|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Cat’s Living Room|
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Cleo “Boss” Cat|
You may have heard the truism, “Happy wife? Happy life.”
My husband and I are DINKs (Dual-income No Kids) so our cat’s opinion has weight. In order words, “Happy Cleo? Happy life” applies to my life.
Nik is a children’s entertainment and toy marketer. I’m an ecommerce writer. I freelance for Newlywedsurvival and other cool blogs with home and garden sections.
We just moved to Lafayette this weekend. In Los Angeles, I worked full-time, in office with a team of writers so freelancing now makes me a bit starved for office pranks. So I play pranks on my husband.
You’d think that a home decor copywriter with articles published on La Chapstick Fanatique, This Messy Business, PB&J Stories, Squidoo, and Affordable Lamps would be the Mary Poppins of moving, unpacking and cleaning up.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Kitchen Sink Faucet Handle|
I have a burn on my forearm from my new apartment’s electric coil stove and a photo of a much needed plumbing repair to show that making a house a home is not 100% easy for anyone.
The difference? For my girlfriends, the SmartyGirlHome Readers, I create tutorials based on what I learned from mistakes.
3 Tricks Learned the Hard Way When Making a House a Home
1. Pack kitchen essentials such as oven mitts in your car instead of the moving truck. Boston Market BOGOs for lunch, Chinese take-out for dinner, and even La Boulange pastries for breakfast gets old quickly. Trust me. You’ll long for your own ceramic plates and metal utensils sooner than you think.
So you’ll need trivets to protect your dining table, coasters to prevent water rings on your coffee table, mitts to insulate your bare hands when you removed baked fish from the oven.
The delivery truck for our moving service was delayed so we didn’t have our belongings or furniture except for a backpack, a suitcase and my urban disaster emergency kit. We spent more nights camping out on the floor of our living room with our cat.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Charred Butternut Squash|
2. Make ice in your ice tray ASAP. Yes, I have my emergency kit. However, nothing soothes a burn like a cool rinse under gentle running tap water and a follow up with ice wrapped in a towel.
I burned my *&^%! arm because I am still getting used to an electric rather than a gas stove. I leaned my forearm against a skillet that was on a still hot but cooling burner.
My friends are right when they tell me that I am a feral cook. Flame good. Flame on. Flame off.
With the stove’s electric coils I am impatient for warm up and cool down time. Me want cook now! Off! Fire now dead. Why not cool?
This explains the charred butternut squash on the right.
3. Have more than 2 pairs of disposable household gloves handy. Why? Store clerks who are working the night shift when you need such supplies can choose to be unhelpful. For instance, when I ran into a drugstore at night for a plunger. The clerk yawned and shrugged, “All out.”
The toilet howled and flushed itself over and over. It threatened to flow over.
Jiggling the handle a few seconds for a “retro” apartment in the Bay Area is no big deal. However, having the chain become detached, in the toilet tank, for every three flushes is a pain.
Nik and I killed the first two pairs of gloves doing own own move in cleaning services. In just one example, the closet shelves were so dusty that it seemed tented in blanket of dryer lint. Cobwebs in corners. Carpet unvacuumed. Dusty blinds missing lower half of slats. When we wiped down the lineoleum in the bathroom and kitchen our paper towels became grey.
I learned. Despite your best efforts, you will topple trash in your kitchen. You will discover that you don’t have enough liners or that your liners don’t fit the new size trash can.
You will long for disposable gloves also when/if your cat is scared by all the sounds of slicing open moving boxes and ripping tape and may trip over kitty litter.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Cotton Twine to Measure Hanging Picture Hooks|
Once you’ve overcome the challenges I’ve mentioned, you can move onto more pleasant tasks such as hanging up your pictures and mirrors. But what if you misplaced the tape measure?
A handy trick is to cut a length of cotton twine or dental floss to mark the distance between “teeth” on the back of frames.
How do you optimize the amount of light in a room with mirrors?
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Mirror Placement for Home Lighting|
In my previous post, I mentioned how disappointed I felt when I had to rush out to buy a new floor lamp and table lamp because this new apartment lacks two ceiling lights in essential spaces.
Well, even with the newly purchased light fixtures in the living room, it is quite dark after 7 P.M.
So I used a trick I learned when I was a home lighting blogger for a Santa Monica company: place a mirror next to a translucent, torchiere’s bowl to reflect and direct light.
In other words, take advantage of light that shines through sheet drum shades and the like by using a mirror to multiply its effect!
Well, Nik is home from the office so I’ll dress my burn wound and have dinner with him now. Check back later for Part 3.