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Category Archives: Living room

Transition Complete: The Final Outcome of Moving from an Apartment to a House

I was going to make this post about all of the differences in my life as they pertain to living in the apartment and the house. However, when I sat down to write it I realized that I really can’t remember life in the apartment, it’s just to fuzzy to take away any detail.

Is this even possible? Can the mind really replace 19 years of the life someone is accustomed to with 3 months of the polar opposite?

I suppose it seems this way because my entire life has taken a 180 degree turn over the past year or two, and my living situation was just the last to change which triggered my reset button.

All of this considered, this post will consist of all of the general changes I have noticed in myself since moving into the house that I would assume everyone making this transition goes through.

So here it is, the list of home self-improvements:

  1. All of the Billy Mays Products became so much cooler. (I think that’s deserving of #1)
  2. There is now more than one community in my mind. (The household, the neighborhood, and the general area.)
  3. I no longer have a clue of how loud I am being. (Mainly because I don’t have my mother to yell at me for it.)
  4. Drving has become leisurely fun-time rather than headache inducing frustration. (At $3.25 a gallon, why not?)
  5. Traffic is a surpirse. (Parking lot on the 202? I hope I can get the early bird special!)
  6. Presentablilty of my living space became a priority. (There must be less tornados in Arizona.)
  7. Buying stuff just for the sake of filling up the room. (If you don’t plan on spending 7 months worth of rent on this, you are smarter than I.)
  8. Mostly I learned how to do all of the everyday household chores that are on this blog.

These are only the major changes in my everyday that I felt were worth mentioning. However, they make you realize how dramatically this transition can affect you. These aren’t tin personal changes, but rather substansial changes in major character traits.

Keeping this in mind, if you are going through this transition, here are some general tips that might help you ease into these rather dramatic life changes:

  1. Maid/Housekeeper: If you can afford one, get one. Even if its only 1 day a week at $8/hour it makes a huge difference.
  2. Cable: Don’t get it. You can watch everything you need through streaming, and that doesn’t cost $50 a month.
  3. Stock your fridge, then keep it stocked. Don’t put yourself in the position where you are grocery shopping because you need to.
  4. House Phones: Don’t get them. If you don’t have a cell phone I feel bad for you, and if you’re home enough for some one to call you there, I feel even worse. No one needs two phone bills.
  5. Dishes: Put them in the sink. You can wait a little while until you wash them but at least put them in the sink.
  6. Rent: Pay it! On time if possible.
  7. Eviction: Don’t have it happen to you. It’s bad.

There it is, plain and simple. It’s been a trip living in this house. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am on vacation just by sitting on the couch. I guess that is one of the perks.

This is all I can say on the topic, well that and the previous posts. Saying that, I know say goodbye to you as this will be my last post in this blog. Still I encourage you keep the blog alive by starting your own conversations and continuing to talk about every nook and cranny you may find. So with that, farewell.

There’s my House. Where’s my Home?

Turning a house into a home means something different to everyone.

Some examples are:

  • Home is where your rump rests.
  • Home is where your heart is.
  • Home is somewhere over the rainbow.
  • There’s no place like home.

Personally I could do without all of the clichés that people have contrived to determine what a home is. It just all seems rather unneccessary to tell people what they should think home is, where it is, or how they get there.

As I have mentioned before, this is the first house I have ever lived in. At first I had a hard time distinguishing a house from a home as I had never needed to know the difference before. Also for those of you who don’t know, I am a part of the Jewish faith. (I’m sorry if I misled any of you.)

The hebrew letter shin on the face to the mezuzah.

For me my house became a home last week when Rabbi Schmuel from Chabad at ASU came to my house to perform the Jewish ceremony of placing a mezuzah on the front and back door of the house.

A mezuzah on the front door.

Schmuel said, “When we place the Mezuzah on the house it becomes a Jewish home. Now every time you enter and leave your home you will remember that this is where you belong and this is where your faith lays.”

It was at that moment that my house became a Jewish home.

After the ceremony I took some time to reflect on what Schmuel had said to me. I realized that all of the clichés can’t describe home because home has no clichéd qualities.

From what I have learned in the transition of apartment to house to home, home is;

  • Where you feel you belong.
  • Where you pay rent.
  • Where your mail goes.
  • Where your faith lays.
  • Where you sleep.
  • And most importantly, where you control the thermostat.

Me touching the mezuzah as I leave the house for good luck.

These are the qualities that describe home. Or at least this is home for me, and my perception of home. Tell me, what you think home is? Where is it? How do you describe it? And should John stop touching my thermostat? What do you think?

Noise Complacency? I’ll Just Turn it Up!

“Turn that music down!”

It seems like yesterday that I was being yelled at by my multiple apartment neighbors to lower the music that was blaring from my dad’s apartment back in Brooklyn. That was four years ago, and since that point I have always been concerned with the volume of my music, tv, ect.

Oh how times have changed.

Now that the average separation between me and my closest neighbors is 60 feet and not a 12 inch thick wall, I could really care less about my volume.

Four speakers line one wall of my bedroom.

This is a topic that needed to be discussed this week rather than another household how to. I could be wrong but I feel that every person who has moved from an apartment to a house has gone through this change.

Lets be honest, once the only people who can hear you are the ones that live with you, your first thought is, “screw their ears.”

Although your roommates may not share your sentiments, that is not your problem. I almost see the right to buy a 6 speaker surround sound system just for your bedroom to play your music as loud as you want is a reward for paying your dues in an apartment.

Marcus's entertainment set, which can blow mine out of the water, stands proudly in the living room.

This carries us into the conversation of how the confinement of an apartment can change somebody’s personality. for myself it made me a lot less needy and in some senses, a minimalist. I think that in the end it is for the best mainly because most people in my generation will need to make the opposite transition and need too much for their space.

I’ll never forget the day I moved to Arizona, I only had one suitcase, and my wardrobe didn’t grow much from there for a while.

That is the story of someone who moved from an apartment. It seems much more compelling than the contrasting view.

Adam said, “I know this is a good-sized room but I just have too much stuff. I mean why should I have the room with a bathroom if I can’t even get the door to close.”

I am in no means calling Adam spoiled, but this shows how different people who grow up in houses think about their possessions as opposed to those who were raised in apartments.

I don’t want to continue on this roll because I can go for days. However I would like all of you to pick it up where I left off. Tell me:

  • Do you blast your music?
  • Do you care about your neighbors?
  • Do you let your roommates sleep?

If you can answer those questions and start this conversation I would be more than happy to join in.

Watt The Heck is an Electric Bill?

This is going to sound bad but I need to break another promise and not write about stuff on the outside of the house, lets just say garden hoses are more complicated than they look.

Instead, due to my extravagantly high electric bill, I will be sharing with you all the ways to save money on power that I have put into practice.

Now at first some of these concepts sound ridiculous but believe me they will protect you from a $498 electric bill at the end of the month. Not that mine was that high, I just feel it’s a nice round number.

First, the techniques that make complete and total sense:

1. Weather strip all of the doors and windows to keep all the cool air from the air conditioner in your house. This keeps the house cooler for longer and put less strain on the A/C.

Sunlight beams through my poorly weather-stripped door.

2. Keep the thermostat on 78 degrees at all times. The difference between 78 and 74 is not too noticeable and this makes the A/C go on less frequently.

My thermostat stays on 78 degrees

3. If nobody is in a room the light should not be on. Get into the habit of turning of the light every time you leave any room.(Even if other people are still in there.)

4. Change all of your light-bulbs to incandescents. Not only do they use less energy but they are also good for the environment.

5.  With everything else in the house if you are not using it, turn it off. (simple concept, tough practice.)

I feel that these all make sense and can be done on a daily basis with ease.

Now for the more exotic practices:

1. If you are not using something, keep it unplugged. Believe it or not just by being plugged in a device can drain electricity from the outlet. (I personally went wild and unplugged everything , but that’s just me.)

Microwave is unplugged and unused

2. Know where everything in your fridge is before you open it. This has two reasons the first being that the open door allows cold air to escape, making the fridge use more energy to cool it back down. Also the light inside the fridge is only on when the door is open. (Trust me I went through a lot of trouble to figure that out.)

3. Turn the fridge to a less cold setting and switch the air flow so that it is set on “freezer to fridge”. This puts less strain on fridge to stay cold.

I know that these are a “slight” inconvenience, but then again I’ll take a minor inconvenience over a $498 electric bill any day.

When you’re in an apartment you don’t realize how much more power you could be using, mainly because you don’t know any better. After moving into a house it becomes obvious that electricity costs some serious dough.

It’s hard to know exactly where it all goes if you don’t know these things. I personally spent about an hour looking up my light bulbs because I was convinced that fluorescents used more juice (They don’t.)

I now know how difficult it is to minimize bills when you live in a house, and I’m proud to say that I haven’t turned on the bathroom light to shower in a week. No one needs to go as extreme as me, but if you care to try do so at your own risk. (Legal rep. suggested a disclaimer so there it is)

That’s all the money saving advice I have for you. Next week I’ll get outside and attempt to learn what all of those tools in the garden shed do. Maybe I can do it with out getting hurt too, although that is highly unlikely.