The search for my new home
Every time I move, I swear I'll never do it again. Yet, despite my best efforts, it continues to be an annual tradition, as predictable as swapping out seasonal wardrobes and making apple pie at Thanksgiving.
Of course, this time around, the move felt larger. World shattering even. (Read the full story). I wasn't just packing up boxes full of stuff and changing addresses, I was also saying goodbye to a life. To being part of a couple. To everything I'd known for the past six and a half years. To the carefully planned roadmap for my future. And to my food processor.
Yes, this move was a biggie. But the first obstacle was just finding a place to live. My first few months of flying solo involved staying with friends while trying to sort out my priorities. Where did I want to live? How much space did I need? How much could I afford in rent (while still paying the mortgage on Casa Speedy)?
So I hit the pavement, and looked at a lot of places. I trudged all over the city, scoping out basement suites, high rises and everything in between. I stalked Craigslist and Viewit postings. I waffled on signing documents.
Then I fell in love with a condo rental - tiny, adorable, and close to everything. I told the landlord I'd take it, went home to fill out all the paperwork and was already mentally decorating. Of course, in the time between me assembling all my info and sending in the email, someone else had scooped it up.
Obviously, I was disappointed. And I was running out of time. My hunt reached a frenzied pace. Now that I knew that I wanted a condo in a convenient area, it got a little easier.
With the help of a realtor, I assembled a list of available spaces from the MLS. I liked going this route, because a) someone is pre-screening the listings for you and b) in my mind, landlords who list on the MLS show a real level of investment to having tenants, rather than it just being convenient, as one sometimes finds when renting basement spaces. Plus, the help is free - the landlord pays the realtor's fee.
Within two days, I'd found a condo space that was walking distance to work, just a wee bit over my preferred price range (as always seems to be the case), and boasting great amenities.
Plus, it was in a brand new building, so, while that meant dealing with a few months of finishing touches hassles as they finished the common areas and the like, I appreciated the symbolism of a shiny new space for my shiny new life. A space full of opportunities, available to be tailored to my preferences and tastes - and mine alone!
I was also a major change. I went from living in a three-bedroom East York semi to a minimalist downtown condo, with a view of the city. But it felt exciting, and right for me. So I jumped on it.
A week later, I moved. After, of course, doing a massive shop at Ikea to get the bare essentials for my new space. You know, bed, mattress, dining table, chairs, desk, towels, plates, etc., etc.
I moved over with just my clothes and a tea kettle in tow, and waited for the delivery men. Their stack of boxes prompted two weeks of attempting to show off my mad skills with an allen key, resulting more than once in a string of profanity, tears and debates about whether I should just chuck the item in question and buy a new, assembled version. Thankfully some friends stepped up to lend the extra set of hands - and much needed patience - to finish the job. I owe them an endless supply of cookies.
Now, the pieces (and furniture) have finally mostly come together. Much like the other parts of my drastically changed life, things were starting to slip back into routines and make sense again.
Now I'm down to the finicky bits - re-arranging the shelves in my fridge, measuring for more furniture, finding the right pieces for my walls.
By tomorrow, I hope, I'll be finally ready to share photos of my mostly-assembled space - just in time for my housewarming party!