Pack, Clean, Unpack, Repeat

With the Official Move Date slated for this Sunday, and my landlady showing my apartment Saturday, my evenings have been spent doing some combination of sorting, packing, cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and drinking. I know, I know; one of these things is not like the other, but cut me some slack — packing is the worst!

Though I’ve done a lot at my apartment, and it’s mostly ready for move out, what is more exciting to me is how I’ve unpacked and organized at The Mister’s our house. I was worried about finding space for my stuff, but it’s actually been going pretty well. Here’s just a few (terrible cellphone) snapshots of how I’m working my stuff in.

bird cage jewelry holder

We hung up my DIY jewelry organizer (when I made it I couldn’t find my hammer so I got creative and used the heel of my cowboy boot!). I still need to figure out what to do with my bracelets and post earrings, but I have a couple ideas.

shoe racksI also had enough room on my shoe racks (with part of my shoes in storage) to hold a good chunk of my shoes. You can’t see the rest of them stored on the bookshelf that will be doubling as my dresser for the time being, but all my shoes have a spot!

ikea shelvingAnd finally, I was worried that there wouldn’t be space for the fantastic amount of bathroom stuff I own (makeup, medicine cabinet, hair stuff, etc), but with The Mister being an IKEA addict, he just happened to have this empty cabinet space just outside the bathroom. The totes I keep my stuff in luckily happened to fit, and adds a nice pop of color to the laundry room area.

It doesn’t seem like a lot of progress, but between sorting through everything and packing and moving and unpacking and reorganizing, it’s exhausting! Even though the end is in site, I am ready for this move to be over.

Tonight is the last night in my apartment, so I guess I don’t have that long to wait!

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Busy Busy Busy!

Despite both of us having The Longest Cold In The History of Ever (alternate title: The Death Cold) for over a week each, The Mister and I were able to find time to start on our “Moving Katie In” checklist.

Somehow, we were able to muster the strength Sunday to rearrange his house to make room for my ridiculously over-sized clothing collection (my weakness, followed closely by red wine). My clothes were going where his office area was, the desk was going where the plants were, the plants were going where the kitchen table was, and the kitchen table was going into the New House to be stored.

The Mister's stuff

For someone who hates clutter, he has a lot of it.

After we both moved the kitchen table over, we tackled the bedroom. I was in charge of packing up the books and clutter, while The Mister (who has a decidedly greener thumb than I do) pruned and moved the plants. It took a lot longer than we anticipated (possibly because we were both still super sick and inhaling all sorts of dirt and dust), but six storage bins of books and stuff later, everything was rearranged. Instead of a dining nook, we now have a green house.

Plants in the living room

After all our hard work, I had caught a second wind and was ready to drive over to my apartment and start hauling things back, but The Mister wisely stopped that idea before it really even started. However, I have to pack and move my stuff at some point, and we decided we would do it bit by bit instead of all at once.

Have I mentioned that I hate packing? Almost as much as I hate moving? But, it has to be done, so my apartment is now a disaster zone of storage totes and piles of clothing and stuff.

Packing Totes

Multiply this by 4 and you have my life right now.

Since this first move is temporary(ish), and we are only living in The Mister’s house until we can finish the New House, I’m trying to only pack a limited amount of stuff to actually unpack; everything else will go into storage. It’s a lot of clothing to sort through and store, but it will be easier in the long run, and eventually will be like unpacking an entire new wardrobe.

I still have a long ways to go until my apartment is packed up, but I’m hoping to be most of the way moved in with The Mister in the next three weeks. I don’t know if this goal is super attainable, but it leaves an extra two weeks of breathing room to get everything else done. This is becoming even more real, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Life is Like a Song

My life is rarely like a movie. Or, rather, if it is, my life is like the beginning of a movie, where the harried 20-something rushes on her way to complete an obviously important task, along the way dodging taxis, getting wrapped up in dog leashes, then finally slamming into the eventual love interest, spilling coffee on both she and him. Right before she has to walk in to see her boss. This heroine is brainy, with an eclectic group of friends, and always has her hair up in a ponytail and wears glasses. At some point in the movie a guy will hit on her to win a bet.

Despite that opening, my life isn’t sad or depressing. If anything it is exceedingly normal. Which plays right back into the first paragraph, since people go to movies to escape the exceedingly normal, to see that the average gal can have a life that’s extraordinary. Spoiler alert: my life isn’t extraordinary, but it has its extraordinary moments.

Last night was one of them. After getting home from a day out with friends enjoying the sunshine, The Mister suggested we climb up on the roof of the new house. Once we got to the top, he hauled a ladder over to the newly completed trellis, and up we went. Everything about the atmosphere was perfect. The sky was clear with twinkling stars overhead, the city lights were shining in the distance, and there was a gentle breeze that helped create a sense of calm. Without saying anything, The Mister pulled me close and we began to dance. Suddenly, through the magic of smartphones, the air around us was filled with the majestic sounds of Etta James singing “At Last.” For once I was the heroine at the end of the movie, after she had given up all hope of finding the person she had thought all along was Mr. Wrong (only to realize in the last ten minutes that she was the one who was wrong) just to find him waiting on her fire escape. The only difference is that I’ve known The Mister was Mr. Right all along

As all perfect moments have to end, so too did this one. The breeze turned from cool to chilly, the phone died, and we realized we couldn’t postpone morning despite wishing we could. Climbing down the ladder and back into reality, the magic of the moment dissipated, but The Mister was still there. Maybe my life is more like a movie than I realize..

“Have a Lemon” – Life

Did you know that building a house is expensive? Like really, really expensive? And then when you’re done with the main building part, you get to do all the finish work, which costs even more money. Floorboards, lighting, closet systems, and so on and so forth don’t come cheap. Especially when you have my incredible knack for falling in love with the most expensive thing in the room.

Basically, all this is to say that, despite closing on the home loan and getting a permanent certificate of occupancy, the house isn’t ready to move into yet. Despite hoping it could be done by May, it probably won’t be for a while. Since “a while” is such a vague term, especially when it comes to saving money in order to do all the finish work right and without a time crunch looming over our heads, The Mister and I are taking this bunch of lemons life just handed us and making sweet, sweet lemonade out of it.

Which is why we now get to figure out how to fit my 850 square foot apartment of stuff into his 1200 square foot house that he currently resides in. By May 1.

I’m excited to move over to the Highlands and to start living with The Mister and the dog. I’m not excited to pack, and I’m most certainly not excited about having to make some tough decisions about my stuff, but that is my new project for the rest of March and April. While The Mister packs up some of his stuff to make room for mine, I get to organize my belongings into three categories: things to move into The Mister’s house, things to store for the new house, and things to get rid off.

Those of you who know me know how much I hate getting rid of things.

However, part of the compromise of living together is cutting the clutter and being respectful of shared space, so that’s what I’m going to do. Some things are easy to decide–my sundresses are all getting moved over to The Mister’s house; my KitchenAid, television, and couch are going to be stored for the new house; and most of my kitchen stuff will be given to Goodwill. Then there are the hard decisions–the coffee table, my bookcases, (some of my) clothes and shoes. Not everything will make the cut, and it’s going to be a war zone around here until I make my final choices.

It will all be worth it in the end. While it is disappointing not to be moving into the new house sooner, it is exciting to think about all the possibility it holds. Ultimately, waiting to do the finish work is the best decision, and in the meantime it forces me to reevaluate my possessions.

This isn’t the 36th Avenue adventure I was expecting, but that’s the point of an adventure–you never know what’s coming your way. The countdown to May 1 (coincidentally my birthday) begins now!

No Really, Your Boyfriend is a Jerk.

Alternate Title: I Am Getting Too Damn Old for Social Media

Today’s confession? I get embarrassed reading other people’s Facebook posts. Nothing makes me feel older than reading the Facebook updates of certain college-aged acquaintances. But even as I’m cringing and wishing I could stage a Facebook intervention, telling certain people to keep some of these FEELINGS and sentiments private, I know that such an endeavor is futile. Even though I’m 26 (and obviously much older and wiser), I remember what it’s like to be 20 and in love. I know trying to talk some sense into someone who is head over heels is pointless. You can’t save someone from future heartbreak, no matter how much you want to protect them from themselves. However, if I could stage a Facebook intervention, here is what I would say:

I know that [redacted] is the greatest thing in the world and the most amazing boyfriend a girl could ever have. He’s your first love! Of course you think he’s great! But here’s the thing – your boyfriend is really a jerk.

I know, I know. He’s so different, no one has ever made you feel that way, and I don’t even know him, so how I could judge him? (Un?)Fortunately, my years of dating jerks have taught me a thing or two, and I wish I could teach them to you. I know you’re going to ignore me, preferring to learn these things for yourself (hopefully with less heartache than I had to experience), but there are a few things I think you should know anyways.

This is why I think your boyfriend is a jerk:

  • He refers to women as bitches, sluts, and/or whores. Any guy who makes across the board generalizations about women in general doesn’t respect women – he sees them as objects for his own use. If they don’t meet his (most likely impossibly high) standards, they are Less Than, and therefore not worth an iota of respect.
  • He bemoans women for not wanting to date a Nice Guy™. What’s wrong with the Nice Guy™? I could go into how, like the above point, Nice Guys™ don’t respect women. I could touch on the expectation of sex for treating a woman like a real person. I could go on and on about how someone who is supposed to be your friend shouldn’t expect a damn cookie for not taking advantage of you when you have been drinking. Instead, I’ll simply point to this article. Trust me, Nice Guys™ aren’t just jerks, but they’re manipulative jerks. Don’t settle for a Nice Guy™, for a predator who disguises himself as a victim. Find a genuinely nice person.
  • He makes fun of women’s ages and/or weight. Someone who makes fun of anyone for being overweight or for being old is a jerk, no matter what. Someone who exclusively makes fun of women for being overweight or for being old is especially a jerk. What happens when you start to get old or start to gain weight? Is that really who you want in your support system?
  • He doesn’t make any effort in the relationship. Think back over the past two weeks. How much interaction in your relationship was perpetuated by you? How many times did he make an unprompted effort to express his feelings and desire for you? When it comes down to it, are you getting as much out of the relationship as you’re putting into it?

I could go on and on, but trust me – your boyfriend is a jerk. It’s okay; when I was 20, my boyfriend was a jerk too. I know you don’t care what I think about your boyfriend, and these 600 words are falling on deaf ears. Just remember that when he ultimately breaks your heart, it will feel like the world is ending. But, you’ll come out stronger on the other side, and eventually you will find someone who is worthy of all the beauty and love you have to offer.

It’s the night before Valentine’s Day, and this isn’t the best time to go over this. We already established that you’re probably not listening anyways. If you are, however, take these words to heart and dump him. He’s a jerk.

36th Avenue Adventures begins on 5th Avenue.

Living alone has definitely been interesting. It was both everything I knew I would love and everything I knew I would hate. What has been most interesting to me about living alone is that I don’t like it as much as I thought I would.

Let me start over.

My entire life I have been adamant that at some point I need to live alone. A room of one’s own was never enough for me – I needed an entire living space. It took almost 26 years and exactly 20 roommates to finally achieve that goal, but last February I moved into my very own one-bedroom apartment just outside downtown Denver. I fell in love with my apartment immediately and was ready to offer my firstborn to secure it. Luckily, a reasonable security deposit was all my landlady needed, and I was set. I moved in, realized immediately I needed a TV, and quickly settled in to my life on my own.

I soon learned that not having roommates is a very good thing. No one to share the TV with, to hog the bathroom, to bring strangers over, to play their music too loud, to steal your food, etc. I also learned that not having roommates can be a bad thing. No one to come home and commiserate about work with, to split a bottle of wine with, to have living room dance parties with, to watch trash TV with, to borrow clothes from, to help keep the apartment clean, etc.

Overall, I like not having roommates.

However, I’m starting to get lonely. I like my quiet and solitude, but I miss companionship. I miss having another person around. I miss sharing my living space and life.

In a couple months, I will no longer be living alone. I won’t just be living with a roommate though – I’ll be living with my partner. I don’t know what to expect, or how easily I will adjust to not living alone. I know that I couldn’t have a better person to move in with, and I know how compatible we are. I also know how different we are. I have so many questions that can only be answered by learning through experience – How will we fight? How will we keep the house clean? Will there really be enough closet space? Will we each get enough alone time? Can I still have lazy days?  – but none that really worry me.

If anything, I’m excited. I’m excited to make a leap of faith and a big change. I’m excited to start a new adventure. Most importantly, I’m excited to do this with The Mister (and his dog) by my side.

Living alone has definitely been interesting, but I’m ready to try something new.