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The return to apartment living

Pookie checking the mail

Some people think that Rob and I are crazy. When they hear that we decided to downsize significantly for our latest move, even though we have an expanding family, they shake their heads. It defies what makes sense, and I totally get it. Moving from our large duplex with a yard, basement and garage into this cozy apartment with a small patio and one outside storage closet, seems strange.

Sure it would be great to live in a detached house with ample room and a small yard for Pookie to run around in, but that’s not in the cards for us right now. Kinda like how during all of our military moves, we wanted so badly to buy houses, but it never worked out. We had dreams of buying a house in every place we lived and converting it into a rental once we left.

But, we couldn’t find the right place in upstate New York. Then we moved to Hawaii, and buying something there was really out of the question. Then we moved to Norfolk, and the places we wanted to buy were all in flood zones due to rising water levels and it just didn’t seem like a good investment. Then we moved to Ohio, and I was not interested in taking on the responsibility of home ownership while Rob would be so busy.

Now we’re here in Galveston and again, buying something right away didn’t make sense for us. We knew we wanted to be on the island, but what if we didn’t like it? I wanted the flexibility to move off island in a year if we needed to. We also have no experience with this city, so we won’t know right away where exactly is the best place for us to live. I also don’t want to have to take care of a house while being a mother of two all while Rob is working crazy long hours.

The name of our game is simplicity, but since we chose not to buy, our options for rentals in our price range were pretty limited. Hence, our expectations of what we could find gradually scaled down, and down again, and now here we are.

This time around, the moving in process has been like molasses because we still have way too much shtuff, and there’s no where to stash it until we go through it all. It just sits in piles, several in each room, just waiting for our attention. Is it something to keep? Ok, keep it. But where?

Toss it? Great. How? Garbage, donation, or try to sell?

This has been a large portion of my life. Each day, I chip away at it a little bit at a time. I’m seeing progress, but it definitely is a huge exercise in patience!

However, I have made enough progress that I finally feel like I can give you all a little glimpse into our digs. Nothing will blow your mind. There are no decorations yet, but those will come in time. I’m delighting in the fact that I’ve cleared away enough boxes and crap, and we’ve found enough new furniture to replace what we gave up, to be able to finally invite someone over and have a place for them to sit. Go me!!

The next steps, besides continuing to sort through all the miscellaneous stuff, is using decor to get miss-matched pieces of furniture to look okay together in the same room. You’ll see this in a our dining room picture below. Furniture that used to be in many different rooms is now all existing together in the same spaces!

So here we go. Here’s what we’ve got so far!

Living room

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Up until three days ago, this whole room was still a pile of boxes with no couch. It’s come a long way! Of course, you’ll notice there’s still one box left in the lower left hand corner. You can’t be perfect. 🙂

Dining Room

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This room has taken the most mental energy. It’s so small, but we needed the extra furniture to increase the kitchen storage. It was driving me crazy how the island is birch color, while the liquor cabinet and table are black and the kitchen cabinets are cherry. Too many wood colors! But, after hours of trying to figure out how to paint that island, I decided it wouldn’t be worth the cost or time.

I ended up buying a black bench with tan cushions for the table to solve the space issue and bring the tan and black colors together, but after Rob spent a ridiculous amount of time assembling the bench (it wasn’t designed correctly), I felt a strong sense of dislike for it once it was in the room. I told Rob, “I’m so very sorry, but I kinda hate it. We need to return it.” Rob is awesome and accepted this turn of events. We now are using a piano bench and it’s working much better! I’ll figure out another way to bring all the colors together. 🙂

Pookie’s Room

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Again, nothing to write home about, but all her toys have found homes in the drawers and in her closet. We even got her curtain put up. Now I need to finish decorating and then find a light comforter for her bed. She absolutely loves those green sheets, so those babies aren’t going anywhere!

Side note: We plan to have the baby sleep in our room in our pack n’ play for awhile. We don’t have a crib and you can read about that here.

Bathroom

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What’s that? That’s a beautiful bathroom? Why, thank you. Up until last week, there were boxes labeled “linen closet” piled high on the counter. Yep, all that got sorted and either found a home or found the trash. The bathroom now looks inviting and is much safer!

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So there you have it. Our bedroom is still a disaster, so no pics of that yet. Give me another month and I’ll post an update with *hopefully* all the rooms and decor completed.

And here’s the best part, I’ve been surprised to discover a lot of positives to this downsizing. Here’s what I mean:

Positives of cozy apartment living:

  • Serious purging and KonMari Method going on. We feel lighter and freer!
  • Limited things to clean! Cleaning is now a snap.
  • We are encouraged to leave the house – and do things, and see people. We all get stir crazy fairly quickly, so we have been much more likely to get out and enjoy the things our city has to offer. We usually go to the beach or pool about 4x per week, and I can’t complain about that!
  • The sense of responsibility is very low. Anything that goes wrong with the apartment, or breaks, we call maintenance. Thankfully, they’ve been great at responding!
  • So far, living here feels simple and easy. Ahhhhhh.

For the time being, this little apartment is going to serve us well and we’re happy with the choice. More pics to come! And now, I’m heading back into “the trenches.” Gotta make this cozy place our home! 🙂

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