Shannon and I have returned to New York City for the weekend, and getting out of the new Boston apartment for a few days has provided enough perspective on the past week to allow for an update.

First and foremost, this past week has been a lot tougher than I ever would have thought, mostly because of the amount of work that Shannon and I have had to do in the new apartment. When I signed my new lease, my landlord and I figured out that there wouldn’t be a lot of time between residents. I agreed to take on a lot of the normal between-rentals work myself, after I moved in, if my landlord would handle one huge task: ripping out all of the electric blue shag carpet and decades of layered and dulled linoleum and refinishing the wood floors that lived underneath. What that meant was that I would arrive to some of the most amazing floors that I could ever have imagined, but I would also arrive to an apartment with walls that hadn’t been painted in almost a decade. I knew to expect this (and my landlord had already agreed to reimburse me for all painting supplies and expenses), but I didn’t really process how much work it would take to get it all done, nor did I predict the emotional toll it would take on Shannon and I. And despite a 24-hour trip to Boston two weeks ago to get some of the painting started and a 36-hour headstart for Shannon and her mother, my family and I arrived last Saturday to an apartment that still needed paint in almost every room, not to mention cleaning and other small maintenance projects all over the place.

Another huge fact that hadn’t even crossed my mind in the days and weeks planning for the move was that the need for painting would mean that there was no chance of me being able to unpack when I got to Boston. Needing to repaint and resurface the kitchen cabinets meant that we wouldn’t be able to unpack any of our food, dishes, or even appliances; needing to repaint the entire study (goddamn built-in shelves!) meant that all the one million book boxes would need to stay stacked up in half of the guest room. Add to it a bathroom in need of paint and minor work, a paneled hallway in need of a lot of detail work, and a few pieces of furniture that didn’t survive the move, and you’ve got a general picture of the tasks that have dominated every available minute of our past week.

The one last thing that I didn’t anticipate was the massive hit in clothing space that I took in the move. I had built quite a bit of shelf space in my huge New York bedroom closet, none of which I have in my smaller Boston closets. Similarly, Shannon’s clothes were in temporary storage in anticipation of the move, and we didn’t have any real answer for where they’d end up once they got to Boston. What this all means is that we’ve been living out of our bags for the past week, something that’s driven both of us nearly to tears at various points of tiredness.

Finally, though, it feels like we’re getting over a major hump. On Tuesday, I bought an awesome new desk, to replace the one that was decimated in the moving truck. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, we set up the major living room furniture and got cable and phones installed. On Wednesday, Shannon finished painting the kitchen cabinets and doors, and on Thursday she was able to unpack most of the kitchen and I got five of the twelve doors hung. Thursday night, the new T1 was finally brought up by my ISP. And today, we bought two big dressers that will totally solve the clothing problem.

Tomorrow, I’ll shut down all the computers that still live in my old apartment in New York (including the one running this site and the MetaFilter server), drive them up to Boston, and set them all up on the new T1. Shannon and I will then immediately set to unpacking our clothes into the new dressers and unpacking some books onto the finally-finished shelves, and I think that we’ll finally feel like we’re living in a home. I cannot wait.


one thing that your hurdle evokes is that while you are very intelligent and can handle emergency room crises and computer snafus, you are still human in the realm of dyi (do it yourself). So while I may intimidated by your greatness in some areas, I can still hold my own in my arena of buidling my septic system, ripping out my walls, insulating, drywalling, texturing and painting. We all have our little areas of expertise, thanks for the showing of hubris.

• Posted by: betsy on Jul 7, 2003, 11:09 AM

Moving sucks! Glad to have you in the neighborhood.

• Posted by: Steve Riden on Jul 7, 2003, 2:45 PM

I wish you all the best with your extended move. I know how frustrating it is to have to spend so much time working on a new place, and not be able to unpack, or ‘move in’ in any real sense.

Hope it goes well from here on in.

• Posted by: Jairus on Jul 7, 2003, 9:38 PM

Yea i just moved into my new apt at school, and the place was left a filt. SO i know how it feels arriving and having to clean. By the way, how much does the T1 line set you back?

• Posted by: rob on Jul 9, 2003, 11:38 AM
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