Moving On: Quick Tips and Things to Keep on Hand

With Lesley gearing up to move in the next few months and Boyfriend moving Saturday, I thought I’d share a few of the things we did right during his move, as well as a few things that fell through the cracks. (Also, if I write it down I’ll be able to reference it myself).

The movers he hired were s-l-o-w, but my experience has usually been that the movers need all my stuff right away, whether I’m ready for them or not. I tend to leave “just a couple things” to be done at the end, but it ends up being too much to fit in and so I end up moving a few things myself. I also tend to think I have one “one or two boxes” when I really have, like, ten boxes worth of stuff left to get thrown in. Don’t leave things for that one last box. Unless its a magic box.

This was an in-town move between apartments (I cannot imagine doing cross country or having more than one bedroom), so it doesn’t include things like toothbrushes–that’s outside my realm of experience. These are the things we were glad to have or wished we had during moving day.

So here goes:

Things to leave out at the old place:

Not this exact one, but similar. Smaller and lighter than a drill, so its easier to store where you can grab it and gets light moving out type jobs done fast

Not this exact one, but similar. Smaller and lighter than a drill, so its easier to store where you can grab it and gets light moving out type jobs done fast

  • Screwdriver (super essential–you’ll forget to take holders off the wall, realize those curtain tie backs need to come down, and that the legs on the table are screwed on). He used a small electric one, which is easier to tote around than a drill.
  • Paper towels and other cleaning supplies, to clean whatever you uncover when you move large items around
  • Garbage bags. More than one, since you’ll be pretty sure you got it all, throw out the first one, and realize you need another.
  • Small Ziploc bags to put small pieces (like screws or shelf supports) so they don’t disappear.
  • Sharpie to label anything you missed.
  • Pen and paper to write stuff down, ideally on a clipboard.
  • Tape gun so you can close last-minute boxes and tape random things together.
  • Some food. We messed this up. Due to the turtle-movers, I was starving by the time we finally left his place. (I had set aside stuff to eat breakfast, but didn’t anticipate lunch).  Along those lines, bottled drinks or a cup so you can still have a drink.
  • One or two Very Important BAGS where the above items get stashed. We had a duffel bag with plenty of pockets (screws, ziplocs, writing utensils), a small size tool caddy (for the screwdriver and some other basics) and a cleaning caddy.

On the flip side, most of the stuff above was important, with some key additions. There are also some things you just want to make sure you can find immediately without having to open any boxes:

  • A utility knife, to open all those boxes.
  • Food. Or at least a plan for where to get some. See above.
  • Toilet paper. Or a willingness to find a convenient business if you need to use the facilities.
  • Spare blankets or towels. Your movers might be smart enough not to put boxes from the snowy ground outside right on your dining room table. Or not. Instead of stressing about it, cover it up.
  • Everything above (except the tape gun. Thank goodness!)

On a side note, Boyfriend now lives half a block from Michael’s. This could be dangerous…

What are your moving must-haves?

A Better Bathroom

Bathroom Final From HallAfter neverending work on my new bathroom, it was promptly flooded and (parts) had to be redone. It was pretty upsetting, and it turns out that my neighbor has bargain-basement “insurance”–good thing I have State Farm. Due to a number of things, including discovering additional damage that meant tearing out the shower floor and redoing it, the bathroom was only fully finished LAST WEEK. For those of you keeping track at home, that makes it FIVE MONTHS of not having a completed bathroom. Ugh.

But finally FINALLY it’s finished. Art on the walls, boxes on the shelves and towels on the hooks DONE.

Bathroom Final Full Lights Off

Bathroom Final Window & Towel Bar

Bathroom Final Vanity & Mirror

Bathroom Final Built Ins

 

And some details of the shower:

Bathroom Final Shower View

Shower floor tile is 1x2 marble tiles that look like minis of the floor tile.

Shower floor tile is 1×2 marble tiles that look like minis of the floor tile.

Other details:

The bathroom floor is marble subway tile installed in a straight herringbone. Just enough interest without making the small footprint too busy.

The bathroom floor is marble subway tile installed in a straight herringbone. Just enough interest without making the small footprint too busy.

Between the open shelf on the bottom of the vanity and the cabinet, it has a ton of storage.

Between the open shelf on the bottom of the vanity and the cabinet, it has a ton of storage.

Pretty wrapping paper (with the perfect colors!) from Paper Source in an Ikea frame.

Pretty wrapping paper (with the perfect colors!) from Paper Source in an Ikea frame.

 

Baskets on the shelves hide ugly chargers. I also put the thermostat for the heated floors and the outlet ABOVE the first shelf, making them easier to cover up--and less distance for cords to have to stretch.

Baskets on the shelves hide ugly chargers. I also put the thermostat for the heated floors and the outlet ABOVE the first shelf, making them easier to cover up–and less distance for cords to have to stretch.

The cubbies hold a ton--I have an ugly plastic cleaning caddy on that middle shelf (look for that artwork in a later post!)

The cubbies hold a ton–I have an ugly plastic cleaning caddy on that middle shelf (look for that artwork in a later post!)

I put a cabinet in when we found a hole above where my coat "closet" ends...its tough to reach, but never say no to storage!

I put a cabinet in when we found a hole above where my coat “closet” ends…its tough to reach, but never say no to storage!

Anything else you want to know? I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have this finally DONE.

When it rains…

…sometimes the rain falls in your house. And it is NOT. GOOD.

This should be a final reveal of my new  lovely bathroom. Except it isn’t.

So.

Two weeks ago I was fast asleep, snug in my bed at 2:15 am, when I heard water. Rain? Maybe, but I usually can’t hear it in my bedroom. House guest in the bathroom? Showering with the door open perhaps? Nope, doesn’t sound like the shower…

So I got myself out of bed, confirmed no one was in the bathroom but water, turned a light on and…promptly flipped it back off. Because water was pouring through it. My upstairs neighbor somehow overflowed her toilet (I’ll let you put the 2:15am pieces togethere here) and caused a whole lot of water to come through a whole lot of places into my house. I was up over an hour that night putting out bowls, ran late the next day, and generally did not have fun.

It could have been worse.

There doesn’t seem to be any significant damage to the bathroom, the water has stopped, and her insurance will cover the damage. But grabbing bowls, having water come through your (also new) hallway light fixture for over 2 days and not being able to close the bathroom door (ahem, still) are not my idea of fun.

But it really could have been worse. I was home. I woke up. I stopped a lot of damage before it happens, including water sitting on my radiant heat floors. Life will go on.

It just wasn’t what I wanted to be talking about here. You can see some nice demo pictures of the hallway Lesley and I painted back in January. It will get repainted now, same color. It will be smoother. But mostly it will be the same, and my house will get dusty and dirty and have random people in it again. I’m not exactly excited.

Have you ever had water pour through your ceiling? Oddly, this is at least my fifth time, although my first in this place.

How (not) to: Repainting Furniture

NOTE: Please go read basically anyone else’s blog. We are not exactly success stories here. There will be no instructions, just some process shots. And possibly advice about how not redo a piece of furniture.

It started when I found this awesome piece in my basement. Every unit in my building I think used to have one in the dining room; some still do. I didn’t, and I thought they were awesome. I asked for permission and everyone was ok with me taking this last one in decent shape (there are two others, but they have both been used as workbenches and really aren’t salvageable).

I wanted to restain it, but closer inspection showed that would be pretty tough. I would have to sand and strip it all the way down, which would take ages. Painting it, by contrast, would take a day. Sold.

So we bought supplies (all those people who say you need to use a dense foam roller? Geniuses.)  and got down to it.  We didn’t want an obvious color, and I thought a nice navy would coordinate well with my curtains and not be too in-your-face in the room. We sanded. We cleaned. This isn’t a detailed piece, which made both sanding and painting a lot easier.

There is a mirror that is supposed to be attached to the back (it was attached by a single ruler when I found it), but sadly it just wasn’t in good enough shape.

We did need to patch the gap the mirror is supposed to slot into, and got lucky with a furring strip in the dimensions that we needed.

Then we sanded some more, primed, and got on a few coats of paint. And….

Two coats in, we could tell it was NOT what we wanted. Good= a really deep dark blue (almost black, really rich). Bad= Americana blue (too gray, too pale, not deep or dark).

(Not) ta-da!

Fail.

I called up my paint color guru/friend’s husband, and after a good search we decided having the original paint retinted (to up the blue and the dark) was likely to get me close, and either way I was out a quart of paint I didn’t like. Worth a shot.

It worked.

It doesn’t clash now. Still wish it was a touch darker, but it’ll work!

Stay tuned for the full room!

(Not Yet a) Better Bathroom

Two weeks ago, my bathroom looked like this:

And then we started, and it looked like this (I can’t find the full set of pictures, just this one the contractor texted me*. But it all looked like this):

While I was gone, they made some (ahem, not enough) progress (this is the shower, where the tub used to be):

And now it looks like this:

Things you see:

  • Walls!
  • New recessed lights (a last minute decision)
  • Partial wall for shower
  • Wiring for new vanity light and heated floor
  • The space for the medicine cabinet
  • That hole above the medicine cabinet (in the last picture)? There’s random empty space in the wall about 7 feet up, above the top of the coat closet on the other side of the wall. Its going to be a bonus cabinet. Stay tuned!

Things you don’t see:

  • A floor
  • Tile
  • A TOILET

You are smart enough to determine everything else you aren’t seeing here. Things you also aren’t seeing?

Me.

Because that’s my only bathroom and it doesn’t have any bath-related capabilities. (You know how everyone says these things take twice as long? Totally right. I might be able to go home Thursday.)

Have you done any major renovations? How long did they take? Can normal people live without a toilet?!