No, I’m not moving (…yet). But I helped a friend move today. Actually, I helped a friend move some things into the garage of his future wife’s future house (they’re not closing until just before the 11th), and in 2 weeks I’m likely helping him move the stuff from the garage into the house. I’m not a big fan of helping people move, because I’m not a big fan of asking people to break their backs to help me move – I plan for movers, these days putting money aside for just that purpose. Anyway moving makes me think of past moving. So, as it’s been a few days since my last post, I thought I’d share with you my moving history. I know, you’re excited.
My first move was, interestingly, a move cross country to the West Coast (I live on the East Coast if you didn’t already know). It was a cross country drive with my brother. Our exciting moments included: getting a flat going 60 and getting pulled over by the state cops who eventually put is in one of their squad cars as they had their dogs sniff the car, and prepared to take the car apart in search of drugs. A story for another time. Anyway, I think with that move all I did was ship most of my stuff via UPS (I think it cost like $500), and the rest went in a car with me. Stayed in a tiny room with my Aunt, Uncle, and their 4 kids for 2 years. For clarification, we all didn’t stay in that one room, they owned a house and I stayed in the one small room.
My next move was, sadly, back to the East Coast (again, a story for another time). This time, I ended up renting the front of a big truck where they wall your stuff up, then load it with god knows what other crap, drop off that crap, then deliver the rest to you. You have to load and unload, but I didn’t have that much stuff. I think it cost somewhere around $700. And I took a 3 day bus ride back, no driving for me this time. Due to limited expenses, I moved back in with the folks for an additional 2 years.
From there, my next move was to my first “official” place of my own. It was a steal at $450 a month for a 1 bedroom in Providence. A friend I worked with told me about it and we became across the hall neighbors. I rented a truck for this (I think, can’t remember), and my family and a friend or 2 helped. It wasn’t much stuff, some bedroom furniture, very little living room stuff, and clothes and such. The place must have been about 500 square feet or so in size, but it was my first place and I loved it. I stayed there…2 years. As I start naming the places I’ve lived, this is “My First Place”, and I’ll start the the rest with their “proper” names:
“Boston Place”. If you can’t tell from the name, my next place was in Boston. I had started dating a girl who was going to school in Boston and I was working with her (I worked in Boston while living in Providence when we started dating). After about 2 years of dating (and a horrible roommate situation she had – yes, another story), we decided to move in together. As we were looking late in the season (searching for a place in Boston in August is a bit crazy), we only looked at a couple of places. But the second place we looked at was “perfect” – 2 bedroom, small kitchen, and had access to a shared deck. Bedroom had a nice almost walk in closet. So for this move, I hired a truck which we got really late in the day (a September 1st move sucks the big one), we had use of the girlfriend’s family van, and my car. It took us 24 hours all told to move, and we still didn’t get everything (the truck was too small, and I had to get to work). That was the last time I moved myself. Anyway, FYI, living in Boston with a car is a pain. So about a year and a half later, we break up and I move onto:
“The One Bedroom”. (FYI, this is when I started taking photos of my places) I looked at some “luxury” type places, all just barely affordable (well, not really, but I convinced myself), and then I looked at this large one bedroom and it was within my (imagined) price range. I moved some small things myself, boxes and such. Things that would fit in my car, and I could carry up and down stairs (“My First Place” was on the 1st floor, the “Boston Place” was on the 2nd and this was on the second). The furniture and larger things, I hired movers for. I think it cost about $400, including tip. This lasted 6 months, at which point I was realizing this place wasn’t truly affordable.
“The Two Bedroom”. I discovered that Woonsocket was a good place to look for apartments as it was affordable for larger places (and I had decided I wanted a 2 bedroom to have an office). So I looked at 5 or 6 places, applied to the first place I looked at, but never got a reply. The second to last place had a bunch of people looking at it, including a couple who I swear were still in high school, which I think was a low, and the place was tiny, to boot. Anyway, I saw “Two Bedroom” the next day and loved it – second floor of a 3 family and it had windows and light all around, layout was decent, and affordable (really) so there I was. Again, movers hired and I had taken what I could in my car. I think I stayed at this place the longest at about 2 and a half years. The owner was selling and I decided it was time to find a new place (didn’t want to get locked into a lease with a new owner I might not like).
“The Three Bedroom”. I called a local company to help me find a new place that was equal to or larger than what I was living in (which was about 1000 square feet). Although skeptical as to the size (which is silly, since I’ve seen tons of places that size and bigger over the years), they showed my a few places, and this one stood out. It was about 1000 square feet, but had a loft level which was pretty much the same square footage (but only about 1/2 of it was usable). It had a pretty funky layout and used to be the owner’s unit (3rd floor), and had some cool features. Loved it instantly, and it was the same price as what I was paying. About 6 months later, I get a letter from the owner saying I had to leave because the new owners wanted to live in my unit. And since I had a one year lease, I ended up working it so they had to buy out the last 6 months of my lease and then I’d leave. But, a frantic search ensued to find my next place.
“The Penthouse”. This is how it was referred to in the ad in the paper. Yes, I’ve done the craigslist search, but so far I had found my apartments through other means (including “The Two Bedroom”, which was a result of my calling from a sign I saw). When I spoke to the owner over the phone, I knew the exact building he was talking about as it was a very unique building in Woonsocket that I drove by everyday coming and going to work. Saw the place at nightish, not many bulbs were working, and the woman living there was in the process of moving out (getting evicted). The first level was an open floor plan, about 1,000 square feet. The second level was 2 bedrooms (and a second bathroom), about 600 square feet. And then there was a 1,300 square foot wrap around deck. Plus insanely high ceilings (20+ feet), skylights, large kitchen, fireplace, ceiling fans. I fell for this place right away, filled out the application without thinking about it. The problems included: there was only one parking space, it was on the 4th floor with no elevator, washer dryers 5 floors down, and it was in Woonsocket (plus hard to heat and cool due to high ceilings). I lived with a roommate for about a year and some months, then on my own for a few months, then with a girlfriend for a few months before I moved out Other than the problems mentioned, I was worried the current owner might go into bankruptcy and wanted a place with the new girlfriend.
“The Condo”. This is essentially the nicest place I’ve ever lived in. And it took me looking at about 30+ apartments to find it (I needed something that we both liked and that I could afford in case of a potential breakup, so it became a lengthy process, and is, again, a story for another time). Anyway, this was found on craigslist and although the pictures didn’t seem too thrilling, I thought I might give the place a chance. Glad I did. Exposed brick, high ceilings, washer/dryer in the unit, dishwasher, huge master with a walk in closet, 2 bathrooms, elevator. And the rent was perfect. Unfortunately, after I renewed the lease (and the rent went up), the girlfriend broke up with me and it looks like I won’t likely be staying here past the end of this current lease. I’m just hoping the next place I find, which will likely be much cheaper, will be as unique and interesting as the past few places I’ve lived.
Thank you for reading
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