxes need to be shifted around to get them to the proper place to be unpacked, but this involves moving other boxes to other places, and usually there is only one available space at any given time that will hold a single box, turning the entire process into a demented life-sized sliding puzzle.
To my credit, I made a strong effort to label boxes as I packed them, for which I am eternally grateful to past-me for doing. What I’m not so grateful for is the number of boxes that contain miscellaneous items or random stuff, which I helpfully labelled “Miscellaneous Items” and “Random Stuff”.
I’ve lost count of the number of things I found while looking for something else, which I may or may not have eventually found. Then, when trying to find the object I had spotted fifteen minutes ago when I didn’t need it, the new object of my search had completely vanished. It’s hard enough trying to remember which box I spotted it in without now also trying to remember exactly where that box ended up, what boxes I need to move to get to it, and eventually I just gave up trying to find the kitchen spatula, using instead the slotted spoon that turned up during the search to serve a morning breakfast of scrambled pancakes.
(I’ve quickly come to envy my roommate, who has collected far less detritus over his life than have I and managed to move in and unpack in the span of roughly 30 minutes, the time it took to set up his bed and unpack two boxes and a duffle bag.)
(And the cat.)
A lack of furniture seriously has hindered my homemaker activities as well. Unpacking a box of books is pointless when there are no bookshelves upon which to put them. While a I dream of ceiling-high, solid walnut shelves with handsome glass doors, my wallet shrieks in agony at the thought of buying the cheapest pressed wood laminated bookshelves available at the department store. But sacrifices must be made so three were purchased and an area was cleared (outside) to assemble them.
(Now I know why antiques are so popular- they’ve already been assembled, and have most likely outlived the curses placed upon them by the person assembling them.)
Even in the first grade I had trouble following directions, especially those that were made up solely of black and white illustrations. Furniture assembly directions are nigh-completely nonsensical to me.
A number of hours, curses and minor bodily injuries later (somehow, I managed to open a gash on the top of my foot. While assembling a night stand. While wearing shoes. I don’t know how I did it, either), I had three bookshelves into which none of my books would fit comfortably. I’ve now added “must hold books in the upright position” to the requirements of my dream library furnishings.
(And as you probably expect, I wasn’t able to find the box the antiseptic was packed in. But I did find some cotton balls and a roll of duct tape, so my foot is doing okay.)
Moving, unpacking, assembling and all the other activities involved led me to yet another discovery: a house that was perfectly clean upon opening the door becomes exponentially more dirty with every box carried in and opened. Cleaning one area doesn’t seem to help: the dirt doesn’t disappear, it merely moves to a new area when my back is turned. I’ve gone through two cans of furniture polish just trying to keep my new furnishings clean and shiny.
Now my books keep slipping off the shelves.
Still, I like to think that the harder I work the more I will appreciate my house once all is said and done. Once all the hardest parts are completed, I’m expecting to be living in a rewarding dream come true. Owning a real house is something I never expected to be able to accomplish in my life, but now that I have, all of the pain-in-the-butt occurrences (like finding the cat box in an unexpected place in the middle of the night by stepping in it) are relatively easy to take, because they’re my pain-in-the-butts.
In the end, I know it’s all going to be worthwhile. Because already, whenever I open the door to the house, I know I’m coming home.