Tuesday, March 15, 2016

And now for the nice part...

Thank you for continuing to read, even after the barrage of confessions I just poured on you since coming back online.

Now it's time to talk about fun things, good things that have been happening in my life.

I have moved in with Goose. It's been about two weeks since all my stuff was moved over and the apartment I'd been living in for the past 3 years was emptied.

I am shocked to say this, but it's actually going really well. So smooth!

Both Goose and I have not lived with anyone else (significant other or otherwise) for years. For me that actually means almost ten years. A decade of not living with anyone. The last person was my then-boyfriend, and only for a summer before he moved back home and got a real job. Before then it had been a solid year or two since living with real roommates, the senior year of uni. That's it. Since then it's been me, myself, and I, living in a place together.

As you likely all remember, I did consider finding roommates when I first moved to Finland. However, it wasn't long before I realized the Finnish don't do that, and I quickly reverted back to believing that living by myself really was the least stressful. More than likely it was. Especially given the apartment sizes there (miniature and rife with Ikea space solutions!).

Then when I moved to England, where it is exceptionally common to have a roommate because rent here is so ridiculous, I declined. That door had closed. No more admittance. No vacancy. Nope nope nope nope nope.

And so the saga of living alone continued...until now!

Honestly a small part of me always hoped something like this would happen. I would find someone great, we would move in together, and something something ride off into the sunset on the same horse. I remember telling my sister how it was always in the back of my mind which clothes I would get rid of to make space in my closet for someone else's clothes. Those were my secret single-girl thoughts (a bit embarrassing really, and quite desperada, when taken out of context).

And now it has actually happened! My goodness.

The move itself was surprisingly smooth. I paid two guys with a van who came and loaded and unloaded all my stuff at the appropriate locations. Moving in London is a bit of a bear in comparison to California (I can't really compare it with Finland as the company was always doing all my moving for me...which was amazing and I miss it...like the deserts miss the rain). Instead of packing all of your stuff into whatever boxes you have, throwing the rest in bags, and calling your friends over with their cars to help you load up and move everything in a caravan...going even just a few blocks away takes considerable time, effort, and money. Almost no one in my age range has a car in London because it's ridiculous to have one. Where would you park it when you're home? Would you even consider trying to find parking in the center? Is it even reasonable to have one given the number of times you'd drive a week? And what appendage or organ would you have to sell in order to pay for maintenance and parking!?

Oh no, no no no. Very few friends with cars here. And the cars that do exist are 1) high in demand because of aforementioned reasons and 2) usually European-ly small. And by that I mean it's lucky if there are more than two doors and they are large enough NOT to park with their bumper to the curb and still leave room in the road for cars to pass. And this isn't even continental Europe where the cars are even smaller and sometimes have 3 wheels instead of 4 (really!)!

Nuuuup. I was going to be paying this myself. I even did myself a solid (financially, anyway) by buying my own boxes from Amazon then packing it all myself. Perks of being unemployed and a student: time and motivation to save as much money as possible. I had all my stuff packed before the van got there, of course. Saved myself £200 by not having them pack it all for me. I kid you not. Some companies make you provide all the moving supplies (boxes, tape, padding, etc) AND still charge you anywhere from £4-7 PER BOX. I didn't have that kind of money to splash around, so, nope nope nope nope nope.

The hilarity in discovering you have way more stuff than you ever knew is always an experience. You think you're not a hoarder, but secretly you must be. I'd been living in my place for three years, and though I am constantly purging, donating, recycling, KonMari-ing, giving away items (clothes and books especially), it somehow still ended up being more than I'd thought. This including the more than half of my furniture I sold before even considering the move. And the more than 10 bags worth of stuff I donated to charity.

Luckily I planned for it. Still had enough boxes on hand. My estimate for the moving company was just off by 10 boxes. Lol.

What I hadn't planned for was the fact that my table, built and bred in the apartment after it arrived from Ikea in a flat pack...didn't fit through the door and my tools had already been packed. Whoops. Luckily the movers had tools with them...but there was a bit of Eastern European grumbling about it, which I expect wasn't all rainbows and smiles.

But all in all, it went very smoothly. We made sure the moving van was on its way before calling an Uber to pick us up so we would arrive at our new shared place before the movers did. If we'd taken public transit, though my old place and our new place are only about 10 miles apart, it would have taken us over an hour. Even in the Uber it took about 40 minutes. This is why things are so difficult in London.

We arrived half an hour before the movers did. They probably needed to take the long and less roundabout (literally) route since they had all my junk in the back.

After it was all unloaded and I gave them the rest of my cash (which I'd made by selling off my furniture), we spent the entire rest of the day unpacking all my boxes, rearranging rooms, making sure everything had a home. We set up rules: if it doesn't have a dedicated home in the apartment, it's being donated.

Needless to say we got everything unpacked before too late that night. The flattened boxes are now neatly stored beneath the bed, no lingering signs of a move-in. I arranged for another charity collection (these home-calls are great, though it's a bit of a toss-up when it comes to what time they'll come between 8am-3pm...or in this case, 6:30pm... -_-*...) and had about 10 bags and some extra bits and bobs (or bric a brac, as they call it here), picked up.

The place is now spankingly habitable. Everything has a place, it isn't cluttered. We're saving a bunch on shared rent. It looks...like an actual house. With real people who live together and have stuff that goes surprisingly well together.

And living together has been easy, smooth. No feathers ruffled, no fights about my stuff versus your stuff or my territory versus your territory. No disagreements on what to keep versus what to get rid of.

It's...amazing. :)

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