We moved in this weekend.
Saturday at 4:30p I stopped by the realtor’s office and picked up the keys. With a carload of the fragile stuff, Jenn with another carload, and us dead tired from packing and cleaning the night before, it was not quite the magic “realtor handing the new homeowner his/her first house keys” moment that you might see depicted, say, on a Centry 21 commercial. It was us, sitting in our packed cars in the parking lot, waiting for the realtor to get there and hand us an envelope with one key in it. Sort of anti-climactic.
We were told that the old owner was hiring a cleaning crew and the place would be clean when we got there. Not so much. The carpets were filthy, drawers and cabinets were disgusting inside… ugh. We had a few really awesome surprises, too. When the old owners first moved in, they saved all of their newsprint packing paper, stuffed it into giant plastic lawn debris bags, and crammed it into the attic. That was all there waiting for us because they didn’t take it with them. Also, there was bird shit everywhere. Windowsills, carpets, counters, you name it. I don’t remember them having a bird. We’re thinking that the bird somehow got in through the open dryer vent and went apeshit in the house. That said, there wasn’t any bird there when we got there, so either it magically found its way out or someone showed up, got the bird out, and left the shit for us to clean up. Finally, there were loads of spots on the walls that needed to be touched up. Like someone enjoyed throwing red wine on the walls and not cleaning it up. Stain city.
Had I known the place would be such a sty, I’d have reserved more time for us to come in and clean before we moved, but we didn’t, so we unpacked our cars and used a few Clorox wipes to clean up what we could and saved the rest for Sunday.
Sunday was a mad cleaning frenzy. We vacuumed and steam-cleaned the carpets. I went to Home Depot three times to get the paint color matched on the walls (it’s “Arbor White” in a “Flat Enamel” finish… shinier than “Flat” finish but not as shiny as “Eggshell”). Warren, the paint guy at Home Depot, is getting to recognize me and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
Monday morning we woke up at 6:00a to finish the last minute packing. There was a lot. You never realize how many things you use on a daily basis until you have to pack them all.
At 8:30a the movers arrived. They had such a tiny truck, but once all of our stuff was packed inside, they still had room to spare. It was amazing. What really amazed me was them moving the TV - that thing’s at least 300 pounds and took three guys to get it into the apartment; these two movers, not the bulkiest guys by any means, got it out of the apartment by themselves. They did set it down a couple of times (understandable) which slightly marred the bottom of the TV, but I’m chalking that up to cost of ownership. There’s no way I could have done it better, and these guys did a great job. Six hours later, we were unpacked and they were on their way.
We went back to the old apartment after the movers left and picked up the cats. Neither one was eager to get into the cat carrier, but the Tiny Cat was especially difficult. It’s amazing how strong such a small beast is.
We unpacked the cats into a room together so they could get used to some of the smells and learn where the litter box was and such. Both hid for quite some time and only this morning are they really starting to venture out and about.
We got a little bit of stuff unpacked on Monday, but mostly we just finished any cleanup efforts and got things arranged and ready to unpack.
Tuesday morning around 9:00a the cable guy, Scotty, showed up. He was really cool and probably the best cable guy I’ve dealt with ever. He earned his installation fee, too - he had to pull the cable through the street from like four blocks away. Apparently most folks on the street have satellite instead. He also cut me some custom length coax cables for the rest of my TVs and replaced all of the connectors on all of the cable outlets because they weren’t up to his personal quality standards. He gave us his direct phone number so when we need anything else we can just call him straight up. That rocks.
Around 2:00p the washer and dryer showed up. Turns out Home Depot told me I’d need a certain type of dryer vent and tube, but the delivery guy told me it was all the wrong stuff and he had some on the truck that we could use. I’ll have to take the other stuff back to Home Depot (yet another trip). The washer and dryer are really cool and much better than the crap we had at the apartment.
We got the kitchen unpacked… mostly… and then around 3:00p or so we figured we should make some shopping runs and go clean out the old apartment. First we stopped at Linens N Things to get some drapes. The problem we have is that if you’re sitting to watch the TV and it’s light out, all you see is the glare from the window directly opposite the TV (behind the couch). So, drapes. Not cheap. After that we headed down to Fry’s Electronics so I could get some speaker wire to use to install my home theater (I’m going to attempt a custom in-wall installation - more on that in a bit). Then back up to Fred Meyer to get a little grocery shopping done and finally on to the old apartment to clean.
We vacuumed, swept, mopped, washed, and patched our way to exhaustion. Then we loaded up Jenn’s car (we only had the one car) with the remaining artifacts from the place (which included all of our hanging clothes), barely got the doors shut, and took it all home to unload.
Woke up this morning at 6:00a (the usual time), Jenn got herself out the door reasonably early, and I took a bit of time to pet the cats and get them out into the body of the house and sniffing around. It only took me like 15 minutes to get to work, and none of that was on the highway. Hell, yeah! No more indefinite commute for me, man.
So we’re moved in. Not even remotely unpacked, and already I’ve spent like $300 on crap that we need (window treatments, etc.) that I didn’t anticipate. I can see how people blame their houses for being money pits. I’ll agree with that. Even so, it’s still worlds better than apartment life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
On the home theater… bah. I want to install my surround speakers and stuff in-wall so it’s not as crappy as it was in the apartment with wires running all over the place. The problem is that the room with the TV is right under the master bedroom, so the only access to the walls is through the crawlspace below the room. The speakers need to be mounted eight feet up, and two of them on an outside wall. That means I need to fish the wire up through the wall eight feet through the crawlspace. On the outside walls, I’m sure that also means I’m going to run into fire blocks, so I may not even be able to do that. I’m hesitant… no, beyond hesitant… to cut a hole in my wall (like a big trough for the thing) and then have to patch it all up. I know a couple of friends of mine did it that way and now I see why. If it comes to that, it will probably be best to have a professional do it. Of course, that’s not going to be cheap in the least, but at least it will be done right. I’m not an electrician, nor am I a drywall expert. Best to leave that sort of thing to the pros. But I’ll see what I can do, probaby in a week or two once I’ve gotten more things unpacked. I might be able to get the two inside-wall speakers in myself. Then again, if I’m having a pro do the outside wall stuff, it would probably be best to just let them do the whole job.