Figured I’d give you all a slight break in the posts about homebuying and write more about my home now that I’m actually a homeowner. Sorry, this is all that I talk about now. J and I have been hustling to get as much done on the home before I started grad school (at which point life is pretty much a series of wild cards) so we have quite literally been going hard in the paint (and spackle, and trips to home depot). We had about a month and a half between the time when we got the keys to the place and when I started classes (Thursday, September 3rd)… so every waking moment has pretty much been spent in the maelstrom that is this apartment.
Regardless, this is the exciting part of owning our own place! I read way too many interior design and DIY lifestyle blogs to not be super pumped about making this apartment into a home. But also, it has been entirely overwhelming. Everyone has also been asking us questions — where will you put your plants? What are you going to do with the spare bedroom? What kind of faucet will you get for your kitchen sink? Have you picked out a couch yet? Are you going to fix this thing? What about that thing? What colors are you painting everything? Where will you put your A/Cs in the winter? Chances are we actually have put a little bit of thought into each question already, but had to move that decision down in the priority list as something else came up.
The first day we got the keys — a Friday evening — we borrowed a Zipcar and drove to Home Depot in what was to be the first of a billion trips to the hardware store. A few things we bought that have been so useful were: a folding dolly, a step ladder, spackle with dry-time indicator, a painter’s tool and wide putty knife, and a sanding block. We already had a basic toolkit, so obviously that was of use. I also recommend a retractable utility knife. This doesn’t even touch on all of the things we needed to research and buy before painting a room.
We also bought more cleaning supplies and a lot of rags, which feels like some sort of bourgie irony — who pays for rags?? — but the cheap white rags and microfiber cloths from Home Depot are great and easy. I highly recommend them. The first thing we did was scrub the place down. The previous owners had two small children and two cats, so washing cat hair off the walls and fingerprints off the doors was the first order of business.
We took down a couple of the security gates that were left, as well as all of the child-proofing measures (yay for being able to open cabinets and drawers on the first try!). We were incredibly lucky that besides expected wear, the place was actually in really good shape! Even so, this was our new (potentially forever) home and we wanted it spotlessly clean. It’s weird how once something becomes yours, you obsess over every tiny detail. I spent an entire day cleaning and shining doorknobs. I could almost hear J judging me for working on something so insignificant, but I think deep down he understood that it’s just as important as filling in all of the tiny nail holes on the wall with spackle.
One overwhelming aspect has been the sudden increase in square footage that we’re dealing with. In our studio apartment, obviously, there were fewer walls, smaller floorspace, and only a couple of doors. Not only do I lose J in the new apartment and end up wandering around trying to follow the sound of his voice (I always pick the wrong room first!) but also completing one room is not as satisfying when you have five more. Ah well, one can only complain so much about having a larger apartment before coming off as ungrateful and then losing all of her friends.
To be honest, we are so happy and so excited, but it has been a lot of work. I actually googled the phrase “going hard in the paint” because it seemed relevant and also I am not a sportsy person (I once helped the other team score during basketball because I didn’t realize that the court changes during half-time). That would explain why I learned ten minutes ago that this is a basketball term, not an alcohol or drug reference as I had originally thought. Anyway, just like in sports, in order to go hard in the paint you have to actually know a thing or two, and you have to prepare with practice and research. Doing the actual painting was not the hard part, but every step leading up to it (of which there were approximately 1 trillion) required careful research, repeated googling, practice runs, and constant communication with J about next steps and what each of us were learning about the process. This post is starting to get quite long, so I’ll end it here and hopefully get around to a follow-up shortly on all of the other things we learned along the way. My brain is full of so many new things, and the school year has only just started!