Thursday, June 3, 2010

Out with the old; in with the new.

Now that the apartment in which I've lived for the last twenty-five years is formally on the market there's nothing much I can do about it for the next few weeks except keep it very clean and phenomenally tidy for open inspections; buy bunches of flowers to decorate it (most pleasurable); and keep my fingers crossed that someone - or preferably two competing someones - will want it enough to pay lots of money for it.

So, my thoughts are inevitably turning to my new home. I'm not moving very far; just to another apartment in the same building. I'll keep all the things I like about where I live - particularly its convenience and my neighbours. But I'm moving to a much smaller apartment, and I'm finally having to face up to the fact that I can't take everything with me. I'm not much of a consumer. I'm the kind of person who wears clothes for more than ten years, expects electrical appliances to last forever, and feels affronted when the 24 year old dishwasher finally stops functioning. Most of my furniture is old - just old, not antique - and I feel emotionally attached to it, but I also know that not everything will fit in my new apartment. I have china and glassware and old photos I brought from my mother's house when she died, but I know that if I wish to keep these, other things will have to go. And I have to cull my collection of books by at least half - maybe more.

The smaller apartment to which I'm moving needs renovation. I'm not even sure if renovation is the right word, because everything needs to be done - a new bathroom, a new kitchen, new lighting, new floor-coverings, lots of storage. I'm sensible enough to know that I could never manage this project by myself, so there's a designer with whom I've worked before who will manage this rather overwhelming project for me. We had our first meeting yesterday evening - more than two hours in which we achieved a great deal, though there are still many decisions to be made and I have been given homework to do. We're hoping to start the demolition next week and have the whole job finished in 8 to 10 weeks.

So my head is full of tap designs and timber flooring and paint colours and tiles and questions such as 'do I need a microwave? will my sofa fit comfortably? can I manage with a (much) smaller wardrobe? 'where will the paintings hang?' and, of course, 'how much will it all cost?'

I'll keep you posted.

11 comments:

Rose Red said...

I find planning renovations very exciting - coming up with the perfect kitchen and bathroom layout, for example! But actually choosing fittings is so hard - there's too much choice!

And as for culling books - well, that's almost impossible! I wish you much luck with that job.

Alison said...

Culling can be sad and fraught. But in my experience, there was also a pleasure in starting out in a new house with only my most precious things. And being able to see them or find them because the clutter is gone.

(that said I reckon you can't have too many cupboards, you are lucky to be able to rennovate and get the storage you want)

jp said...

Culling books - I agree with Jane almost impossible. Every time I try they end up back on the shelves again (and I am not the one putting them back).

Cecilia said...

How exciting! I feel for you having to cull half your books. When I moved, I tried to cull mine too. I got rid of 2 of them...

Brenda said...

I love renovating and - I love moving. So I envy you. A definite YES to the microwave. I resisted for many years, but finally gave in - and can't believe I waited so long. Al life-style changing, energy saving appliance.

M-H said...

Having been through these decisions in the last few years I can only agree that it's hard. We did manage to do a lot online, if that's any help - making a shortlist of what looked good or had the right features in our price range before we spent the energy going to the shop or showroom. Generally we looked for a mid-price product from a well-known manufacturer. A good designer/project manager is a huge help.

We did manage to get rid of a lot of books, but still know we should get rid of more, but just can't.

Yoga Knitdra said...

Good luck with it all Lyn. I'm finding the culling of the last 10 years+ of stuff quite cathartic, if not hectic. The opportunity to regenerate your new space to your specifications will certainly outway the chore of deciding what stays and goes and then the right taps and flooring will be clear!

missfee said...

good luck Lyn - I am going through a difficult time letting go of my flat today and I really sympathetic to what you are going through.
I am going to knit and pack this weekend to calm myself

Yarna said...

Perhaps you should start by selecting the books that you want to keep rather than the ones you have to part with? But yes, it is very hard.
Once it's done though, it's kind of liberating. I found it easier to think of it all as "stuff" rather than books, cds or whatever.
None of the baove applies to yarn, though!

1funkyknitwit said...

Moving is hard work, overwhelming and exciting all bound into one, but when the dust settles you eventually get to sit back relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor :)

Good luck with books though ;D

Lynne said...

Ah yes, hard work but most exciting!