Three weeks to go

Three weeks left. Three weeks until everything needs to be packed, dismantled, renovated, prepared … and I’m in full organizational mode. With a little panic involved not to be able to manage everything in time … even though my sweetheart and I started with the preparations as soon as the contract for the apartment was signed.

Well, painting my old 110sqm apartment including ceilings takes a little time … and painting the new one in parallel too. Not to mention packing all my stuff into more than 100 banana boxes (at the last count I had already reached 80), moving furniture from one room to the next to even be able to paint and deciding at the same time which furniture to sell and which to take with us.

Right now, I’m only residing there, not really living. With the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen the only rooms left functioning in a halfway livable way. Oh, and the hallway. Which has become my makeshift study with a nearly emptied out desk and my most important folders in another banana box nearby. But it’s ok. Because the end is near. Very near. And time is running … you won’t believe how quickly one week – and especially the weekends – passes and there never seems to be enough time for anything else anymore. Not sleeping all too well with hundreds of thoughts crowding my mind, I often get up at 4 in the morning to return to my packing, sorting, paperwork. Then off to work. Back home and the work continues. With long lists of all the little things and details I have to do and think of. My guilty pleasure after such a long day? A soak in my bathtub … but mainly to use up all those bath salts, bath foams and bath oils … a few bottles less to move.

Originally, we had planned to let a professional moving company load and unload all my furniture and boxes. Oh, how nice that would be! Just sit back and let others do the work! That should definitely be worth a mere 4600€, right? RIGHT! One can buy a whole batch of new Ikea Pax and Billy systems for this amount of money. Including all the other furniture … So, we decided that we would have to do most of it ourselves and just leave the really big parts to the company. Which also means I spend every other evening stuffing my car with boxes to then drive to the new apartment the next day after work. The things one does … my Rangey enjoys it, though. Having a purpose and working some more to carry me and my treasures around. Three weeks … I’ll keep you posted. Of course, I will. You know me well enough by now that I will. Cheerio!



Happy House Hunting

Or in our case: happy apartment hunting! It all started with a simple search on a Sunday morning in bed, just to see what’s available and what the prices are. And it all went from there … quickly … hurrying from one appointment to another, just to realize that we were more finicky than expected with lots of requirements:

  • The monthly loan payments should be affordable – ha, of course
  • Energy efficiency – the magic word in today’s day and age
  • Old age appropriate – hey, we’re not 20 anymore and a walk-in shower is a definite must
  • Bathtub – a must for my own self, and only mine. No bathtub, no deal.
  • Large cellar for my sweetie’s hobby, study for me and my many mementos and photographs
  • Store room – for all the stuff not finding space anywhere else (like the rest of my shoes and his slow cooker)
  • No floor-to-ceiling windows – where else would I put my dozens of orchids and plants than on the required window sills?
  • The more square meters the better – what else, after all I have lots of stuff (even after decluttering)
  • No garden – mowing and puttering around is not our thing
  • Balcony / terrace for barbecuing – fire, meat and my sweetie is happy
  • Parking space – preferably for two cars
  • Close to nature for some peace and quiet – and running
  • Nearby infrastructure like shops, hospitals and doctors – can’t live without those

Apart from all our requirements and expectations we suffered from the usual house hunting experiences and disappointments: having to wait for appointments endlessly due to holidays and weekends; finding the perfect apartment just to realize financially we would go to our limits; finding OUR place, already furnishing it in our minds just to not get it because someone else was quicker; apartments in an unacceptable state with lots of renovations required; apartments we just didn’t feel right and comfortable in …

Considering, that we heard from acquaintances that they have been looking for an apartment for more than a year, we started to panic a little … cause waiting patiently is not our best trait. And then, suddenly, when we hadn’t really expected to be able to move in together for years … we found IT. Our future place. Fulfilling most of our requirements. A bit smaller than we had wished for but one can’t have everything and needs to compromise in the end.

In a matter of two weeks everything was wrapped up and we are now one month away from the big move, busily painting the walls from my former large apartment and the new one apart from all the other things that need to be done. But I’m keeping that for another post … after all, I need to draw this out a little since finding time to write is a bit difficult right now!

Until next week, have a great weekend, XXX, MJ

eBay, here I come

What is a girl supposed to do when she receives the nice order from her beloved to get rid of stuff because there will be less furniture and space in their new apartment?

  • Ignore his moaning about her 80 pairs of shoes, 2 dozen handbags, mounds of clothes, hundreds of books, DVDs, candles, pillow cases, etc and just try to stuff everything in every available corner of the new wardrobes and shelves.
  • Throw everything out cold turkey
  • Give everything away to a charitable organization
  • Sell, sell, sell as much as you can

The solution? All of the above! (After all, a girl needs her different pairs of shoes for any occasion and outfit, as well as handbags – men just don’t learn!) And even though it’s not easy at times, it also feels good to do some decluttering. I’m very careful in considering and deciding what I need and can’t live with and what I can give / throw away. It’s a process and painful at times, especially when it comes to old memories from my childhood and family. Making a little money out of it at least gives me the impression that there is someone out there who will treasure my things as much as I did! And then when you hear back, that they love your childhood Mickey Mouse alarm clock … that’s worth a lot and helps with the loss.

But boy, it’s hard work! And annoying more often than not! You not only have to take attractive pictures of the stuff you want to sell, you also need to write a nice, catching text – praising your gorgeous shoes / well cared for furniture / basically new books etc. etc. – and make everyone want it RIGHT AWAY. Well, if it were that easy! And my biggest problem? Getting rid of English paperbacks and DVDs. Which I’m definitely in the wrong country for, as in Germany. Who, after all, is interested in “Murder, she wrote” in the original version? (And no, I don’t really want to sell the whole collection of 11 seasons, but one has to compromise, right?) Or “Bart Simpsons Guide to Life” book? (I won’t even mention the dozens of English thrillers, mysteries and contemporary romances I weeded out to reduce my library!)

The most annoying part, however, are people themselves. Those people who don’t reply, people who agree to come to pick something up and don’t appear without a single word, people who want an item and then don’t pay, people who haggle about the price for a ridiculous amount of 5€, people who are without respect, people who expect something new for half the price, people who claim they never received the item … the list is endless and I’ve made experiences just like everyone else out there buying and selling stuff online.

But then there are also those people who are as decent as you and me. Who you have nice conversations with, who give you an update of the parcel’s arrival, thanking you, being happy with their new purchase, who just accept shipping costs and the already low and decent price I requested without bargaining like a flying trader at touristy scrap markets, who arrive on time or at least let me know they will be late when picking something up.

What I learned from all this in the past months?

  • Always make sure you define first whether the parcel shall be sent insured or not!
  • Have the money in your account before sending out the parcel!
  • Don’t get too worked up about stupid people, incapable of writing whole sentences!
  • Don’t get annoyed by not receiving replies – they don’t deserve your stuff anyway (at least that’s what I tell myself, when I get riled up again and again and again and again …).
  • AND last but not least … Ikea furniture is a big hit! (Compared to my expensive and huge black country-style dining room china cabinet and buffet from Maisons du Monde, which received lots of likes and hits but are still not sold! Keeping my fingers crossed …)

Well, with those famous words, I’ll let you get back to YOUR ebay bargain hunting! Good luck!


Happy New Year


It’s here, the new year! Boy, do I feel old! The years seem to fly by the older I get! Gosh, I REALLY shouldn’t have drunk all those Gin Tonics last night! Surprised that I’m actually thinking about writing on the first of January? Well, I’m bored! And need some distraction from my little hangover! And it’s too early for goulash and beer – the Austrian traditional way to cure a New Year celebration hangover.

Anyway, I’m bored and not in the best mood so I decided to devote my time to my writing. Which is way better than hanging around or thinking about my New Year resolutions! You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s midnight, you’ve just downed a glass of bubbly water and hugged and kissed people you’ve never seen before and will probably never see again just because the new year has just started. And as soon as the fireworks are over you vow to yourself to:

  1. Lose the extra pounds you’ve wanted to lose for the last ten years and never did, even though you swore to yourself and everyone around to start living healthy and scratch the chocolate and carbs for good.
  2. Finally get rid of all those ugly pieces of clothing you bought in a fit of spontaneous insanity. Like those patterned pants which have been fashionable for about five seconds and the too tight tank top you can’t even wear for Halloween because it’s exposing more of you than is decent. All those pieces you never wore anyway and fill too much space in your always too small closet, even if you are one of those lucky ones with a walk-in closet …
  3. Not to buy any shoes this year since you already have more than one pair in every imaginable colour … okay, let’s get real, not buying a single pair of shoes is NOT going to happen!
  4.  _________ Just fill in the blanks! Like: Stop smoking! Stop drinking! Stop whatever you can think of!

Let’s face it! As good as your intentions might be, resolutions will always stay resolutions! I bet you manage one or two weeks, one month at the most and then everything is just the way it has always been. At least it’s comforting that nothing really changes!

Oh, dear me, I hope I haven’t ruined your first Sunday of the new year now and discouraged you from going through with your plans! Being pessimistic was not on MY resolution list! (Please, just blame last night’s booze and the light headache I still have!)

I wish you a successful, healthy and happy year … I’m getting some aspirin now!