Monday, April 29, 2013

Notes from a move

This is my second morning in the new apartment. I'm sitting at our kitchen table writing and I can hear  birds chirping madly in the trees out back. Unfortunately I can't roll up the shades and enjoy the sights because we don't have curtains yet, and I'm sitting around in my bathrobe. But it's still lovely to listen to!

Most pictures are from the keys handover, which happened on Friday afternoon. I'm glad that I took some pre-move, before I exploded bags and boxes all over the floors.

The kitchen. It's small, but I love that it's open on both ends. All pictures were taken with my phone, unfortunately - I have yet to find my camera in the boxes.
Brand new stove! (Ok, well, 2 years old or so). I'm not saying this is the ONLY reason we chose this apartment, but...

Here are my notes from the move and the new place:

- Family is invaluable. B's brother and parents came down from Basel to help us, and there is no way we could've done it without them. In one day, we managed to load/unload 2 van fulls of stuff, including an absurdly large, heavy clothes closet (also cheap - I admit, I was half hoping it would fall apart in the move and we'd be forced to purchase a new one). We also cleaned the entire old apartment top to bottom (saving us hundreds on hiring a move-out cleaning). Also, family makes things more fun. Not that I totally approve of tossing bags of clothes from a 2nd story balcony to try to catch in the street (ahem, B's brother), but having them help made the entire experience more enjoyable. (Note to self: Learn German faster. Become fluent, then learn Spanish. Work on that).

Living room (+ some of B's leg). This is only about half of it - it's really quite large and over looks our patio and the hill behind the apartment building.
- The walls/ceilings must be way thicker here than in the old place because even though we saw several people on Saturday while moving our stuff, I haven't heard a soul yesterday or this morning, even though our patio overlooks a playground (I thought surely someone would be there on a Sunday). It's kinda creepy, just me and the birds. If I think too hard, I can imagine that I've somehow missed the zombie apocalypse.

Master bedroom. So many windows (need so many curtains)!
- I was thrilled to discover that our patio has two (very small) flower beds! I already had plans to do some fruit/vegetable container gardening, but now I also get to dig in the dirt for decoration.

- B's first priority was to get the internet working, and he did so at around 6 am on Sunday morning. I ragged him about it pretty hard, but I'm just as addicted to it as he is, and I was happy to have it so quickly.

- I was proud of myself b/c I packed an overnight bag for us, so we had clothes and toiletries on Sunday morning when we woke up surrounded by boxes. I think got the idea off of Pinterest, and it was a good idea.

Spare room. I'm pushing for B's desk + gaming computers (yes, plural) to be in the living room so that I can make this into a craft room. Negotiations are ongoing.
- I also saw a tip on Pinterest about putting hanging clothes in trash bags, so they are easy to transport/rehang. This was a crap idea, frankly. I gave up on it after doing B's shirts. My dresses/skirts/tops are all different lengths and it was a mess. I ended up keeping them on hangers and just placing them in boxes.

One of the two half-bathrooms. Not that interesting, but I wanted to show it because we put the cabinet in and I bought some hand soap for it. PROGRESS. (also, in case you're wondering, the other bathroom has the bathtub/shower. And TWO SINKS - what luxury!).
- I thought "Well, we don't have that much stuff, so I don't really need to label the nine boxes I've packed." No no no - ALWAYS LABEL THE BOXES. I still haven't found my German class books, which I will need in approximately 3 hours.

- Moving across an ocean is tiring because everything had to fit in a box or suitcase (or get thrown out/donated). Moving across a city is tiring because packing/moving/partial unpacking all must occur in the same day. Given the choice, I'm not sure which I'd do again. Oh wait, yes I do - neither. I hate moving.

- My parents are in for a not-so-fun surprise when they visit. My sisters and I have had tendencies to live on rather high-floor apartments without elevators in the US, and my parents were always willing to help us move, even if it meant driving cross-country to do it. I was excited to tell them that this time, we have an elevator in the building (yay!). What I failed to tell them is that the apartment building itself is on a rather steep hill, and there are at least a flight or two worth of stairs before the main door. At least they won't be carrying furniture...

- It's going to be a long, slow process to fully settle in. B didn't have much furniture (understatement - monks have more items in their cells), so we have a lot of future purchases. Which of course means deciding what type of couch, bed, desk, etc, to buy. Which of course means deciding how we want to arrange everything. Which of course means we need to decide what furniture we actually want (sofa and a separate bed? love seat? sofa with a long part so you can lie down? sofa bed? trundle bed? People who are planning to visit, feel free to weigh in - your vote counts!).

- None of the big ticket items are actually our top priority, as I initially expected they would be. Instead, I'm desperate to get my hands on simpler things, like a shower curtain rod, curtains, and (for me) kitchen storage units. Unfortunately yesterday was Sunday, and the Zurich Hauptbahnhof (the only place that allows stores to be open on Sunday) does not have any stores that feel the need to carry shower curtain rods. Possibly because they assume that people who move into a new apartment aren't so stupid that they fail to notice such a critical item is missing. Well, I showed them!

Entryway looking through to the bathroom (if you look VERY carefully, you can see the absence of a shower curtain rod - I probably should've done that on Friday).
- Despite the lack of furniture and boxes in piles, I am so, so excited to be here! It truly feels like a place where B and I can make a home together. Even though it's currently so empty it echoes (and the bed is still the only comfortable place to sit), the apartment makes me feel more permanent in Zurich, and less like I'm crashing at my boyfriend's dorm room. And I like that :)

Instead of showing the mess, I've decided to show you the success. This is my pile of successfully-emptied-bags, and it grows daily. You gotta find what works for you, and I find that the growing pile gives me a sense of accomplishment that all the half-filled boxes and containers strewn around does not. Positive outlook ftw.


  1. lol I have so many comments I better save them for when you get here on Friday. Can't wait!

  2. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading (this was a long post!) and thanks so much for the compliment!