Posts Tagged With: home

Our (barely) furnished apartment in Finland

With the move to Finland, the company provided us with a furnished apartment.  We finally moved in last week, and after living in a hotel for six weeks it was good to have a home again.

With so many ex-pats here, apartments are hard to come by.  We saw one place right after we got here, available immediately – a one bedroom right on the sea, with a front yard, in an area that we were sure would be gorgeous come summer.  But it was about 3km from town – not all that far, certainly, unless you consider I would have to walk 6km round trip to go to the grocery store.  We wanted to be closer in to town, so we chose a 2 bedroom apartment, but it wouldn’t be available for a month (last week).

Technically, yes, it is a furnished apartment.  But barely.  A bed, a couch, a coffee table, a sitting chair, a desk and chair, a kitchen table and four chairs, a nightstand, another small side table, and assorted dishes, glasses, and other kitchen supplies.

And really bad drapes.

But, we have a great view from the 6th floor, overlooking the football (soccer) field (and some factories in the distance).  You know how they say it’s the smog that gives LA such beautiful sunsets?  I think the smoke plumes from the factories on the coast give us great sunsets.

I wanted to do before and after shots of the apartment, because it looks so depressing in the before shots, but it’ll be a few more weeks before the after shots happen, so I’ll go ahead and share.

Entering the apartment - a long wide hallway to the living room.

In the living room looking back to the front door.

Big master bedroom - big window to the left, built in wardrobe to the right.

The kitchen. Window to the left, very little counter space, no dishwasher (but big draining cabinet - more on that later).

The second bedroom - very small, no closet space, so definitely more of an office.

The balcony

The football (soccer, for Americans) field across the street (Photo taken from balcony)

Sunset view

Categories: Finland | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stuff you can live without

A year ago, if you had told me I would now be married and moving to Europe I would have asked what you were taking.  But that’s exactly where I am.  I met the most marvelous man in March, we got married last month, and by next month we’ll be expats living in Finland.

I just keep wondering how I managed to rack up such huge Karma points…

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind, and I won’t be able to truly stop and take stock until February sometime.  I spent all of November planning the wedding – and it was beautiful.  At the same time, I was trying to clean out my condo and get it ready for rental, and we were both having to make decisions and prep things for The Big Move.  Since the wedding, we’ve both been sick, I had a big yard sale and got rid of a TON of stuff, and we’ve done some maintenance work to the condo.  It’s now finally ready to rent out.  But we can’t rest yet!  We still need to do some maintenance work on the house, and some more prep work for moving.  Buying the right clothes, deciding what to take and what not to take, worrying over bank accounts and international issues and when we’re going to get the all clear on the visas.  Getting our beloved fur babies to their adoptive homes.  Planning a going away party.  People keep asking us if we’re going out to Finland for a house-hunting trip before The Move, but we can’t – we currently don’t even have passports, they’re at the Finnish Embassy!!

It’s truly interesting when you have that moment of clarity regarding your stuff.  When I first moved in with Hubster, it was just a trial to see how the furbabies got along, then we decided to continue living together.  I went over to my place a couple times a week, each time picking up stuff I needed.

It’s amazing how much you have that you don’t need, when it really comes down to it.  I would look around my condo and think, I don’t need anything.  Wow, I have a lot of crap.  Then I started looking around with an eye on what I wanted, wanted enough to pack into storage for two years.

There wasn’t a lot of that stuff, either.

It’s not a bad little exercise.  Pack your house up as if you’ll be putting everything in storage for two years.  Determine what you really want to keep so badly that it should go into storage, and what you need so badly you’ll be taking it with you.  Then think about it this way – if you can live without it for two years, chances are you can live without it for five, ten, or twenty years.  So get rid of it, let it go, free yourself from the stuff.

Do it now.  It’s amazing how much lighter you’ll feel.

*Not* my house. But almost...




Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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