I Bought A Total Dungheap Of A House: MOVE-IN DAY!

Do you ever think about your toilet? Do you even like it? Whittling things down to essentials, it turns out a toilet is pretty much house MVP.
Publish date:
June 20, 2013
home, moving, DIY, projects

Remember in school when you’d have an exam, and the alarm’d go off, but you’d scribble real damn fast to fill in any blanks because you can sometimes pretend time doesn’t matter? Like, a clock might be annoying and beeping but you can sometimes maintain a just-chill-out-please attitude? Give a lady a damn second.

Mmmyeah, that doesn’t really work when you have to move out of your rental because it officially has new owners and now they want to live there, so you can’t anymore. No one cares you have to move into a half-done dungheap. There is no extra time to be invented.

WARNING: Now would be a good time to face that your shower days are o-v-e-r, just as summer is rolling in.

We ran out of time. Hard. I’d like to think we went down with a fight, but we still went down. Since we’d actively been working on the house, it wasn’t a huge surprise, just moreso a bummer.

Naturally, we wanted to be as close to finished as possible before we had to live there. When I saw that wasn’t going to happen, I just wanted a kitchen and bathroom. Oh, and flooring. But then when that wasn’t going to happen, I was like, OK, bathroom. Because I like going to the bathroom on toilets and taking showers. Food preparation has some flexibility, so I could give up a kitchen for now.

You already know what happened with the flooring. It wasn’t like we had gaping holes (or at least the ones we did were relatively small). So we just needed a bathroom. But you remember how that went down, yeah? So bathroom was reduced to toilet.

Do you ever think about your toilet? Do you even like it? Sure you clean it now and again, right, but you probably don’t ever think about it much. Whittling down a house to essentials, it turns out a toilet is pretty much house MVP. Unless you live near a forest I suppose.

We had already either heaped most of our belongings into a modest, broiling storage unit or given them away. I must admit, it felt really good getting rid of so much stuff. I’m not sure why, but it felt unburdening—I guess during a time when we were feeling super weighed down.

The actual move-in was fairly uneventful. I’m not sure if this is kind of a let-down considering all the damn build up and labor leading to this momentous day. We just hustled our goods over truckload at a time like pretty much any other person—unless you are the smart kind who hires movers. We’re not. But we did have the good sense not to do it all in a single day. During our last days, we began taking a few boxes over to the house each time we had to make a trip over, which was either helpful or prolonging the annoyance of moving.

We attempted to create some sense of living order in the construction zone that was now our home. This basically led to lots of little areas of kitchenesque clutter. If I were going to do this over again, that might be something I’d attempt to change—have at least the cupboards ready so things could be stored. We had food, plates, utensils, and glasses piled up all over, next to other items, like huge vats of stucco. It was awkward.

I already showed you the baby grill we had to cook on, but we were also gifted a mini-fridge while we waited on appliances. It seemed like a lot of work to figure those out (Seriously, it was stressful! So many choices!), so it wasn’t something we were even considering at the time. The grocery store is pretty close, so I didn’t think it too big a deal that we could only store about two meals at a time -- in the basement.

The fridge also served as a drying rack, toothbrush holder, and bread keeper. It had an itty bitty freezer compartment, too, but we learned the hard way it doesn’t REALLY keep things frozen.

Food preparation took place out back, like any decent camping folk would do. Except that one time when I was a kid and we had some sort of screen tent to cook and eat in. Mom caught something on fire and a man with a top hat appeared out of nowhere and snuffed it with said hat while Dad unsuspectingly night-fished away from our campsite. Almost burnt the place down so her three little brats could have some hot chocolate. MOM, NOT WORTH IT.

Or maybe we just prepped and cooked out back because that’s where we kept our larger table. Also, a grill inside would be dumb and smoky.

To try and save our feet from unending splinters, because it’s hard to keep shoes on during summer days, D had the pseudo brill idea to lay down painting paper. Noted first, it’s purple.

I was pleased with his craftiness. While picking up this stuff from Home Depot, we also plucked through their discarded carpet piles. These are the cheap rejects from bad cut jobs. We scooped up a few mismatched squares in an attempt to piece together some sort of softer footing for the bedroom. It was super hacked looking, and didn’t fill the full area, but I’m sure it saved us some splinters, until we walked into the hallway anyway. I don’t know why, but we never thought to lie anything down in there. Splinters can’t always be avoided, I guess.

There was one unusual aspect to moving day. I’m not really a great friend, which is easy to tell because I don’t have that many. But for some reason, on final moving day I acted like a pretty good one and agreed to stop by to see a friend who was working on shooting his upcoming album cover.

Actually, it was D’s really good friend, but you know, association. He’d been working on the album for a while, and we were both really stoked for him and wanted to help out however we could. Am I necessarily qualified for such tasks? No. But I can roughly say, "That looks good, that looks bad— but I might be wrong." Kind of like how I did with this house.

I should back up a hot minute here to interject a somewhat important detail. A couple nights prior, bastardly drunk, I had ALSO agreed to help with a music video. I mean, I did the 8th grade musical right along with the best of ‘em. But really, vodka just makes you stronger than you are. Or maybe it sometimes just lets you know how strong you actually are?

Whichever the case, ON REAL MOVING DAY, we took a short respite to go visit and check out how things were going. In the back of my mind, I knew I had agreed to do a video, but no one had brought it up again and those things take a lot of planning, right? Wrong. (Also, who listens to the word of a drunk?)

Destroying that kitchen and bathroom was really cathartic. It had been a long sweaty day of grunting, and then someone was like “Throw this shit all over the place like a mad dog.” Um, surely, I can do that.

So that’s how we squeezed in a music video on dungheap move-in day. During home renovation, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Or at least the weird.

As soon as we were done shooting, which actually happened really fast, we hustled back, dragged our mattress out of the house and into the truck, and headed HOME to sleep. In the morning we could sort how to actually live in a construction zone.