Living in Sin: Putting the Moves On

by Rachel on April 19, 2011

So…the move happened!

Eric worked until midnight every night this week and I was in Austin on Wednesday, so we had a lot to do on Thursday. That evening, before Eric got home, I picked up his comforter (which I suggested we dry clean before covering with the new duvet), moved in the two rugs that had been in the back of my Blazer for two weeks, and started cleaning. Then I realized we had pretty much no cleaning supplies, so I made a Target run. I got home and realized I forgot trash bags (!?!) and remembered that we owned no scissors (which makes it pretty difficult to open anything else I needed, including the knives) so I made a Walgreens run.

Once Eric got home, we went all the way downtown to pick up a TV from my hairdresser who wanted to get rid of it. It’s old-school (the back sticks out!) but it works and it means we’ll have a TV in the living room until we get ours in May. We stopped for dinner and realized I had left my purse when we picked up the TV, so we drove back to my hairdresser’s house to pick it up after eating. Once I had my purse, we headed home, but ended up stopping at Wal-mart at 10:00 that night because with all of Eric’s former roommate’s furniture gone, I could see how terribly the place needed to be vacuumed…and we didn’t have a vacuum. I rarely feel like if I don’t clean something right that second I’ll lose my mind, but my desire to vacuum the place wasn’t something I could ignore. So we got home and I vacuumed and then we assembled his bed in our new room. I tried to ban him from saying “That’s what she said” because, like I told him, there was going to be a lot of “insert Tab A into Slot B” throughout the weekend and we couldn’t go snickering every single time.

That didn’t happen at all.

After the bed was assembled and then kinda reassembled — do all men not read directions and/or plan ahead or is it just mine? — we sat in the bed talking because it was kind of the only place to sit and we didn’t have any sort of cable or anything. And Eric told me to stop getting all hot and bothered over the new duvet cover, but I couldn’t help it!

buffalo check duvet cover

I love it so much, I was actually smiling as we made the bed. And it’s so soft and light, I swear it makes me sleep better.

Friday morning, our furniture was delivered (we didn’t have a choice about that, but let me just say that delivery is a beautiful thing) and our DirecTV was installed. I’m still scratching my head about one of the guys who installed the DirecTV. I’m all for making friendly conversation, but this guy was asking me a lot of questions about my relationship and then asked me if Eric was the jealous type. Eric later told me I should have said yes, and should have told the guy he was a cop too.

After our TV and furniture were in place, I ran more errands (I went back to Target and Hobby Lobby, plus went and took our old couches out of layaway) before Eric got home.

That evening, we took care of signing the lease, running more errands, and shopping for little knickknacks to fill the open shelves on our entertainment center (my second trip to Hobby Lobby that day).

With an entertainment center and a working TV, all we were missing for a cozy Saturday night was a couch. But we just threw our pillows down on the new rug to watch some TV.

Then I got giddy about going to bed under that new duvet cover again.

Saturday was my official moving day. That morning we went to my townhouse and while I started packing up the remainder of my stuff, Eric started taking apart my bed…only to realize the little wrench we needed to take it apart was MIA. He headed to Wal-mart to buy one and told me he’d look forward to my text on his way home that told him I’d found it while packing. Which I did.

I’ve always moved myself (well, my poor mother has always helped me) but I got a great Living Social deal for movers that was going to end up costing us approximately the same as a U-Haul but with none of the heavy lifting. The movers were supposed to come between 1:00 and 3:00 on Saturday, but at 2:59, they hadn’t left their previous move yet. I was seriously over waiting, so I called and rescheduled for Sunday morning at 11:00.

Eric and were both a little surprised by how much there was (is!) to do. We ran so many errands. (I think the employees Bed Bath & Beyond must think we’re running some kind of scam because we come through daily to return yet another set of brown curtains. Who knew curtains were so difficult?!) Every day we’d knock out a few hours of errands and come home pretty wiped out, only to realize we now had to do all the things that necessitated the errands in the first place. Usually, we’d also realize something was wrong (like the curtains, or the four-inches-too-long plastic sheeting we had cut at Lowe’s to cover our wire pantry shelves) so we’d add it to the “to be returned” pile and do what we could. Then we’d venture out again with our returns and to correct our mistakes.

So after the failed attempt to move, Eric and I hit the errand circuit again. I think that night we hit Target, JoAnn’s, Lowe’s, and Michael’s for decor (wall clocks, shelves, picture frames) before heading home…and then heading back out to Wal-mart for more tools about an hour later.

Lesson from moving: if you find yourself in this situation, just buy the entire $90 toolset that includes a drill, all your screwdrivers, all twenty types of wrenches that you will need, wire cutters, pliers, measuring tape, level, etc. If you buy these items piece by piece like we did, you will end up spending twice as much…and you’ll have to go back out every time you open a box and realize, OH, well, these shelves need another type of wrench that we still don’t have.

I got all crafty and made a floral arrangement for the table inspired by one I saw at Michael’s. It wasn’t hard but it involved heavy-duty wire cutters, a box cutter, and Styrofoam, so I felt very Martha Stewart. (Have you ever read her magazine? All her craft projects involve drills, saws, and other intimidating objects that make me respect her that much more. Her crafts are not for the prissy little housewife who would rather sit around filling bowls with decorative gourds while “The View” blasts in the background. It’s for the tough lady of the house who will wear safety glasses and blast “Rock You Like a Hurricane” as she drills holes into decorative gourds before affixing them to a long wooden plank which she stained herself and will then hang in the entry way. And…that is my report on why I like Martha Stewart.)

Besides making my floral arrangement, we were measuring (“Is it too big?” “I hate it when it’s too big for the hole.”), holding things up awkwardly as we tried to position them (“What’s your favorite posish?”), drilling (“Just put the tip in and go at it”), hammering (“You’ve just gotta slam it in as hard as you can”), all the while talking like 8th grade boys.

Sunday morning we headed back to my apartment for the actual move. The movers were 10 minutes early this time, which was nice. Like I said, I’m not used to the luxury of having movers, and at the end of the day, I was still confused as to why I wasn’t filthy, sweaty, cranky, or nursing a broken finger. As I watched them carry my spin bike with ease, I recalled how Eric and I had nearly destroyed a wall carrying it up two flights of stairs last August, and I mourned every move I’ve ever done without the help of movers.

Back at our apartment, the movers brought things in quickly, and I directed most of it to the spare bedroom. After they left, I peeked into the spare bedroom…and what was glaring back at me is what I’d file under “F” for “Fuck, Cluster.” The room (which is Eric’s old room and still had a lot of his stuff in it) had exploded. There was no way to walk through it. I decided denial was the best course of action here, so I pretended I hadn’t seen it and Eric and I headed out for another round of errands.

We went back to Lowe’s to have our plastic sheeting re-cut, hit up Home Goods with a couple returns and ended up making an impulse buy that’s so sweet it deserves its own post later this week, and then went to Target for more essentials and groceries.

It was about 3:00 when we got back to the apartment utterly exhausted. After we put the groceries in the fridge and had some lunch, Eric decided to set up on the living room rug with some true crime TV. He was asleep within a few minutes but I was feeling energetic so I decided to take on the pantry before I put any groceries in it. I had to take everything out to put the plastic sheets over the shelves (a great solution if you have a lot of stuff in your pantry and hate when things fall through the wire shelves) and once I started putting things back in, I realized I needed to just start unpacking all the pantry staples I had moved over.

As I realized that there wasn’t enough room in the pantry for the four bags of sugar we now possessed (we actually had at least three of nearly every baking staple, from flour to vanilla extract), I had to start moving some things to the cabinets…and figuring out the right place for everything involved some trial and error. So before I knew it, the kitchen looked like this.

I don’t know how Eric slept through me slamming around in that kitchen, dropping spices, banging my KitchenAid onto the counter, and throwing things in a giant trash bag like a maniac, but he did. And when he woke up, it looked like this.

I am going to go to the Container Store for some legit food organizers (the kinda-splurgey thing in this move I’m most excited about because I’m SO FUCKING OVER the bags of brown sugar and powdered sugar slouched over in the pantry like a bunch of fat drunks) but I haven’t felt like driving all the way back into Houston to do it just yet. The day I open the pantry and see a bunch of shiny clear boxes all in a row staring back at me is the day I’ll start baking again.

After tackling the kitchen, I felt pretty energetic, so I took on the spare bedroom. All I could really do was organize the boxes, haul some into my closet (two bedrooms means two closets!), and move a few things around to create a decent path. Until we set up the bed, that room will remain a dirty little secret, but I’m sure we’ll take care of it within the next few days.

Even though the apartment doesn’t even look close to done (mostly bare walls and a couchless living room will have that effect) it looks pretty good! And most important, it looks really different. Even on Friday, Eric and I were marveling at how it feels like a completely different apartment than it did before. And it doesn’t look like him or me…it really looks like us.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marie April 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

So cute!!

And can I just say, thank holy bearded tequila you guys actually use your bar for booze instead of being lame and putting flower vases and pictures of yourself and little potpourri-filled baskets there (actually happened).


2 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

No way! NOOOOO WAY. Why were you in the home of someone who would do that!?


3 Manon April 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

I was giggling all through this just IMAGINING turning this move into a “that’s what she said” drinking game. AND, I totally feel you on the brown curtains……..I think I tried 5 different ones before I just gave up.


4 Emily @ Relishments April 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

It won’t make the process any less tiring, but would it help you to know that this sounds an awful lot like my last moving experience? (Minus the movers-jealous!). Of course, we also moved in August, on what was probably the hottest day of the summer. I’m going through a “I really want to buy a house!” phase, but I could definitely go without the three million errands involved in the actual act of moving. Congrats!


5 Dallas April 19, 2011 at 9:49 am

Oh you.

I laughed so hard about the fat drunks comment. Amen.

I live with two roommates and I’m dreaming of the day I have an entire pantry to myself to organize my canned veggies on one shelf and my snacks on another, instead of everything being on top of everything, like a gross fraternity orgy.

AND, I totally agree about a good duvet making all the difference. I have a ruffly one from Urban that I LOVE and it just fills me with JOY. True story. You sleep better when filled with joy.


6 oh magada April 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

my boyfriend and I are moving in together in July. i have *this* to look forward to. :)


7 Caitlin April 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

“I’m SO FUCKING OVER the bags of brown sugar and powdered sugar slouched over in the pantry like a bunch of fat drunks.”

Is that the greatest sentence of imagery ever written?

I think so.


8 Bess April 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Totally agree…what a great sentence!


9 Paige April 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

I’m amazed that you’re able to conquer the move-in AND decorating phases in the same weekend. I lived in my townhouse for two years and never decorated, and now I’m moving in with the boyfriend at the end of the month and his house is also largely undecorated, so I’m pretty impressed by anyone who makes that sort of thing a priority.


10 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

I used to be like that but I think a switch kinda flipped for me this past winter and I realized that to feel at home in a place, I need to have the decor up ASAP. Otherwise it still just doesn’t feel right. Our bedroom has nothing on the walls yet (except for the TV) and I feel like I’m staying in a hotel room. Yes I should organize the spare room first, but decor is definitely a priority to me right now! Sorry I’m not sorry.


11 Savannah April 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

I agree with Paige. You’re some kind of Superwoman for getting all of that done in a weekend (actually SuperCouple). Congrats on the move!


12 Kimberly April 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

Can you share where you got your entertainment center? I am in love.


13 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Rooms to Go! It’s not nationwide but here are the stores —


14 Carrie April 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

The fat drunk sugar bags comment will have me laughing for months. Thank you. Congratulations! It looks amazing! Did I miss the reindeer? I hope they are just still packed tight and will be part of the picture.


15 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

The reindeer will still be in the picture!!!


16 [SMASH] at Sweat. Style. Swoon. April 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Glad things are coming together. Moving is such a bitch. I can’t believe how many errands/purchases/returns you both had to make. Just reading it made me exhausted!


17 Megan F April 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Where did you get your TV Stand? I love it!!


18 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Rooms to Go!


19 Liz April 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I’m with you on the no more slouchy bags! I hate them. I’m going to have to splurge on containers.

Be careful with the cable guy – he does know where you live!


20 Rachel April 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I KNOW! It’s so creepy!!


21 Lauren April 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

CONGRATS, lady!!! it looks so good! I’m so impressed at how quickly it all came together!


22 Lauren at Keep It Sweet April 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Ok, I am officially exhausted from reading this post. What a weekend!


23 Ely April 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Haha, compared to me, your organization is AMAZING! The BF and I moved in together at the beginning of March, and our apartment still isn’t fully put together… Our bad… The worst part is that after a few weeks of living together, I decided that planning a housewarming party would be excellent motivation to get the place finished… Yeah… That was an epic fail. An hour before the party we were running around throwing everything (AKA boxes and more boxes) into the bedroom… And it’s still there. Oops. This past weekend we acknowledged that the whole “we just moved” excuse is no longer valid – We are officially just messy. Organized cupboards are totally a (far-fetched) dream of mine. Lol. Congrats on the move!!!!


24 ashleigh April 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Sounds like a lot of hard/fun work this past weekend! I hate moving… I have moved so many times and I’m pretty sure I am moving again in August. I think it’s awesome how much you got done in one weekend. My last few moves have always been before my lease was up so there was no hurry and I always hated living between two places and not having everything settled.


25 Jane April 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I’m moving from Michigan to Georgia in July and was just getting totally burnt out on looking at apartments online until I read this. Now I’m all, “Oooh! I get to rearrange stuff! And plan my space again! And buy curtains!” and am no longer suffering apartment-search burnout.

Thank you.


26 allison April 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

That “Rock You Like a Hurricane” Martha Stewart comment just made me burst out in a fit of silent laughter at the office! Mostly because I feel the exact same way about Martha and I love her intense crafts. I need to remember to save your blog for times when I can laugh adequately! :)


27 Jessica April 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I feel exhausted just reading that! Everything looks great though, congrats!


28 Parita @ myinnershakti April 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Wow, y’all did a lot in one weekend! The apartment looks great by the way! I’m so happy that both of you feel like its yours and not his or hers…goal achieved! Congrats!!!


29 Mel April 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm


This is enough to explain why you needed some time to put into this post. Sounds like quite the experience but CONGRATS ON YOUR PLACE! It looks really cute and fun and cozy – I can’t wait to see how it all comes together! Especially because I’m the worst decorator ever. Let the “living in sin” commence!


30 Phoebe April 20, 2011 at 3:32 am

So impressed! The “entertainment center” looks great, I think I remember you said the TV stand was one of your most contentious items? Glad it turned out! Your apartment looks so nice. My boyfriend and I moved to Austin at the beginning of January and we *still* look like we recently moved with no bedroom furniture and stacks of DVDs against the wall.

I definitely agree that movers are a godsend. You reminded me of my very short stint working for a moving company the summer after college when I realized the huge difference between having moved myself all the time and getting someone else (in this case, me) to do all the heavy lifting!


31 Morgan April 20, 2011 at 9:01 am

Your apartment is looking amazing however it just makes me want to re-decorate my entire house so my wallet says “f— off” lol Instead of a couch, you could always get those lawn chairs in super bright colors :) you can thank me for that idea later ;)


32 Rachel April 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

I SUGGESTED THAT! Eric refuses…but last night tried to sell me on putting my mattress in the living room! How is that not tacky!?


33 Morgan April 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

Compromise… you get a lawn chair, he can use the mattress! That would be the funniest “home makeover” blog posts & pics of all time!


34 Ashley April 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

“slouched in the pantry like fat drunks …”



35 Molly L April 21, 2011 at 2:15 am

Loved the post! So happy the apt looks like you guys. I’m studying for law school finals for the next two weeks, so can you just post like twice a day?? I need procrastination material, and you’re at the top of my list haha!


36 Rachel April 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

I will re-post my time management post, lady! Don’t let me be to blame for you not getting through law school!!

JK — I’ll do my best to keep you distracted. And good luck on your finals!!


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