Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How the hell do I have so much stuff?!

Well, WE ARE MOVED IN! Which is a wonderful feeling of course, although I didn't really feel home until I got my bed set up (first night was spent with the mattress on the floor, not even on the box spring). But our apartment currently looks like a storage unit. Boxes boxes everywhere. I hadn't anticipated having that many boxes at all. A year and a half ago I moved to LA in a 4 door sedan. My mind seems repeatedly boggled by the question "how do I have so much STUFF?!". It's rhetorical, cause I know the answer, but I still can't quite fathom it. Shopping, of course, and BOOKS. Every time my mom has come out here or I have gone to visit two suitcases full of my stuff from Chicago were carted out to LA as well. So I might have moved here with a car full of stuff, but my stuff kept slowly coming in other ways.

I am not alone in this. Holly has lots of stuff too. We have so much STUFF. And I didn't purge before the move because I am a terrible terrible packer and I was stressed enough already. So I vowed to purge as I unpacked. "Less is more" and all that. Unless we are talking about books. Because less is not more with books, more is more with books, and thus I spend time drooling over glorious wall to wall bookshelves in various homes (I grew up in a house full of books, with wall to wall bookshelves in the living room, the study, and bookshelves in the basement and in my room and my brothers room and so on and so on and so on, we are a big reading family, I was the kid under the blankets with a flashlight until 3am, except when my mom caught me and took the book away so I would go to sleep for the night).

But everything else... well, my dvd collection is largely consolidated in flip books now so they don't take up that much space. But boxes and boxes and boxes... as my mom always says "stuff begets more stuff". Somehow, even when you give away a bunch of stuff, more stuff just fills in the gap.

My goal for 2013, as I keep saying, is "DO MORE THINGS", and I'm all for keeping it simple. But as a side thought, one of the ways to afford to do more things is to buy less stuff. So I think I'll keep that thought going as well.

As for the stuff I have now... I'm thinking about doing a modified version of the 100 Things Challenge. I'll talk about that if I decide to go ahead with it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am on top of everything... except packing, it's always the packing....

I hate packing. I'm pretty sure that this is a fairly universal feeling, but I do know the occasional outlier that doesn't in fact mind packing at all. They need to be at my beck and call, clearly.

I feel like maybe I'm worse than others though. Sometime about packing turns me into an useless creature. I just sit there staring at things for large periods of time bemoaning my existence. I usually need help, in the form of getting my ass moving and keeping it moving on the packing front.

I am T-minus 4 days until the move and I'm... half packed? Maybe? I don't even know. The books and dvds are packed at least. And some sweaters were shoved in a box with some purses. And this was accomplished because I had help.

This is not a thing in my life that is strictly limited to packing, but I am the kind of person who is better motivated by CRUNCH TIME, or the last 12 hours you have before you NEED something done or face consequences. These are my golden hours, I can do almost anything in these hours. The problem is that I carry around the stress of the task sometimes for weeks ahead of time while putting it off.

As for crunch time, last Friday I printed out a "before your move" checklist with a timeline that started 2 months before the move, which caused me to laugh somewhat hysterically, considering I had a week. This checklist was clearly not written for apartments in the first place, because you never have that kind of time warning for an apartment move in. But I've gotten everything taken care of anyways, aside from the packing - got it set up with the DWP, SoCal Gas, renter's insurance, movers, and internet.

So... all that's left is the packing. Yay?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Beginnings!

It feels great to be starting this blog with this post!

It’s official, credit approved, hold deposit paid, I am about to be the primary lease holder on an apartment for the very first time! I’m 27, I’ve lived in a few apartments, but they’ve always been arranged through school or as a roommate on a sublease to the primary lease holder. Apartment hunting is stressful, always is, but at least this time I wasn’t doing it on my own. Something about the Los Angeles rental market makes it way worse I think than most other places (other than maybe NYC, but I wouldn’t know). I plan on making a post about this in the near future, as I just went through it, for reference to myself for future moves and anyone else going through a city apartment hunt. It felt so good yesterday to confirm an apartment! A well maintained, amenities having, spacious apartment no less!


I had declared this month "NO SPEND JANUARY" before I left for my New Year's trip back to Chicago and Holly (who is moving into the new place with me) embraced it as well. So far we’ve been successful (the Disney store is DANGEROUS for both of us, but that was gift cards and holiday money). Other than that I haven’t spent money on anything other than food in anticipation of the move.

This sounds like WOW, I must have so much money for the apartment now?! But sadly, no, as the reason I did no spend January was that in addition to needing money for the apartment,  I had to pay off all of the bills that added up at the end of 2012, including $1100 in car repairs, my $750ish remaining of my insurance deductible last year for my ER visit, the new lenses for my prescription sunglasses (I live in LA, so this is a necessary expense), everyone’s holiday gifts, and the new clothes that I actually NEEDED (I had like 1 pair of bottoms that fit). So that burned up through what would’ve been my budget for everything I am not spending money on this month as well as my 2012 emergency fund. Luckily, I have been saving for this apartment for over a year now, little bits every month, and I got a wonderful deal on the deposit for the place (yay New Year’s promotions! ), so there’s no actual stress financially regarding the move (other than furniture, but I’ve got go many plans and pinned furniture redos and refurb ideas).


February is really the start of the New Year for me it feels like. I will have paid off all outstanding bills that I had incurred the last couple of months of 2012 (I pay off my credit cards monthly, including in this instance, so I never have any carry over credit card debt – and months like November and December of 2012 are the reasons emergency funds exist!). I will be moving into a new apartment, starting fresh in that regard! Clean slate, which is always a wonderful feeling!


This blog is a fresh start too! Welcome! Maybe I should've started with that, but well, the excitement over the apartment is dominating my mood right now. This blog has been in the making for what seems like an age. I'm not new to blogging at all, but I'm new to this kind of blogging, even if I lurk at a few other blogs. I've only blogged on platforms that were either more like personal journals with commentary (LiveJournal, which I joined when you still needed an invite. I ended up getting that invite on the other side of the planet!) or fast paced visual based blogging (tumblr). These days, it's all about branding yourself, and I've wanted to create  "A Vital Dream" for a long time now (love the play on my full name). So, with my fresh start, I decided to finally push myself into making this blog. 

Coming Up:

*Pre-move in photos of the apartment! As a “before” for all the many “after” pics I plan on taking!
*LA/City apartment hunting guide - tips, tricks, and don’t forget to breathe!
*Apartment Plans and Ideas
*DO MORE THINGS – my New Year’s resolution