Category Archives: Moving

We Bought A House!!: Moving

Moving sucks.

Always. No matter what. Unless you are rich and can hire people to pack, move, clean and unpack for you. We, due to the fact that we just bought a house, are not rich. Not even close.

Packing was the easy part! We started packing at the beginning of July, which gave us plenty of time to get everything organized. If you’re moving, I highly recommend you get off your ass and pack early. As much as it sucks to pack instead of, I don’t know, catch up on back episodes of Dance Moms (guilty), having everything (or almost everything) ready to go on moving day makes moving approximately 598% easier.

I also recommend calling and reserving your moving truck about 3 months in advance. Apparently two weeks in advance is not early enough. Especially because “reserving” a truck on uhaul.com does not actually reserve you a truck. I’m not sure what it does, to be honest. Maybe let’s UHaul know that you are interested in renting a truck sometime in the near future, and if they have one, you might get it? Or maybe they just want to see how many angry phone calls they can collect over the last three days of the months. They must be those weird collector types.

So this is what happened: I “reserved” a UHaul truck on July 10! I got a confirmation email! Yes, I did notice that the email said that the location of pick-up may changed based on availability. I figured this would be fine, considering there are no fewer than 5 UHaul locations in the Fitchburg/Leominster area. This was a mistake, obviously.

On July 26, the day we closed and two days before we were moving everything we owned from one place to another, I get a call from UHaul, confirming my reservation. For pick-up in Belchertown. Belchertown? Like, 30 miles away, Belchertown??

No. Just, no.

I called the guy back and (sort of) kept my cool. Then I called the gigantic UHaul place in Leominster.

“Yeah, we have no trucks available for this weekend. It’s the end of the month, you know.”

YEAH, I KNOW.

“You gotta reserve a truck far in advance. Like more than a month. First-come first-serve.”

Two weeks? Not advanced enough. So I called the UHaul headquarters in Worcester, because apparently they can check the inventory of all the UHauls in the area.

“Yeah, we have no 14′ or 17′ trucks available in ALL OF CENTRAL MASS.”

What?! None?! Apparently, lots of people are moving to North Carolina, and UHaul can’t be bothered to try and get some trucks back up north for one of the busiest moving weekends of the year. No big deal.

So I called Budget. We had to drive 10 miles to get the truck, and 10 miles to return it, but it was cheaper than UHaul and everyone we dealt with was a million times nicer than anyone I have ever spoken with at UHaul.

Moral? Screw UHaul. Use Budget.

After the truck fiasco, everything went smooth as it possibly could have. Charged up with munchkins and cold-brewed iced iced coffee, our team of superheroes had the cars and the truck loaded in two hours. We made the half hour drive to the Schlöss, ordered four pizzas, recharged with beer, and got everything unloaded in two hours. This includes the half hour it took to get the couch into the living room. Did I mention how our family and friends are superheroes? Our team consisted of my mother, my father, my aunt Maureen, Jesse’s father, Jesse’s brother, our friends Drew and Nikki, and, at the Schlöss, my aunt and uncle Patty and Bill, and our friends Jess and Allen. Superheroes!

Bean also tolerated the move as good as we could have expected her to. Actually, it was the easiest move I’ve had with her since I took her home four years ago. I mean, this house is technically her seventh home in four years (if you include where she was born, and the bedroom at my parents’ house that she was confined to for the two months we were displaced by fire), so she should be old hat at moving. She still hates it though. When I moved the litter box from the basement and closed the basement door, she knew it was time. She meowed at me once, and hid in the spare bedroom behind the futon pieces. When we moved the futon, she behaved exactly as I predicted and went and hid in our bedroom closet, where I had craftily stuck her litter box and the cat carrier. When I came back for her an hour later, she was sitting (unhappily) in the back of the cat carrier. SCORE.

At the house, I let her into the room that will eventually be the office, and she hid in the closet. She’s fine now, and will not stop running around. Success.

After we finished with the move, our sweaty staff made their way home, and we returned our truck. Me, Jesse, and Jess drank some Coors Lights. I unpacked the kitchen, and Jesse set up the TV. We watched half of Hesher. Allen and his wife, Robin came by with more beer. We stood in the kitchen, and Jesse and I accidentally got drunk. Everyone left, and we went to bed.

And really didn’t sleep.

The sounds of a new house are weird. We live on a fairly busy street, which we are used to, but the traffic kept me awake. The creaks of the house kept me awake. Our neurotic cat, coming into the room about five times and mewing once, kept me awake. And both Jesse and I got really confused when the Maynard clock tower chimed… We thought it was our alarm (which wasn’t set).

And even though Jesse woke up with his first hangover in the new house, it okay, because we were home. And Sunday night, I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30. It was okay, except our house looks like this:

Tasks for another day!

Advertisements

We Bought A House!!: The Closing

I stand by my opinion that real estate closings, especially for first-time homebuyers, should have 1) snacks and 2) balloons and confetti upon completion.

Without those things, it’s actually pretty anti-climatic.

Not really, though!

So, our closing! Allen, our friend/realtor said that our closing was about a 0.1 on a scale of 0-10 of difficulty. That was despite the fact that the mortgage broker didn’t get the paperwork to our lawyer until 7:30 at night, and the lawyer didn’t the final number on the oil adjustment until almost 9. This meant that we showed up to the closing with no check, and no idea how much our check would have to be. Fortunately, everyone we worked with was ridiculously nice and they let us run to the bank right after the closing. Whew.

The closing itself was… fine? I’d say it was boring, but I was too busy initialing and signing about two hundred pieces of paper. Even that wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. After working our way through the stack, Janice (the previous homeowner) handed us the keys, her realtor thanked our realtor for making this his smoothest transaction of the year, and we were done (after we ran to the bank)!

20120730-081422.jpg

Meeting Janice was actually really cool. I was apprehensive about meeting the previous owner, because who knows what they’ll be like. She was at the walk through (which is odd, apparently) and told us about some of the little quirks of the house. Janice lived in the house for over 30 years and raised her family there. I cannot imagine what it was like for her to hand over the keys to a girl in skinny jeans and Converse and a guy with tattoos, camo shorts, and a dirty Red Sox hat. But she was super friendly. She filled us in on the neighbors, told us where she’d be staying until she found a house in Central Mass, and told us to contact her if we had any questions. I hope we came off as genuinely caring about the house, because we do.

After the closing, Allen took us out to lunch (thanks Al!) and we ate some pretty kick-ass Italian food and talked about beer. And then we went home.

20120730-081536.jpg

We walked through the entire house. Talked paint colors. Stocked the fridge with beer for moving day. Assessed the back yard. Made mental notes about what had to stay (the owl plant hangers) and what had to go (ALL the brass fixtures… so much brass). We fell in love all over again (with the house, not the each other, hahaha).

Because we had no furniture with us, and you can’t do much without furniture, we headed back to Fitchburg. We did some more packing. We did some sitting. We did a lot of, “Shit, we just bought a house.”

The next day, Jesse went to the dentist. I went to work. We packed and packed and packed. And on Saturday, we moved.

But that’s for next time.

The Hours are Ticking Away…

It’s almost here, the hour or more of signing paper after paper. So many papers that we’ve been told we won’t care what they say after the first ten minutes. I suppose I’m nervous for this gigantic step into adulthood. Nervous, but not too nervous. I’m more excited than anything, and it’s not even so much for the house itself (although, that is cool), it’s for the lifestyle we will have with the house.

I’ll finally have the space to set up my music gear and leave it set up. So, when I want to hide away and mess around I can just go upstairs and do that. Until now the set up time involved was generally enough distraction to shrivel any inspiration I may have had.

I’ll be able to ride my bike any place I may want to go. This might seem kind of silly but I’ve missed that bit of childhood where my friends were close and we could just pedal here, there and everywhere. Maynard is a small town and everything is easily reached on a bike. I also have a hope that this will chip away at this gut that I have been developing.

The biggest reason I’m excited for this move is simply that we are saying “Goodbye” to Fitchburg. It’s funny because Fitchburg’s shortcomings never really bothered me until I knew I was leaving. Now, every time I go out I see something that bothers me a bit. Stuff like, seeing needles on the ground when I go for walks or jogs, all the trash in the street and outside the house that never gets cleaned up or just the general lack of care for much of anything in the community. And I honestly can’t say that Maynard doesn’t have these problems or others but, as an outsider, I haven’t seen it. Yet.

So there it, and here it comes. I can say with sincerity that there hasn’t been another experience in my life that has made me feel more grown up than this. It’s a feeling I’ve been running away from since I was a teenager, but I’m seeing now that growing up isn’t like dropping a bomb on the life I have. I can still have fun and be an immature, heavy metal lunatic…

…as long as the bills get paid.

Little Boxes, On The Hillside

Packing is a bitch.

Packing is a bitch because it never feels done. Ever! How does that work?

Last weekend we made some real, serious progress on packing up the apartment. We have packed:

  • All of the coats
  • Shoes
  • Our closet
  • The junk in the spare bedroom closet
  • All of our books
  • All of our DVDs
  • About 3/4 of Jesse’s CDs All of Jesse’s CDs!

We have also successfully cataloged all of our DVDs and what has been packed of Jesse’s CD collection.

Did I mention that Jesse’s CD collection alone is fifteen boxes? And that the CD count right now is about 2,000?? I think someone has an addiction… Intervention?!

What’s left?

  • Everything hanging on walls
  • Clothes in the dressers
  • The bathroom
  • The kitchen
  • The basement

Not bad! And this time is approximately one million times less stressful than the last time we moved:

20120718-180051.jpg

Bad picture, but note the tower of furniture and the lack of ceiling above it. We threw away so many bags of stuff. We purged things we would have normally taken but were too frustrated and burnt out to move and things that were too smelly/dusty/gross from all of the water damage in the apartment. We tried our best to organize things while packing, but it was nearly impossible with the chaos of the apartment.

Moving wasn’t any better. The first was on a weekday, and we wanted to be back in our own place so badly. We rented a UHaul and loaded it up while the sun was setting. We made two trips between apartments. We loaded the second trip in the dark. There was no electricity at the old place, so we were finding boxes by flashlight. We had a pizza delivered to the unlit apartment and ate it in the back of the UHaul. It was awful. Better than the time I smashed a pickle jar in the UHaul parking lot at the end of moving day (Worcester, 2009), but still awful.

This time will be different! We have an entire weekend left before we move, and we are moving on a weekend, so we’ll have plenty of time to get everything out. Everything will be packed nicely into organized boxes! We have enlisted people to help (tempted by the promise of pizza and beer)!

However, I look at the apartment, one week before our closing date, and I feel like we have done nothing. I suppose it won’t feel done until we’re out, right??