(Disclaimer: We have partnered with PODS to bring you this post. All opinions expressed are 100% our own, and are not influenced by PODS.)
As you saw yesterday, we found a place to live! Cue: happy dance.
But you also saw that our new home was very, very empty. That’s because since mid-September our belongings have been safe and sound in our PODS container. That container has been sitting at a storage center in Bensenville, IL just waiting for us to find a new home. It was finally time to open that bad boy up!
Back in St. Louis, I was just able to have the container dropped right off in our building’s back alley. But bigger cities (like New York & Chicago) have laws against containers on city property. So because of Chicago’s city laws my PODS container could not be dropped off at our new place.
Luckily, PODS has a solution for delivering to these urban areas and they told me all about it when I booked my container. They partner with a local moving company in your new city (in my case, EMS Moving) and they act as a “shuttle” between your container and your new home.
So I called up EMS Moving, set up my move time, got my container key over to them, and they handled everything.
They emptied our PODS container on-site at the storage center, wrapped up our furniture to protect it (way better than we did by the way…), and loaded it into their moving truck.
All we had to do was show up the day of the move and tell their team where to put everything.
For them…lots of carrying, sweating, and lifting of heavy boxes.
For me…lots of pointing, door holding, and hemming and hawing over what to order for lunch.
Dang, they made moving pretty darn easy!
They brought 5 helpers (5!!), including our favorite guy, Chris. He was a rockstar and made sure everything went smoothly for us.
With all of the help, our truck was empty in no time at all. Now I’m left with a place packed full of stuff.
It’s official. We have a place to live! As you know, we’ve been crashing at my mom’s house since August. She was so incredibly accommodating and we had a wonderful time with her! But our commute from the suburbs to downtown Chicago was a bear. Also, let’s just say living with your mom doesn’t exactly make for the most romantic time with your fiancé (sorry Janimal!) So now we are relieved and grateful to have found a place to call home.
We looked at about 10 listings before we found our place. At first the process was exciting, but eventually it became tiresome. Scheduling viewings after work, contacting real estate agents, browsing Craigslist and padmapper 24/7…not fun. I actually found our place on Craigslist. It was everything we were looking for (2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, balcony, parking spot, and washer/dryer in unit!) and we told them we wanted it on the spot.
We are certainly downsizing from our St. Louis pad, but we anticipated that. Chicago is an expensive city, and we’re just going to have to learn to live with less (bye, bye walk in closet. I will miss you so.)
As you’ll see our place is still completely empty. We got the keys from the landlord and decided that we wanted to paint the space and give it a deep clean prior to moving all of our stuff in. It was a heck of a lotta work, but we painted that bad boy in 1 weekend, and it now looking oh so fresh.
So let’s take a little looksie around the new place.
For the walls we chose a very light gray. It’s Sherwin Williams and it is called “Passive.” In some lights it looks like light blue, but I don’t mind. We feel it works well with the dark hardwood floor and white trim. What do you think?
Those glass doors go to the craziest room you ever did see. It’s a small room that we are going to make an office/guest room. I don’t have any pictures because it is incredibly dark, but I promise they’ll be coming. Not only is the room small, but it is also uniquely shaped. Like a triangle, with weird nooks and crannies. That room will pose quite the design dilemma for me, but I’m sure we will come up with some sort of solution to make it functional and fabulous (any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!)
Right when you walk in you will find the “World’s Worst Closet.” Okay..perhaps I’m exaggerating and I should just be happy that we have a front closet at all. But seriously…this thing is going to pose a problem for me. See it’s too shallow and narrow to hold actual coats. You can’t put a shelf rack in there to hang jackets, because the doors won’t close. I’m still at a loss as to how exactly we are going to organize this thing. It may be a challenge, but I’m not about to let any space go to waste. I’m thinking perhaps building something amazing to organize all of our shoes…
Now we’re into the heart of our place…the kitchen and family room. I love the open kitchen because I think it is perfect for our lifestyle. Finn does a lot of the cooking (I know, I’m one lucky girl!) and it will be nice that we can be in the same room hanging out when he prepares dinner. We also have plenty of kitchen storage with all of those cupboards. So I’m looking forward to filling them up and getting things all neat and tidy.
Now here is what we call the “family room” in our house. Fingers crossed our large sectional fits. I’m thinking it just might…
Over there you’ll find our fireplace and mantel. Yes, we have a fireplace. No, it does not work. Oh well…I’m sure I’ll have fun styling up the mantel and Finn is happy to have a large spot for his TV.
Here is our master bedroom. We painted the walls Sherwin William’s “Argos” and I love it! It’s a shade darker than the gray in the main room, and it too looks a little blue in some lights. Do you spot my two-tone nightstand in the corner?
Now onto the master bath. I’m sooo happy we have double sinks (keep your toothpaste chunks to your side of the vanity, Mr. Finn) Again, we’ll have plenty of storage for our toiletries. Bring on the cute baskets for sorting.
Now my favorite part…the balcony! We didn’t have an outdoor space in St. Louis and I really missed it. I like having the ability to open up the door, walk right outside, and check out the weather in the morning. And sitting out there with my morning cup of coffee is going to be blissful.
I’m also really excited about our neighborhood. We can see Lake Michigan (kiiiinda) and Soldier Field from our balcony. I think we’ll even be able to hear the roar of the game on Sundays. And my brother and sister-in-law literally live in the building next door. Heck yes, let’s get some dinner parties started!
As you can see we have A LOT of work to do. We need to move all of our stuff in (more on that tomorrow!) and then it is time to shop & decorate. The funny thing is we’re downsizing and getting rid of a lot of our belongings. But, we actually need to buy a few big things too (kitchen stools, small bed for guest room, lamps galore, etc.)
Making our new place into a home is going to be a long process, but I’m so happy to have you join me on our little journey.
P.S. If you read our blog via Feedly or are a subscriber, you may have gotten a sneak peek into an upcoming Favorite Things post. We got a little too eager for Christmas and hit that publish button a bit early. The full post will be coming your way in just a few short weeks…#staytuned
Well, today I’m here to show you how we fit our 2 bedroom loft into our 16x8x8 container. (Spoiler Alert: It all fit!)
In order to save some cash, we decided to only order the PODS container. That meant that movers and moving supplies (including boxes, tape, dollies, or moving blankets) were not included in our PODS package. We figured we could improvise and find a way to make everything work on our teeny, tiny budget.
Our first inclination was to beg ask all of our friends and family to drive down to St. Louis and help us for the weekend. But then we thought about sleeping arrangements and the long drive…and decided to save our “manpower” for our Chicago move-in instead.
We then turned to hireahelper.com where we found 2 local movers to help us out for 3 hours. It only cost us about $230 and they brought their own dollies and moving equipment. This turned out to be the best decision for our move, and we saved money and time. #winwin
While “the muscle” tackled the heavy furniture pieces, we focused on carting all of our small items down to the moving dock.
This was the best system because could tuck small boxes and items right alongside the big furniture. It maximized our space, and kept everything tight and secure in the PODS container.
So our advice for you movers out there…use your space efficiently! Put boxes inside drawers, sneak rugs alongside bookshelves, and safely stack your belongings up to the ceiling. Use every inch of space you’re given wisely. Don’t just shove your stuff into the container, or it won’t fit!
I’m very lucky that Finn is very good at spatial organization. He can look at a space and know what can fit, and where it can fit. If it were up to me, I would put a box in the middle of the container and call it a day. I would have needed 3 PODS containers!
To keep our stuff from jostling around and scratching, we cushioned everything with our own belongings. Blankets, pillows, couch cushions…they were all used to pad the container and keep our stuff secure. We will have a lot of washing to do once we arrive at our new home, but it was worth it to not have to buy moving pads or blankets.
After plenty of trips up and down the elevators, we finally had all of our stuff outside by our PODS container.
It took 5 helpers, 3 hours, and 1 packed PODS container…but we got ‘er done!
After saying our “goodbyes” to the place we called home for the past 2 years, we locked up our PODS container, and called it a day.
Our container was picked up two days later and taken to a secure storage center in Chicago. We’re now just paying a small fee for it to be stored.
The best part is now we can focus on the next important step…finding our new home! I promise to keep you (our favorite readers) in the loop as we search Chicago high and low for a fab new place.
Chicagoans..any neighborhoods you recommend? Anyone have more moving tips and tricks for us?
(Disclaimer: We have partnered with PODS to bring you this post. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own, and are not influenced by PODS)
Let me first say that moving is hard. It’s really really hard, and time-consuming, and stressful.
But moving is also a very real and inevitable part of life.
So with our move from St. Louis to Chicago looming over our heads, Finn and I brainstormed on how to get all of our crap belongings from point A to point B, without ripping all of our hair out.
The problem was we couldn’t just load up a truck and bring all of our stuff to our new apartment in Chicago, because we didn’t yet have that new apartment in Chicago. Minor detail…
So we considered storage. Then we realized we didn’t want to box up all of our stuff, put it into a truck, unload the truck into a storage unit. And then do that alllll over again once we found a place in the city. #backbreaker
After hemming and hawing about a few options, we finally had the brilliant realization that we should use a portable storage container.
That way we could load up the storage unit one time, transport it to Chicago, and then unload it once we found our new home. Genius! Less time spent moving, more time spent finding a new home.
After researching many companies, we finally decided to go with the company PODS.
We liked their flexibility, and how they basically took care of absolutely everything. All we had to do was load up that bad boy, and lock ‘er up.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty of our move OUT of our St. Louis loft. (Yes, tears may have been shed.) We decided to devote 2 days to report to “move-out duty.” That way we could have our PODS container delivered one day, and then fill ‘er up the next. Since we live in downtown St. Louis, we were a little worried about where we would actually put the container. It’s not like we’re in a house where we could just plop it on the driveway. But after consulting with our building management, we found out we could put the container in our back alley, as long as it wasn’t blocking the street or the dumpsters.
PODS also assured us that it was a-okay with the City of St. Louis. In fact, they handle registering the device with the city. As long as you have it out there for less than a week…you’re not breaking any laws. On a nice Friday afternoon, our PODS container was delivered. Here are some photos of the thing being lifted and moved onto the ground. Pretty crazy technology they have…
In the last few years of living together, Finn and I have acquired a lot of stuff. I mean a lot. Too much stuff if you ask me. Before we saw the container, we were a little unsure about cramming all of our belongings into it. In fact, we thought there was a 0% chance of us getting it all in that bad boy.
But, the moment we saw the PODS container and opened it up…we became a bit more optimistic. So do you think we can fit all of this…
I’ll let you know next week when we chat more about the big move. I’ll also have some packing tips and tricks for ya…
Yep, I recently said adios to St. Louis and hello to Chicago! I left my job in STL and moved here at the beginning of August. I didn’t want to tell you guys until it was a bit more official, hence the reason you’re just finding out.
It’s not that we didn’t like St. Louis. We enjoyed a wonderful two years there. But it was just not home, and it was never going to be home for us. Our end goal was always to make it back closer to our friends and family, and that is finally happening!
I don’t want to dive into the nitty gritty of my work details, but I’ll briefly divulge. I wasn’t 100% happy at my previous job and I was craving something I was more passionate and excited about. Sure, the thought of leaving a secure position was incredibly scary, but with a little nudging from Finn and my family I ultimately decided to leave.
It was bittersweet leaving my coworkers and St. Louis friends behind, but I’m happy and relieved to finally be back at home. In fact, I found a new job and I’m loving every single minute of it. I feel challenged and excited every day. It’s a wonderful feeling and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for me in Chicago.
Hi my name is Casey, and I live at home with my mom. Wow, happy to get that off my chest!
Nothing against the Janimal (we are having a blast!), but it’s just so hard to go from living on my own with Finn for 3 years…to back home. Not to mention running errands in your old hometown is torture. I run into someone I know every single time, and ultimately end up confessing that “I’m back at home living with my mom.” Makes me sound like a 25-year-old loser.
But, it is only temporary. Finn and I are hoping to move into a place downtown by October 1st. We just wanted some time to find the perfect apartment. A place that works out well for both of our commutes to work.
Let the apartment hunt begin!
Sadly Finn had to stay in St. Louis for the month of August to finish up work. It’s been rough being apart, but lucky for me he moved back this past weekend. He actually starts his new job today, so please send positive vibes his way!
It sure is hard writing a home decor blog when you don’t have your own space to decorate! But my mom says I can pay “rent” through some DIY projects around here. (pretty sweet deal if you ask me!) I’ve got a few on tap, so get excited for some home improvement to Jan’s casa.
I’ll be documenting our move from St. Louis to Chicago in the coming weeks, complete with tips and tricks on making it less of a pain. (don’t get me wrong, moving is still hard!) I’ll also document our apartment search as we scour the Chicagoland area looking for the perfect new home. Then hopefully by October we will have a new place dripping with DIY potential. That day can’t come soon enough!
Writing a blog with your best friend is difficult when you’re hundreds of miles apart, but now the rookies are reunited! Instead of blog phone calls, we can actually get together for coffee and blog talk. Instead of emailing pictures of a design dilemma, I can just drive over to Bridget’s house to see it in person. It’s amazing and we know DIY Playbook will only benefit from us being in the same city. And there should be plenty of shenanigans along the way…
Sorry about this book of a post, but I wanted to bring my favorite readers up to speed on my life. I’m excited for the future and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life in SWEET HOME CHICAGO.
P.S. Be sure to come back this afternoon for a Chicago themed gift idea…
Leave a Comment
We love to share our ideas and photographs with you. Feel free to use an image from our site, as long as it is accompanied by a link back to DIY Playbook. Failure to link back and credit DIY Playbook as a source constitutes a copyright violation. For full disclosure of all blog policies regarding comments, advertising, copyright, and other matters please look here.