Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tales from the New Home

I've decided to start a Saturday series called Tales from the New Home. This is a series of posts to document the joys and frustrations of homeownership. Buying a home is a new adventure for the Semper Fi Family. We are complete amateurs of the DIY nature and I am sure this next year will bring some big surprises our way. As much as I blog to share, I have to admit this weekly post is primarily for our own recollection. I always find myself wishing I had written down those big moments and experiences in the past. I don't want to make the same mistake. 

Move In Day: TV Room
Day 1:  Thanks to a handful of strong Marines our items were moved from Camp Pendleton to Murrieta. The price…beer and pizza. The rumor is Marines will do just about anything for beer and pizza. It was really nice of them and it made moving a whole lot quicker. I suppose I will be baking several dozen cookies as an additional thank you. Absolutely no furniture got put together on Day 1. We just managed to throw the bedding on the mattresses and fall asleep.

Move In Day: The Red Room

Day 2: We woke up and had breakfast with our friends (who happen to live around the corner). Then we headed down to Camp Pendleton to clean our base house. We were anticipating a white glove inspection so we left no corner unbleached. We headed back to Murrieta and started on some lawn work. The front landscaping was a little unruly. We aren’t looking to piss off the HOA in the first week, so curb appeal is priority.

Move In Day: Dining Room

Day 3:  My husband went to base for the final inspection. It really wasn’t a big deal. We got charged for the pet fee and a small yard of carpet with a bleach stain. No big deal. We are done with base housing! After he came home, we hit up Lowes. My husband was itching to get started with the DIY list.  Today is the first day I’m feeling annoyed with the whole “desert” temps. The only time it’s worthwhile is at night when it drops down to 60 degrees. The windows are open and the covers aren’t enough to keep you warm. Cozy! We bought a box fan to help circulate some air in this place. We still aren’t keen on running the A/C. I’m not sure how long we can hold out on not running the A/C. It’s reaching 81 degrees in the house and there isn’t a breeze midday. The sun hits the house at about 3pm and until 6pm it heats up like an oven.

We are being super careful about what we spend until the first round of mortgage payment and bills come in. It’s scary having all these expenses we haven’t had before. If the military screws up pay (like they are known to do), then it’s going to get real scary. Real fast. If my husband thought I was a penny pincher before, he hasn’t seen anything yet!

I’ve managed to unpack 2-4 boxes. We lost a lot of storage space moving from base housing to this house. We have more living space but no storage closets. I’m beginning to evaluate my hobbies and the need to keep every piece of artwork and creative writing story. I’ve Rubbermaid containers of holiday decorations, baby keepsakes, and junk. Literally, I’ve never viewed this stuff as junk until I didn’t have a place to keep it.

Tonight while sitting in the living room we heard a rushing sound of water outside. It was a broken sprinkler head.  Water was shooting straight in the air full force. Our official welcome to homeownership!

Move In Day: The Office

Day 4: I focused on the kids’ bathroom today. I skipped over cleaning this one fully pre-move. This house was a dirty mess before we moved in. It still makes me mad to think of it. I spent days cleaning pet hair and other questionable matter off every surface and crevice in this house. Some rooms got a quick once over before we moved. I needed to clean the tub, air vents, windows, and floors. Nothing makes me happier than crossing a whole room off my list! In fact, I was energized enough to approach my list by room.

I notice as I unpack and move things around there are lots of broken and missing things. It’s annoying because we didn’t notice them during escrow. We could have requested repairs. But since we missed them, we have to pay to repair.

Move In Day: Downstairs Bathroom
Day 5: Today I organized the loft on the 3rd floor. The kids have taken over the room. They have a TV, Wii, table/chairs, and toys up there. It’s going to be a great place for them to hang out. I want it to be a workspace too. I moved up some art supplies, puzzles, and dictionaries up there.

While unpacking I had to make a tough decision about hobbies. I’m the kind of person who likes to believe I can have a hobby. Well, lots of hobbies. I’ve got supplies for sewing, scrapbooking, and paper crafting. These things come in handy about three days out of the year. Probably not worthwhile to store in a house with limited storage. Therefore, I need to make the tough decisions. Will I be a sewer? Ok, try again. Will I be a SEW-er is the better question! Yes. I’m going with yes. Will I be a paper crafter in the new house? Probably…. not…that often??? I’m keeping some of the stuff but most will be purged. Will I be a scrapbooker? No. No, I won’t. I have decided I will not be a scrapbooker in the new house. The beauty of moving. You get to re-evaluate life…needs and wants and everything in excess. Or maybe you do that every day?

2-4 boxes were unpacked. I rearranged all the Rubbermaid containers in the RED room. I have a stack for each category. Now my goal is to condense those stacks. Which means re-evaluating what is a keepsake and what is not. Oh, how it makes me sad to say!

Day 6: Master bathroom got the scrub down. These people! Did I tell you the previous tenants had 6 dogs and 4 cats living in this house with 7 humans? I don’t want to pass judgment but I just can’t help it! Never should you allow for that many living creatures to be in a home together at one time. That is my opinion!

I don’t feel like I did much today. I unpacked two boxes. I took a break to go take a test for employment with the school district. Then back to work here. I pretty much found homes for items today. I never feel like I accomplish anything when I’m sorting away onesies and twosies but it needs to be done.

Day 7: My only goal was to condense Rubbermaids today. I went through the kids’ schoolwork storage container. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their stories and seeing artwork from the early years. I went through a Rubbermaid container full of old toys. I loved having an excuse to get out all my Barbie accessories and arrange them like the good ole days. I feel old looking through my old toys trademarked 1982 and 1987. I came across a Disneyland 25th anniversary scroll from my visit once upon a time. I think just a few short days ago Disneyland celebrated its 58th year. I feel pretty old when I was present at the 25th anniversary.

After playing with my Barbies, I managed to add some to the Goodwill pile. That’s when I called it a day. We called it a day and went to explore a nearby lake. Husband goes back to work on Monday. I will be here alone to work on the house stuff. I have plenty of unpacking and rearranging to do. I hope I can keep up the momentum! The house needs to be ready to go in two weeks for the promotion party, i.e Wet Down.


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  1. It's harder when it's your own! We did tons of improvements and work on our first house. It's fun when it's something you want to do and not something you just have to fix. I'm going to have excess space here and I'm excited to decorate. I accidentally found some super cute antique stores in old town Murrieta yesterday that will help with the decorating. Since we've moved in, they've had to fix the A/C, the water heater, several plug-ins, the dishwasher, my shower, and rekey all the locks. Oh, and there's 8 people living in the house next door. They are quiet, so I don't care!

  2. I am so looking forward to the day where we can buy our own home! It looks like it's coming along though!

    I can't wait to see y'all's progress!

  3. With having the military pretty much control our lives I never thought we would own a home. At least wait until Kyle retired. The market in Texas was too good to pass up and we are so glad we purchased. :) Have fun making it a home!

  4. For the keepsakes, I have an idea. My mom saved a lot of that stuff for me. I took pictures of pretty much everything and turned it into a Shutterfly book and then threw out or donated everything else, except a few really special things. It's fun to flip through the book and laugh about childhood art projects or journal entries, but it takes up much less space. We plan to make a yearly book of artwork/school work when we have kids, for each kid. And then save some of the really cute stuff. Just an idea!

    Loving this post! I'm so excited for you guys, yet also incredibly jealous. I have house fever, but we know he won't find a job he'd like here after he gets out. So, I'm enjoying living vicariously through your new adventure!!

  5. The house looks great -- cant wait to see it all unpacked and decorated! As tedious as packing and unpacking can be, I enjoy it -- it really does allow you to "re-discover" different things. And sometimes decide you don't know why you ever bought it in the first place!!

    But on a side note: I *hate* it when you get to a new place and its not clean. Isn't it a common courtesy for a landlord or real estate agent to hire someone to come in and clean a place professionally before allowing people to come in to live?! It seriously takes one day and not a ton of money! I wish everyone felt that way!

  6. Congrats on the house! Good luck setting up and settling in!

  7. It looks great so far!! I love the red room!! I've always wanted to paint my walls that color. I can't believe that that many people AND animals were living there!! It's kind of gross. You've done a fantastic job cleaning.

  8. Oooo looks great so far - so excited for y'all!

  9. Marines moved us the last 2 times we moved, and I fed them pizza & beer! They also like anything thrown on a grill or in the smoker!

    The house looks great so far, the TV room placement of the fireplace is a little odd looking, but probably because I'm not seeing the whole room. Cannot wait to see it all come together!

  10. Laughed so hard when I saw payment for the movers was beer and pizza... any marine will go for it :)