Hanging Pictures with Rocks

We got the keys to our new home a week ago and have been slowly moving in. We rented a U-Haul van last Saturday to bring the big stuff – which consisted solely of our queen size bed, our small chest freezer, and our kitchen table/desk – and a handful of boxes. I’m happy to report that we sold 100% of the items that we listed on Marketplace, for a sum total of $850.

For introverts, there’s an upside to moving during a pandemic. We got to sign our lease online and moved into our apartment without every having to step foot in the office. They left the key on the counter and the door unlocked. I say key but it’s not even a key really – is an electronic fob that unlocks the door by just holding it close to it. It’s very hotel-like 🙂

We had most of the boxes unpacked the next day, but then, life happened and the items that have yet to be placed in homes are still sitting in the living room where the couch would go (if we had one).

Land of the Homeless Stuff

After much debate and online browsing, we did finally order a new couch. It was supposed to be delivered this past Thursday but has now been delayed until after the 16th. I’m hoping to find homes for all of the miscellaneous stuff and pictures before it arrives so that one day, the room will look complete (and photo worthy!) The new couch is smaller and more versatile than the old one. It can be L-shaped or flip out to make a full-size lounger/sofa bed. It’s not the old-school kind with the mattress inside but rather something akin to a recliner where the bottom folds up or down. We thought it might be a better solution for our overnight guests (namely our 5-year-old niece) rather than the twin size air mattress we’ve been using. I’ll have to post pictures because my description does it no justice. The new couch cost $458 (tax included). We made $450 off the old set so you could say that we got the new one for a mere $8. I love frugal math!

It’s been a wild ride these last few weeks. Deciding to move at the spur of the moment was both a boost and a drain. On the one hand, it motivated us. I think ever since our travel plans got cancelled for COVID, we’ve been in a bit of a funk. Having to get busy doing something, especially something this exciting, was the kick we needed. On the other hand, we had to do it amid all the work that we had scheduled for June. We flew through our house surveys, completing 83 subdivisions in 3 days! And I spent more than 40 hours tagging stuff at Dollar General (yet another of those unusual jobs that I have a habit of stumbling across and will explain more about later).

Just a little more than 48 hours after we officially moved in, Angie flew off to Texas for her annual visit with her parents (or summer camp, as I like to call it). She’s building things, like this:

Meanwhile, I’m trying to hang a bulletin board in the kitchen using a rock for a hammer – a painted rock at that! I’m pretty sure our hammer is still in the tool box at the old apartment. I left the tools there until I can remove the water filter that we installed on the kitchen faucet, which I’m hoping will be today. Along with the tools, I have a broom, a fishing pole, and a badminton set that I need to retrieve as well, and then we can finally turn over our keys – though, we technically have the old apartment until mid-month.

I might also mention, that along with all the work and moving and getting Angie ready to go to Texas, Caesar had to go to the vet (kidney infection) and my mom had to go to the ER by ambulance. She twisted around to answer the phone and apparently tore the cartilage in her ribs. The pain was so great, she collapsed and couldn’t move. At first, we thought she had broken her back again (she has compression fractures and once broke her back changing a light bulb, so it happens). I’m happy to report that while it was quite painful, it wasn’t serious and she has recovered well. She even helped me in the garden yesterday.

And Caesar, well, he’s good too – taking his medication like a champ and enjoying the new patio.


I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that July is not such a busy month. I have plans for a lot of upcoming posts, including a garden and job update, along with photos of the new place, of course. So stay tuned…and have a very happy and safe 4th of July!

Minimizing (More) & Moving

If there’s one thing that we learned from staying at home over these past few months, it’s this – you don’t have to love your home but you should at least like it.

When we moved into our current apartment in 2016, it was one of only 3 options available in our area. We never loved it but we found it suitable for our needs and managed to convince ourselves that the “amenities” made up for its shortcomings. Among those shortcomings – maintenance is always hit or miss, and by that I mean, they always come to fix the problem but their solution is sometimes lacking. When they fixed the leak from the upstairs apartment that came through our ceiling, they conveniently neglected to paint over the water spots. We’ve lived with that for 2 years now. They fixed the stove by bringing us a really, really used one to replace the brand new one that we paid extra to get. And most recently, they fixed our wasp problem by bringing us a can of Raid (I kid you not).

Our town has grown exponentially over the past four years (thanks in large part to our awesome mayor and the implementation of our first ever citywide strategic plan). Amid the growth, our quaint downtown area with its local shops, restaurants, and Farmer’s Market is thriving. We have more tech jobs now (instead of just factory jobs), more recreational spaces, and a brand new college campus. Now, make no mistake, we are happy with the direction that the town is heading because there’s more opportunity for folks to find something to love right here locally but we still don’t see ourselves living here forever.

With that being said, we decided (much on a whim) that we would move to a new apartment. During the last few years, more than a half dozen new apartment complexes have sprung up to accommodate the influx of folks wanting to live “near Nashville”. A lot of these places are really luxurious (with elevators and coffee bars) and way out of our price range but a few are within just a few dollars of what we are paying now.

When we knew we wanted to move, we had a dilemma of a different sort to contend with. How does one qualify for an apartment without a “real” income?? Turns out it wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be. Though I compiled an extensive list of my varying income sources, it was our credit score and rental history that sealed the deal. I’m proud to say that all the frugal financial finagling that we’ve done these past few years paid off and we we got the highest possible score in our screening process (whatever that means exactly).

We’re silly excited about this whole thing and not just because we’re moving somewhere new but because it’s a chance to reboot our minimalist life. I’m not sure how, but along the way we’ve acquired a lot of stuff again. Okay, not as much stuff as some of the folks we see moving in/out of here but for us…it’s a lot of stuff. We have dumpster furniture that we just couldn’t let go to landfill, a plethora of flower pots on a patio that despite our best intentions, won’t grow a weed much less a plant, and so many other things, I can’t think of them all.

Our new space is a blank canvas just waiting NOT TO BE CLUTTERED. We’re moving in 2 weeks so we’ve already started selling off a lot of our stuff. Bulky living room suite – gone!

Cabinets, tables, and storage drawers we found in the dumpster – gone!

Angie even parted with her paddleboard that took up the biggest part of one closet, reasoning that if she wanted to use one, rentals are only $8/hour at our local park.

As of right now, we’ve made $785 getting rid of stuff – a lot of it stuff that someone else once threw in the garbage. But more importantly, we’re reducing our possessions (again) and finding new homes for still useful things.