We ain’t goin’ nowhere

On Saturday, April 30th, we finished our Cycling Savvy training and biked an additional bit to see one last apartment.  After 4+ months of looking, and little luck, it was decision day: give notice that we would vacate by the end of May or sign a year-long renewal.

We took it right down to the wire, but in the end, we renewed the lease on our one bedroom apartment for another year.

What does this mean?  Well, we haven’t quit looking, but as my due date draws ever closer, it’s becoming more and more likely that our little apartment will be accommodating an additional person (albeit a tiny one) come July.

On the upside, smaller spaces are more efficient than larger ones, we’ll be saving money, and we have a VERY GOOD reason for keeping baby stuff to an absolute minimum.  We will carefully screen any new item that comes into the apartment.

Right now, my goal is to continue looking for unnecessary stuff that we can eliminate from the space, while finding better ways to organize what remains.  In a recent post on clutter, the Eco Cat Lady shared this minimalist standard for decluttering, “if your house burnt to the ground, would you replace this item?”  As much as this makes sense, for most people, it is actually very hard to follow through on the conclusions to this question.  You almost need to actually HAVE a fire and be FORCED to start from scratch.

Funny thing is, this kind-of happened to me in high school, when my bedroom caught fire.  And while I would not wish for something this dramatic (and potentially dangerous), there is a certain appeal to having a perfectly clean slate.

In my mind, moving to a new place was going to somehow provide that clean slate, a rather unrealistic assumption, given that we would just be moving all of our current “stuff” into a new, slightly larger, space.

We are making some progress — a pile of stuff to take to scrap metal, other stuff for donating — but it feels SO slow.  About that clean slate . . . .

Am I asking too much?

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts recently, our apartment hunting has been fraught with disappointment, and I feel pretty discouraged about the whole thing.  I admit that we have rather high standards and lengthy list of requirements and wist list items, many that reflect our preference for a greener lifestyle that includes active transportation, cooking healthy meals from locally grown food, and living in an energy-efficient space.

Requirements and Ideal Features

  • Smoke-free BUILDING — not negotiable.  Potential landlords, if you say it’s smoke-free, and it’s not, we will know, trust me.
  • Two bedrooms — that’s kind of the point of moving
  • Second-floor unit
  • Hardwood floors — so much easier to clean than carpet, better for allergies, no vacuum required
  • Garage — I could care less about my car, but I’m tired of lugging Bub up and down the basement steps, and I imagine we’ll be adding some kind of bicycle trailer to the set-up in the near future
  • Functional kitchen — we spend a lot of time in this part of the house
  • Dishwasher — With all the cooking we do, having a clean-up shortcut is VERY helpful, plus using a dishwasher can use less resources than washing by hand
  • Good storage space — can be combination of closet space and storage space in basement, if the basement is clean and dry
  • Energy efficient furnace — I’m sick of seeing places where they say, “Oh, your apartment has a brand new furnace,” and we look at it, and it’s an 80% efficient model, which is pretty much the least efficient you can buy these days, when for just a bit more, they could have had a 95% efficient furnace (huge energy savings)
  • Insulation in the attic — we know from experience that it’s hard to get a landlord to add this once you sign a lease, so ideally it would be there from the get-go
  • A sunny yard to garden — perhaps one of our most negotiable points, given our competing desire for city living
  • Located within walking and/or biking distance of amenities such as grocery store, library, parks, etc.

So, what’s the verdict?  Are we asking for too much here?

I’m thinking about giving it a break for several weeks, and continuing the search in April when there might be more rental stock available.  I’m not sure I can take anymore right now.