moving

30 Things You Might Need When You Move into a New Place (List-Cember #1)

Hello and happy December!

Each year on my blog I like to dedicate all posts in December to lists, to celebrate what I call List-cember.

It’s a fun, easy way to recap the year and to share some things I’m hoping for in the new year.

As some of you may know, this past September I moved into a new apartment. The first time I’ve ever lived by myself. It was a big adjustment, but one that I think has served me very well.

One thing I learned pretty quickly was that all of the shopping is up to me and only me. I have to remember to buy everything. And I can’t even tell you how many times I opened a cabinet door to realize oh, I don’t have that yet.

Starting fresh in a new place requires you to truly, start fresh. My pantry was empty, my spice cabinet was empty, my refrigerator was empty. I had to start from ground zero.  Which was tough. But it was also kind of exciting to fill the cabinets with things that I want and need, and to see the apartment slowly transform into a place that is truly and uniquely mine.

Still, there were a lot of expensive trips to the grocery store. A lot of tedious purchases that allowed me to get to where I am now. So I thought I’d make a list of all the things I ran into needing in my first few months.

Maybe you’re in the middle of a move, or preparing for one. Maybe you just want advice on things to add to your cart while you’re at the grocery store. This list is not fancy, it is not the end all be all list, or the fancy lists you find at the front of cookbooks that recommend you keep a wheel of parmesan cheese in your refrigerator. These are simply the things I have collected in order to feel like I have a foundation.

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  1. Hand soap (for the kitchen and the bathroom)
  2. Dish soap
  3. Laundry soap
  4. A dish scrubber (be it a sponge, or the bristled kind with a rubber handle)
  5. A toilet scrubber and plunger (they sell them as a set now!)
  6. Clorox disinfecting wipes
  7. Trash bags
  8. A trash can—or maybe a couple (It is really something to sit down and eat amongst the chaos of your moving boxes, only to realize afterward that you have nowhere to put your trash)
  9. Batteries (a small pack of AA & AAA’s will come in handy when you are unpacking and putting stuff together)
  10. A broom and a dustpan
  11. A Brita (or whichever water filtering product you prefer if you don’t like/can’t drink the tap water)
  12. Toilet paper
  13. Paper towels (or dish towels)
  14. Garlic salt
  15. Table salt
  16. Black pepper
  17. The baking party pack (flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract)
  18. The medicine party pack (Advil, Benadryl, Tums)
  19. Olive oil
  20. Butter
  21. Pasta
  22. Rice (I like the “boil in a bag” variety because it gives you individual servings that you can make in 10 minutes)
  23. Your condiment of choice (It is SO SAD to make chicken and have absolutely nothing to put on it. So, pick your poison to have on hand. I will always choose Chick-fil-a sauce.)
  24. Kroger Sweet Chili Sauce (this is a wild card pick. It doesn’t have to be Kroger and it’s not *essential* but one of my favorite go-to meals is a stir fry and this sauce HITS on a stir fry. I prefer it over soy sauce.)
  25. Frozen vegetables (grab a couple bags of broccoli, peas, etc. and you can heat them up with any dish)
  26. Chicken breasts (I like to grab a four pack and then individually bag the chicken breasts before putting them in the freezer, that way I can defrost them one at a time)
  27. Frozen burger patties (You can throw the patty into a sauté pan frozen and it cooks in less then 10 minutes. Makes for a super easy dinner in a pinch)
  28. Hamburger buns (These are also super easy to freeze. If I’m going to make a burger for dinner, I defrost one bun. Easy peasy.)
  29. A loaf of bread (Toast never lets you down. At any meal, snack, or time of day.)
  30. Honey/Jam/Peanut Butter (whatever you want on your toast)

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Like I said, these are the basics.

Maybe these are just *my* basics.

But hey, they work for me. And now, when I’m putting together a lazy meal, I have the things I need.

Have anything you would recommend for this list? Feel free to share!

Have any harsh opinions or judgement of my list? Feel free not to share!

If you are preparing for, in the middle of, or in the aftermath of a move, I wish you luck, organization, sanity, peace and a solid foundation. It will all come your way in time.

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If you want to read more list-cember posts, you can check them out here.

Unit 25

It was the back door. The way you had to twist the knob halfway to the right, then pull, then twist it again in order for everything to click into place when you locked it. Getting that down was part of making the place feel like home. Like you belonged. Because you knew the trick.

After a while, everything became familiar, and every quirk became common as we began to know our house inside and out, thus making it our own.  

Our house became the go-to spot on Mondays, when The Bachelor would be on and I would hustle inside from my evening yoga class, saying, “hi,” to friends on the couch who were ready to catch up and half watch, half talk over the ridiculous television drama.

Our backyard became the place where my sister could pull weeds beside my dad, preparing the soil for seasonal flowers and vegetables, hopeful they’d bring some relief to her busy work schedule and upcoming grad school exams.

Our upstairs hallway became the place where we could stand at our respective bedroom doorways, rehashing the events of the day, whether it was good, bad, or entirely unbelievable. It was where a rogue feather from a newly cleaned down comforter always landed, where the quietness of the morning was broken up by hurried feet charging out the door, and where communal decisions on shoes, sweaters, hair and makeup could be made.

Our dining room table became the place where we updated our collective wall calendar and where ate Jack-in-the-Box tacos at midnight, hoping to avoid the hangover. It became a place where we played board games with cousins visiting from out of town, sometimes laughing so hard our stomachs hurt, and where we threw anything that didn’t have a defined place into “the mug” that sat in the center.

Our kitchen became the place where potluck meals came together, and where drinks were mixed, and shots were taken after hard days. It became the place where cookbooks were propped up, followed closely, and inevitably stained with oil, butter and spices, where a week’s worth of breakfasts were prepped on Sunday nights, and where my sister made her famous chocolate chip cookies for every holiday and celebration you could imagine.

Our living room recliners became the place where my sister and I sat side by side, to eat dinner, talk, vent, do homework, watch TV, play a video game, laugh, cry, and wonder where life was going to take us next.

Laying in my bed on our last night in the house, I looked up at the skylight in my ceiling, taking note of the small handful of stars that had always seemed to watch over me. I turned on my left side to look at my window, remembering all the afternoons after work when I’d lay there and watched the setting sun turn my room golden orange. I looked at the pictures, paintings, and shelves on the wall, each of which went up in their own time, with their own set of frustrations, and their own purpose, story or memory. I thought of the pacing I’d done on our very first night in the house, the frantic energy that had come with the newfound freedom of living on my own, and the growing panic that I might not know how. And then I turned on my right side, the side I always fall asleep on, the side I’d often lay, praying, crying, reading, or watching a movie—sometimes far later into the night than I intended. I lay on my right side, unable to remember every single thing I’d learned during these last six years, but overtly aware that I’d been changed for the better.

I was leaving this house, but I was taking it with me. We were starting a new adventure, but those we had here would never be too far away. So when we packed up the house the next day, trucks loaded with furniture, clothes, and boxes and boxes of little things, I turned off all the lights and then locked all the doors—leaving a few extra seconds for that back one, to do a final twist, pull, twist, and click.