My Big Empty Apartment


My big, empty apartment. Living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom.

I’ve been having a bit of financially-instigated personal crisis as of late.  I might have mentioned I moved into a new apartment on Sept 1.  I love it.  It’s huge, not too far from work, and most importantly, about $300/mo cheaper than what I was paying for before.

But some of its perks have also been my downfall.  That is, it’s huge.  And empty.  Because I thought I was staying at that furnished place for a while, I didn’t move any furniture up from New Orleans with me.  Also, my husband is still living in our NOLA apartment, soooo… I can’t exactly empty it out from under him.

What to do?

Our money’s being super carefully monitored these days, and I’m working really hard at my job and my side-hustle.  I feel like every penny is a dear friend, and I’m not about to let my pennies leave me easily.  Should I suddenly up-and-furnish this place all in one go?  I couldn’t possibly.  Not only because this would be a daunting and overwhelming task, but because I’m feeling inclined to only purchase the super-necessary essentials.

Also, I’m not sure if I should leave it empty until Michael moves up here next year with our furniture… Or if I should just sell my furniture in New Orleans and buy new things here?  We talked it round and round, and decided to sell our furniture back home and buy new things here.  But what to buy?  Nice things that will last?  Cheap things, because, who cares?  What if we move again in a couple of years?  Are we going to want to haul cheap furniture all over the country?  Are we going to get into a pattern of selling and buying, selling and buying, as if furniture were somehow disposable?  What if we stay here and eventually buy a house?  I’d want to have nice things in said house, so should we just get the nice things now so as to not buy double?

Ooof.  It’s been tough, emotionally.  I essentially slept on the floor for 3 weeks because I don’t know where I’m going to be in 5 years.  Ridiculous, I know.

So yeah, I slept on the floor for almost 3 weeks (in the “dining room”) while I tried to make up my mind about all this.  No air mattress, no blankets, just sheets, a pillow, and the floor.  It was fine, really.  I only bought the bare necessities to get me started.  My friend Sadie gave me a coffee table she was going to throw out.  I bought a shower liner, $2.  A $6 toaster.  And that’s it.  I mean, who needs a trash can when you’ve got copious Walmart bags, am I right?  (Ugg.)

My apartment is so big.  I’m only ever in one corner of the living room.  All the rest of the space, well, I don’t want to fill it with stuff, just because.  For 3 weeks, I never even entered the bedroom.

When I went home for Labor Day, I brought up a lot of kitchen stuff–pots and pans, dishes and silverware that Michael wasn’t using anyway.  I brought my can opener and kitchen towels.  I brought a soft kitchen rug.  (I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.)

And then I continued to sleep on the floor.  Still torn.  I’d go to Target, HomeGoods, Bed Bath and Beyond, Century 21, Ikea and just wander for hours, torturing myself.  I’d take pictures of a few things I liked, but I’d never buy.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Sure, this whatever would look nice, and would be practical, but do I need it?  Nope.

I was super proud of myself for assembling this bad boy.

I was super proud of myself for assembling this bad boy.

And so it was, until my friend Mindy announced she was coming to visit, and we should go see the Pope together, in Philadelphia.  I was overjoyed that she was coming, but suddenly panicked about my depressingly empty apartment.  I was embarrased to have her see it that way.  And I certainly couldn’t expect her to sleep on the floor.  And so all of a sudden, I bought a bed.  Online.  From Target.  It was originally $500, but it was on sale, and I used my RedCard, and got free fast shipping and a total price of around $380.

Because my mailbox is tiny at my apartment, any package would have to be picked up at the post office, and the post office is only open when I’m at work, except for Saturdays, which defeats the purpose of the fast shipping soooooo I got a bed shipped to my work.  You heard me.  The very nice guy in the mailroom had me bring my car around to the loading dock and he helped me do the Jenga to get the two big boxes into my little car.  I drove my clown car home very slowly that day and pushed and pulled the boxes up the stairs by myself.

Once home, I decided to assemble the thing.  But I don’t have an overhead light in the bedroom.  Or a lamp (because my phone has a flashlight, and that’s basically the same thing, right?).  So I had to wait til morning for the natural light.  I woke up early, and assembled the sucker before going to get Mindy from NYC.  And you know what?  I feel so much better about owning a bed.  And it’s unbelievably comfortable.  I don’t regret this purchase for a second.

Mindy helped me figure out that the real reason I’ve been so reluctant to furnish my apartment, is that I’m afraid to put down roots here.  She’s right.  To be honest, I don’t love it in NJ, and even the remote possibility of being here for many years is upsetting.  But she’s also right that I have to take care of myself, and love myself enough to get a few more basics.  She dragged me to Century 21, and like a little miracle out of heaven, a beautiful dresser called our name.  It was on clearance from $900 to $150.  I told her I’d think about it and come back for it, but she wouldn’t let me leave it behind.  We did the Jenga again and got it kind of into my car, and slowly drove back to my apartment.

She helped me carry it up the stairs, and I pulled my clothes out of boxes, and put them in the dresser and in the closet.  I threw the boxes away.  And suddenly, not living out of boxes made me feel so much better.

Here's dear Mindy helping me with the dresser.

See dear Mindy (above) helping me with the dresser.

Baby steps.  Next I think I’ll get a desk or a table of some kind.  I have this coffee table which is serving me just fine, but sitting on the floor so much kind of makes my back hurt.  But… I already have this table, so convincing myself to buy another table might take some warming up to the idea.  But I am, in fact, warming up.

In other news, I sold our couch in NOLA on Craigslist for $400!  It had been a hand-me-down we reupholstered, so we hadn’t spent much money to get it.  I was thrilled when it sold.  Now Michael only has two loveseats to lounge on, but little does he know I’m working on selling those, too!  Muahahaha.

Baby steps.

7 thoughts on “My Big Empty Apartment

  1. I think making the place “home” will only make you feel better! Maybe you could take on a fun experiment sourcing only free or really inexpensive furniture! Although I understand anything upholstered could be unappealing in used fashion 😉
    Way to go assembling a bed all by yourself. You are superwoman!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, I love the dresser — great job 🙂

    Second, I think that you’re at a time in your life where it’s actually fine to get somewhat “disposable” furniture; go ahead and buy what you need (couch, table and chairs) for practically nothing off craigslist. The NY area is great for that since everyone is arriving and leaving constantly. 🙂 I wouldn’t worry about a pattern of buying and selling; you’re too young for that! You’ll buy stuff you want to keep when you’re in a place you want to stay.


  3. Ok, now I don’t feel quite so bad for going AWOL since September. I’m trying to pop around to a few blogs I’ve missed and I had to smile to myself that it’s been a while since your last update, too. At least we are FB friends, so I know you are still alive, and still traveling all the time!


  4. Pingback: Life Updates – It’s Been a While | SmashOdyssey

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