Apartment Move-Ins During Mercury Retrograde (Part 1)8 min read
My son is already in college! I flew to Orlando with S to help my son settle into his first year of college. I had one week to do the following:
Apartment Move-Ins During Mercury Retrograde (Part 1)
1. Help my son furnish his apartment.
2. Finalize his roommate situation.
3. Meet with his academic counselor to ensure that he continued to receive his academic accommodations.
4. Shuttle K to his orientations and workshops that he needed to attend to before classes begin on 9/26/2016.
5. Show him the nearest supermarket, the nearest hospital or clinic, the nearest post office and the nearest police station.
6. Teach him all he needed to know about his first apartment and roommate.
7. Run through some life mantras.8. Run through all of the things that I didn’t teach him in just a few days.
I was a nervous wreck that week, and it’s because of S that I got through it, barely.
We stayed at a super chic and super clean Airbnb in Orlando.
It was a bit further from the University than I had wanted but it was close to the mall and a bunch of other shops.
Although this Airbnb was fantastic, I will never stay at another Airbnb ever again.
I’ll write a post about that experience one day.
Where should I begin?
When K arrived, we visited Ikea to get an idea of how we wanted to furnish his new home. I thought that I had a “good enough” plan for that week in getting the essential tasks completed to ensure that K had a smooth transition into “adult living.”
When I reflect upon my life, I recall experiencing quite a few mishaps as a result of poor planning and lack of analyzing all angles of a situation. That whole experience made me realize how much money and time I wasted.
Granted, one can’t always plan everything, but there are certainly ways that many mishaps are avoidable through thoughtful planning and a little more effort. I wished I was OCD and anal.
I decided that we weren’t going to spend our time together assembling any furniture. I decided to use Handy for the first time. It’s a site that you can hire people to outsource the tasks that you don’t want to do.
I first heard about this through one of my real estate seminars. I hired Handy to assemble the furniture. This was my first time using Handy. As a result, I was able to obtain a serious discount through Retail Me Not. Retail Me Not has access to various coupons from lots of different retailers.
The next issue was transporting the furniture from Ikea to the new apartment. I fiddled with the idea of renting a U-haul truck and doing it myself. But then I decided I didn’t want to lift or move any furniture. I also didn’t want to pick up or drop off any vehicles.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my real estate career is to value your time. I found a moving company that would use their own truck and transports the furniture. A great rate was negotiated.
I planned to have the moving company deliver the furniture right before Handy arrived. Smooth right? Maybe.
A car was rented for that week because we were 30 minutes away from the University. K had orientation and many scheduled activities. Renting a car made our lives that much easier.
Orlando isn’t a place one travels without a vehicle. K’s official date of move in was 9/23/2016. In retrospect, K’s housing situation should’ve been already solidified. I failed and procrastinated.
I allowed overwhelming and unresolved feelings distract me. That led me to search for an apartment during the busiest and most competitive months of the year, August.
Let’s move on
Let’s move on. I had the moving company and Handy scheduled to arrive on the 9/23/2016. I planned to meet the moving company early that day at 10 a.m. That Friday morning, I dropped K off at his workshop.
I called the leasing office and asked for the keys to the apartment. They weren’t able to provide me with a key without a signed release from K giving me permission to enter. The thought that the leasing office wouldn’t allow me access to my 18-year-old son’s apartment didn’t dawn on me.
Again poor planning and not thinking through situations. At that point, I had to return to the University and have K sign a piece of paper providing me with permission.
When I emailed the note to the leasing office, they stated that the note had to come directly from K. I followed protocol but time was running out, and I had to meet the moving company at Ikea.
I was a few minutes late to Ikea.
The moving company was on time, and they were waiting for me at Ikea. I asked them politely to wait while I collected all of the pieces to the furniture. There was a tremendous amount of pressure throughout my body as well as my heart pulsated fast.
It felt like I was going to have a panic attack from all of the anxiety. Picking up big pieces of furniture at Ikea is not a one person job. It was hard to get the pieces by myself and lunge them on top of the small unstable Ikea cart.
After purchasing the furniture, I headed to K’s apartment. Please note: I still didn’t have the keys. I just prayed that once I arrived with a moving truck they just had to let me in. In some cases asking for forgiveness is the best way to bend the rules.
As I neared K’s apartment, I saw the moving company already in the doorway. “The maintenance guys let us in. Everything is all set.” I thought to myself, thank you Universe. I paid them. He then gave me his business card and texted me a picture of a gaudy sofabed that he thought my son would like.
Negative, it was terribly tacky. I thanked him for sending it but never mentioned to him that it was a terrible piece of furniture.
Handy was due to arrive in a few minutes, but they ended up being late. I hung out at the apartment while Handy assembled the furniture pieces. They assembled the chair and K’s desk. Next was the bed.
They removed all of the pieces from the box but then said, “There aren’t any screws for the bed.” Of course, I’m completely confused. I entered K’s room and rummaged through the boxes. Indeed there were no screws. I was paying Handy by the hour (which I already had pre-paid).
Needless to say, I was furious with Ikea. I asked them if they had another job to scheduled. They said no. I asked them if they would mind waiting while I retrieved the hardware from. They agreed. I hauled ass 30 minutes away during lunch time traffic to rip Ikea a new one.
When I arrived at Ikea, I witnessed quite a few aggravated and exasperated expressions on people’s faces as they waited for an Ikea, staff member. I grabbed a ticket from the queue station and joined them.
A few minutes later I was at the counter explaining my situation. The cashier went to “the back” to retrieve the hardware. While waiting for him, which seemed like an eternity, I asked to speak to a manager.
I explained to the manager the situation. He was very surprised. When my parts finally arrived, the manager gave me a measly twenty bucks for gas and apologized for any “inconvenience.” If I weren’t short on time, I would’ve had more to say to him. But at the end of the day, it was all my fault for not double checking the packages and so forth.
When I finally arrived
When I finally arrived at K’s apartment with the parts, Handy told me that they couldn’t stay and that they had another job to do. At that point, a lot of time past. To travel to Ikea and back was only one hour. But it took closer to two hours.
They informed me that they could return tomorrow to finish putting all of the pieces together. I asked them if they could come by at 10 a.m. they said not a problem. This is where asking a lot of questions helps to clarify any situation. I’ll explain later.
At that point, there was nothing else left to do with the furniture. The next step was travel to Target and furnish K’s apartment. By the time that we finished at Target, it was close to midnight. We had two carts filled with items. We were all exhausted and completely done with the process.
The next day came, and you won’t believe what happened. You’ll have to read part 2 of this crazy story. During this week it was Mercury retrograde, and anything that could go wrong went wrong.
I’m not a skilled planner. This is my flaw. I am too laissez-faire and allow life to happen to me instead of me taking control of life. I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and I’ll share my lessons at the end. But check back for part 2, seriously you won’t believe what happened next. I was beyond boiling hot, utterly infuriated…
Click here for part 2 of this story.