Jun 22 2009

Getting settled into our new apartment

Our new apartment is about 14 miles from our previous one, and to me it feels like we’re in an entirely different city. Though I’m somewhat familiar with our new area, it’s still going to take awhile to learn new roads, find the best places to shop, and everything else that goes with living in a new place.

We did it ourselves after all

Though the original plan was to hire movers, we ended up renting a truck from Budget. The moving company came over to give an estimate and they figured it would be no less than six hours for three men to move and unload our belongings. I think it would have been a miracle to do it all that fast.

It would cost $770. I originally thought it would be around $500. The new price was a bit salty, especially since the total price could quickly hit $1,000 if the move took longer.

My dad and Shane’s dad wanted to help. They thought they could move our stuff no problem, and wanted a chance to come out and visit. They’re some of the best dads anyone could hope to have :)

I was concerned about them being able to move my Price is Right bed down all those stairs without injury or damage. The headboard exceeds 500 pounds, and that’s no exaggeration. Combine the insane weight with the bulk and delicate nature of the wood finish (and add 2.5 flights of steps) and you could have quite the disaster.

Fortunately, the three dads know what they’re doing and they’re strong enough to make it happen. The bed was a beast but it (and all my other junk) arrived safely. Everyone was sore and tired afterward, but no one got hurt.

My dad bought some furniture sliders and they worked wonderfully, even on asphalt!

U-Haul FAIL

I made a reservation for a U-Haul. To save me a trip, I called ahead to see if the truck was ready. The truck was supposed to be there at 9 a.m. It wasn’t. The guy who handles truck rentals wasn’t even at work yet — he wasn’t expected in until about 10 a.m. At that time, I called the number back and they let my phone ring for a long time, and then someone answered the phone and denied it was the U-haul.

Completely unprofessional and what a hassle! U-Haul supposedly has a guarantee where “your truck is there when we say it will be, or you get $50.” I will contact the company and hopefully get my $50.

By the grace of God, I was able to get a last-minute rental from Budget. The truck was larger than the one I intended to get at U-Haul and it was more expensive.

At the end of the day, we couldn’t find a gas station near Budget that sold diesel. We called several places and asked around, but they’re just hard to find it seems. Arg. Instead of returning the truck full, we had to pay a $30 service charge. Blah.

All told, our move cost about $250 including moving boxes and packing supplies. I had a bunch saved from our last move, but still needed to buy some. The cheapest deal I could find was $0.97 for a medium box at Home Depot.

Our new apartment was listed on Rent.com and since I used it as a referral, I should get a $100 Visa gift card from the site.

Final thoughts

Being a basement-level apartment, we’re going to need some additional lighting to help with dim days. Maybe some mirrors or special bulbs can help. Any suggestions?

The apartment comes with sheer window coverings, but I’ll need to get some mini-blinds or curtains for total privacy. This apartment is configured in a different way from our last one, so I needed to get a baby monitor so I can hear Johnny if he starts to wake.

We now have our own washer and dryer, and it’s so wonderful to have! It’s a front-loader and I think it’ll keep our energy costs down, plus I’ll save all that money I was putting into coin-op machines.

We still have a bit to unpack and organize. I’m looking forward to making this place our home and getting to know my community a little better!



11 Responses to “Getting settled into our new apartment”

  1. I like brightly lit living spaces. :-) I also dislike yellow light so when we were in the terrace apartment we bought the “natural” light bulbs; they give off a more white light and really make things look brighter. (I’m not sure how CFLs compare – I really disliked the dreariness of the ones we had a few years ago so I haven’t bought them since.) We have a bright floor lamp (something like this) which helps because we can point the 5 bulbs in different directions. Also, avoid getting dark curtains or putting dark things against the window if you can help it. You don’t want to block any light coming in!

  2. Congratulations on the new rental place. I had a similar experience few years back when I decided to use U-Haul. I was to move into a newly renovated home and had called in advance and had made a reservation. However, on the day of the move, U-Haul told me that the van is still not back and they had no other van to lend me. I ended-up waiting extra 8 hours just to get a van.

  3. I’m glad your menfolk were able to get you moved and you saved a lot of money in the process!! We used U-Haul to move out here and the trucks were in terrible shape. I guess I packed them too full or something, they barely chugged down the road and we were moving 50 miles away. Glad you had the Budget truck as an option. Can’t wait to hear about your washer and dryer happiness. :-) Now you can make some of your own washing soap and save even more money! I included the link to my soap post in the URI field above.

  4. How about you guys get some solar lights and set them up in the window areas during the day to charge and give off light at the same time.

  5. If you ever consider moving again, or just need to box some things up… consider going to a convenience store and requesting/reserving the boxes that are received weekly for the grocery order.

    I work at a convenience store and put away those groceries. We get easily forty boxes (or more) a week and after a whole day of logging, putting away, and doing paperwork for the grocery order, I get sick of lugging the broken down boxes to the dumpster.

    We usually throw ours out. Unless someone reserves them. Then it’s a great day. You get free boxes, and I don’t have to lug the heavy box full of broken down boxes to the dumpster…

    Oh and it saves a lot of space. And recycling is always a good thing. :D

  6. Moving is always such a hassle! It sounds like you had more than your share though: I’m glad everything worked out (and for less money than you had initially thought).

    Lighting-wise, you have the benefit of being near Ikea, why don’t you just go browse the options there? Maybe not to buy immediately (you may spend more than you mean to that way) but just to help you get ideas. They have a selection of plug-in children’s lights that are made to hang on the walls (stars, moons, flowers, bugs) which could be very cute without needing to do any special wiring – and you can get small cfls for those sorts of lights too.

    They also have a lot of other lighting options, as I said it might be good just to go look and gather some ideas.

  7. Next time you move (hopefully into your new house!), try hitting up your local liquer store and asking for boxes. These are great boxes–very sturdy and a nice medium size. You can fit a lot in them, but not so much that you won’t be able to lift them later! I’m still in college, so I move every few months (I stay on campus for the summer and they move us to different housing) and I love using liquer boxes. The store here can’t give away enough, even with dozens of college students asking for them at the same time. I actually had to tell the clerk last time that I physically couldn’t fit anymore in my car in order to stop him from giving me more! They’re free, you’re recycling and they’re good boxes. You should never have to pay for boxes when moving. (Most other stores will do this same thing, btw, but I love the sturdiness of liquer boxes.)

  8. Grrr… UHaul! We moved last week, and UHaul didn’t have our truck either. We called around a lot of other places, and nobody had any trucks. UHaul ended up finding us a truck half the size of the one we had reserved, and they gave it to us for about half a day (we had reserved three days). It was a mess, but we did manage to move. Our stuff is stashed in storage, because we had to return the truck before we closed on our new house. I think I’ll pass on UHaul if we ever move again.

  9. I work at a Walmart and can also say, “Why are you BUYING boxes?” Just about *any* store will give you as many as you want. At my store, you can call the day before and have hundreds of boxes of any size you like the next morning. The last time I moved I grabbed small boxes for things like everything in my junk drawer and huge toilet paper boxes for things like pillows and blankets. I held on to a bunch and pull them out as needed to store stuff on a pallet in my garage.

    When I moved, we did use UHaul. We reserved for an 8 hour period since it was just across town and almost everything was already packed. When we showed up, the truck wasn’t yet back from the previous users yet, but they pulled in 20 minutes later. It took 20 minutes just to get all of the paperwork done for the couple in front of us in line! So, we got our $50 discount. Then, the person at the desk quoted us the price for a trailer… something like a $19.99 flat fee, and input that into the system, and also input that there was 1/4 tank of gas instead of the 1/2 tank it had. In the end, it was free for us to move because of UHaul’s errors. I don’t know how it all worked out like that, but it was nice.

    Almost all of my furniture is from other people or found on the side of the road except for a ton of my bookshelves. I have a large cabinet that sits just inside my front door. The top two large shelves function as my pantry, and the rest has all of our winter wear and random clutter, as well as a bank where we dump any loose change when we come in the door. We have three TVs which were all free. One was from my mother, one was from my husband’s parents, and the third was a wedding present from two friends. I ask for kitchen gadgets as gifts (which is the only reason I own a rotisserie/convection oven, a deep fryer, a George Foreman grill, a griddle, etc.) because I am such a foodie and love to cook. Next on the list? Another immersion blender! My last one broke, and nothing is better than only dirtying one dish to make a tomato sauce or pureed soup or something. My living room coffee table used to be a desk. We knocked the legs off and repurposed it. It’s the perfect height, has two cabinets in it, and several little shelves for holding remotes/magazines/etc. My sewing desk I found sitting in a parking lot near a dumpster. (I live in a college town, so it’s not so unusual.) I repainted it with some paint leftover from another project, and it’s perfect. We got a couch from some friends who were moving and didn’t have room in their UHaul for it (they kept the matching loveseat) and when we got an armchair from the hubby’s parents, they also gave us furniture covers which make the two match our household interior.

    I haven’t been couponing long, but I’ve already saved a ton of money. I’ve stocked up enough that my grocery bill for two weeks this time was barely over $30. I’ll need to pick up a few more things before we go camping next week, but I have almost everything, so that won’t take too much. There is a certain feeling you get when you save that is nice to savor.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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