First Apartment


We were a little nervous to see what awaited us behind this door.

We arrived at my son Max’s Big Ten College apartment building Friday afternoon without incident. That’s right, nothing broke in transit. Sure, the leg of the sofa got scratched, but a little brown Sharpie marker can fix that! I got a parking space for the “stuffed” Honda Pilot in the little lot in back of the building, while Mike pulled up and parked the 15’ U Haul in the (narrow) street with the rest of the Dads who were moving their kids into their first apartments. It was controlled, polite chaos in the stairwells as sofas and wing chairs and tables and more were lugged and hefted and cursed up the stairwells. (Note: The three of us didn’t curse, not once. And for the record, Mike and I had a blast helping Max move in!)

Everything except for the kitchen pantry was clean. Clean!

My husband Mike and I were really impressed with our first glimpse of Max’s apartment. Let’s just say that neither Mike nor I had as nice a looking college apartment! I was leery about  Max living with (and perhaps bringing home) “bugs,” if you know what I mean. Either the building had been freshly bombed or it is clean. We didn’t see one roach! Ask Mike about his stint as a college student in Marine View Plaza; he can talk roaches, bags and bags of them after he and his roommates would bomb the place every couple of months!

First look. Tiny, but clean. We installed a new shade and navy blue valence for Max.

It took a while, but the three of us managed to unload Max’s stuff from my Honda Pilot and the 15’ U Haul, carry it up three flights (below-grade parking lot, anyone?!) of steps to his second-floor apartment, then begin to arrange, assemble and set up his living room furniture, kitchen stuff and bed.  After the guys carried the big denim sofa up the stairs it sat in the hallway for a good 3 hours until we could muster up the energy (and space) to move it into place.

We sweated. . .a lot. Mike later said that Max won the prize for “most sweat on an individual during a single move”; he said I came in second. I think Mike won the prize for “most beer consumed while assembling furniture.” Just sayin’!

The apartment was freshly painted (except for the kitchen pantry, which looked gross), the carpeting was clean and the bathroom well scrubbed. It looked like new kitchen cabinets were installed too; either that or the previous guys never used them in their three years living there!

I got to work organizing the chaos in the kitchen. Fun!

I started with the kitchen. It was fun to wash the canisters and glassware, then put it into the cabinets. Mike put together the kitchen table and chairs, while Max put together the rolling kitchen island, then he reassembled the old (but refurbished!) three-shelf metal rolling cart. I put his canned food and pastas on it. The silverware went into a nearby drawer and the plates and bowls went into the cabinet above. I rolled out the new rug and hung the hand towels and potholders. All three of us were impressed with the end result!

What do you think of our efforts? Nice?

We took a break to eat dinner at 9 pm and made the first of two Walmart/Lowe’s runs. We got replacement window blinds since the ones in the apartment were mostly broken and pitiful. We got 2 storage units (assembly required) for Max’s folded clothes (his roommate Tim was coming with a full-size dresser and no way would the tiny bedroom accommodate two dressers and two single beds!) and a nice white kitchen garbage can. We also got glass shades to cover the three ugly florescent light fixtures in the two halls and living room. Mike stood on a sturdy bench my Dad had made for Max years ago and easily installed the glass covers. What an improvement!

A big square space with nice natural light and cruddy ceiling light!

Fixing up the living room was great fun. After Max put together the two student desks and coffee table, and Mike put together the desk chairs, we started to figure out, given the length of the cable/internet wires, where the furniture should be placed. The guys wrestled the sofa into place, while I cleaned the brass lamps. Mike hung the curtain rods, and I arranged the curtains on them. Max kept a good eye on Mike as he hung the mirror, poster, bulletin boards and the wood artifacts Max carted back from our vacation in Jamaica. It all came together nicely!

Max spent a lot of time assembling furniture. He did a great job too!

Do you see some of the dumpster stuff we refurbished? 2 black and cane chairs, round table, tv stand. . .?

After I have another (hopefully) good night’s sleep maybe I’ll tell you about sleeping in an apartment building filled with college students. Maybe!

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2 Responses to First Apartment

  1. carole says:

    oh my gosh — I am exhausted just reading this. it is very clear that your idea of fun is distinctly bizarre…..

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