When little things in our old place would begin to bug me (the doors that didn’t close without a lot of noise and effort, the dead-end hardwood floor at the bathroom linoleum), I’d imagine this place. It’s slightly newer than other places that we’ve lived and the rental agreement seemed pretty serious. I was looking forward to a nice place.
When we decided that I’d stay in Alberta with the girls while my husband and his parents moved our stuff to BC, I sent my camera with them. Take pictures, I said, so I can get an idea of where we’re moving to. They came back with lots of pictures—of all the damage to the walls, the holes in the carpet and linoleum, the scratches on the doors. Because of the long weekend, there hadn’t been staff there to do the walk-through and my husband wanted proof that we hadn’t caused the damage. Looking at the pictures—especially the one of the dirty oven—I was disheartened.
On our first night here, as we walked through the place and I grumbled about all the things that looked worse in life than on my camera, my husband asked, worried, “But do you like it? We can ask for a different unit—“
“We’re not moving again,” I said. “It’s fine.” I was just tired after a long drive. Disappointed after all my high hopes. In the morning, things looked better. The patched picture holes were easier to ignore; they’ll make it simple to hang pictures—we’ll just put our pictures in the old holes. I cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen cupboards, but I ignored the oven and complained about it when we finally did the walk-through. They sent the household staff over to do it. I don’t mind cleaning own dirt; I object to cleaning up after someone else, and the previous tenants left this place dirty.
Now that we’ve got all the furniture where we want it and more things unpacked, the place is growing on me. There’s lots of closets, for the neat-freak in me that likes things put away and organized. The windows are big and bright (our last place felt dark to me). The kitchen is bigger, and even has a “pantry” (something I’ve always wanted). I didn’t need to use the Ikea kitchen shelves we’ve used in every other place we lived, so those have moved to the living room to hold photo albums and toys. And having the den for a study space and “child-free zone” will be nice.
As usual, it just takes a few days or weeks to make a house a home. To place the furniture, arrange the knickknacks, hang the pictures. To make it ours.