Guess what?! I moved this weekend!!
You’re probably wondering why I’m so excited about moving. Moving is, as you know, the third worst experience someone will endure in their lifetime. Giving birth and being audited by the IRS are the first two.
In typical-Kara fashion, I was unprepared to move. If you think I’m exaggerating, (which I do from time-to-time), allow me to explain. Four weeks ago, I gave my 30 days notice to my apartment without anything lined up. Two weeks ago, I had yet to tour a new place. I finally looked at two studios priced at $1400 a month plus utilities measuring 350 square feet.
Do you know what 350 square feet looks like? It’s smaller than the average hotel room. I could sleep, shit, and serve dinner all within a twelve-foot radius.
Properties in DC go fast. That’s an under-exaggeration. It’s not uncommon for apartments in desirable neighborhoods to rent overnight to tenants. I knew my housing situation would end in one of three ways: Overpay in rent, be homeless, or land a hidden gem at the last second.
It was the latter.
I landed the best deal in Washington, DC. For someone who considers herself a general unlucky person, I cannot believe the deal I found. Friends and coworkers can’t believe the deal I found. The one reason I believed the listing itself was because my friend Tim rents from the same management company (and pays far under market-value for his block-from-the-metro spot).
I applied for the apartment without looking at it. Within an hour of the ad’s posting, I called the management company. “I know how this works,” I said, “You rent apartments on a first-come-first-served basis. So what do I need to do to land this place?”
I.scanned.my.life. I scanned my drivers license, social security card, offer letter from work, contact information for my current management company, contact information from my past landlords, two recent paystubs; and then I typed up a table of contents to direct the reader to each of the above documents. I stapled sixty-five dollars in cash to my application and left it in an overnight dropbox.
I figured losing sixty-five dollars was the worst thing that could happen. For the price, neighborhood, and square footage I was looking at, sixty-five dollars seemed well worth it.
That was two Monday’s ago. That Wednesday, I saw the apartment and fell in love with it. Thursday afternoon I got approved. Last Monday I signed the lease. Friday I left work at 12:30 and started packing. Friday night I wheeled every suitcase I owned down the four blocks to my new place because I needed more packing materials (and forgot to get boxes). You know the rest.
On Sunday my friend Keena helped me unpack. If you want to feel like an entitled brat (my friend Derrick calls this white guilt) go ahead and move. It will make you realize how much useless, unnecessary crap you own.
I filled two moving vans full of totes, suitcases, and boxes that might as well been empty. It was just stuff.
I’m stoked about my new place, but I’m even more excited about what my new place represents. This is the first time in my adult life where each quadrant—city, apartment, job, friends n’ family—are aligned. I’ve gone through periods where I loved my city but hated my job, or loved my job but lived far away from my friends.
I can’t wait to paint the walls of my new place and bring my friends over to see it. I want the extra space in case my parents or brother visit DC. I’m excited to wake up for work each morning and be able to leave my shit everywhere if I’m in a hurry. I feel so unbelievably lucky to rent an apartment in a dynamite location in my favorite city on Earth.
That’s what makes my move so exciting. Everything else is just stuff.