Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It's official.....

We have a house! All went well yesterday with closing and we've already started bringing things over and taping off rooms that will be painted later this week.  Stay tuned for more pictures and details soon :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eat, Think, and Be Married--Now with Recipe Browsing Capabilities!

One good thing that comes from waking up (before) the crack of dawn? I actually get around to organizing recipes within my handy-dandy new recipe categories at the top of my blog. I'm still only through 100 or so posts (133 or so more to go) but this is at least a start in terms of being able to browse my recipes by category. More organization to come!

Eye on the Prize

I know we must be getting close to moving into our new house because it is 6:30am on a Sunday and I am wide wake. In fact, I have been since about 5:30.

Yep....the stress-induced insomnia has officially begun. Sigh.

I first noticed this unfortunate habit in college when every semester around finals time, I'd wake up at ridiculous hours (regardless of what time I had gone to bed or when I actually needed to get up), my mind unable to stop running through all the work I needed to do between then and the end of the semester. And so, whenever it comes time for some sort of big life event or other important activity that requires significant work or organization on my part, it becomes impossible for me to sleep past 5 or 5:30am. So fun.

Another sign we are getting close? There are so many boxes around here that it is hard to walk in certain areas of the apartment. We've now packed the dining room, most of our non-hanging clothes and shoes (everything but what we will need for the next couple of weeks), almost all of our linens, all desk stuff, some electronics, all pictures on the walls and decorative items that sit around the apartment (picture frames, candles, etc.) We've also taken care of most of the rest of the "other" stuff we need to do before closing/moving-- utilities set to turn on at the new place and off at the apartment, movers set, etc.

And yet, despite all this progress, I can't help but feeling like there is still SO. MUCH. TO. DO. Maybe it's because I haven't yet tackled much in the way of the beast that is the kitchen. Or the bathroom (which may seem strange but for some reason the cabinets under the double vanity in our apartment bathroom are overflowing with stuff).

The good news is, the end really is in sight (and I just have to keep reminding myself of that and keep my eye on the prize, so to speak). Tuesday is our final walk-through where the builder shows us where everything is and how to contact them if we have issues (particularly in the first year when EVERYTHING is under warranty) and so we can make sure that they've completed everything and cleaned up after themselves properly. More importantly (for us, anyway) it will be our first look at the finished product! Then, one week later, we officially become homeowners and the fun part begins-- painting (more on that in a later post) and moving.

Maybe then I can get some sleep.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle

Our apartment is officially in total chaos. It was bound to happen sooner or later (though I must admit I thought I had another week or so before it got to this point).

As you can see, we are now living in a jungle of the boxes—both empty and filled—and other assorted stuff. But the good news is that it means we are getting closer to our new house!

As chaotic as this all appears, there really is a method to the madness; it’s all part of the moving process. And I should know—I have been a part of many (MANY) moves over the course of my 30 years and while I may not have been an active participant during the first half, I have picked up a few things. Namely, that planning and preparation is everything.

Here’s how I like to approach the process:

1.   1) Get a game plan together. The very first thing I did was put together a spreadsheet of all things we need to do between now and closing/moving and assigned due dates and leads for each task (can you tell that I have a lot of program management experience??). I put our spreadsheet on the fridge so we can stay on top of what we’ve done and what we still need to do. This process has worked pretty well so far- we know what we need to get done each week and it’s kept us track. 

Other things to tackle first—movers/truck and boxes. Our realtor recommended My Truck Buddy for our move--a DC area based company that has its own truck and you can pay by the hour for three people to move your stuff. Seems like reasonable prices-- I'll let you know how it all works out. When perusing MTB's website, I came across information for a place where you can rent moving boxes-- cheaper than buying them from Uhaul (or the like) and they deliver the boxes and come and pick them up when you are done. Convenient and green....done and done.

       2)  Clean out. Moving is the perfect excuse to purge all the old/unflattering/out of date clothes (and shoes and other accessories) you still have in your closet/drawers. Same goes for other household items (books, dvds, music, knick-knacks, etc.) you may have collected over the years. Get rid of the waste—sell it on craigslist or donate to Goodwill or the library. Don’t move anything that you don’t need or use.

True to my advice, we have gone through all of our clothes, shoes and accessories as well as books and dvds. I got rid of a bunch of other extraneous household stuff when Jason and I got married and he moved in a couple of years ago but I anticipate that there will be some additional fat to cut when I start packing up the kitchen (coffee mugs, utensils, etc.) Over the last several weeks we have donated 10 bags of stuff to Goodwill and 5-6 bags of books/dvds to the local library. It’s a pain in the butt to do, but I find this cleaning out process to be almost cathartic.We also put a few things on craigslist including my desk and filing cabinet, an old bookshelf, bar stools, and my old Dell desktop. So far we've sold the desk/filing cabinet and the bar stools.

3)  Pack in chunks. Packing can take longer than you think. You may look around and think “I don’t have that much stuff”….but when you start emptying cabinets, closets, and drawers it starts to add up. I like to start the process 3-4 weeks ahead of time (after you’ve done the bulk of your cleaning out) to ensure that I can break it down in to smaller, manageable pieces and do a little at a time. On tap for this weekend-- my dining room stuff (china, good glassware and all my extraneous serving dishes, etc.) and books.

What moving advice has served you well in the past?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Countdown Begins

Exactly four weeks from today, Jason and I will be homeowners! That's right, our house is almost our house. It's amazing to think that just four months ago, we were looking at this:

And now, we have this:

And this:
Yup--that's the first look at our new kitchen!

With only a month left until we close and move, there's a whole lot to do. And between the working, the cleaning out, the packing, and the general house-obsessing, there's not a whole lot of room for cooking or menu planning these days! But I hope you will stick with me as I share the method to my moving madness as well as the trials and tribulations of new home ownership in the coming weeks. Lots of change and excitement ahead!