Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving On...





Photo is of the entrance to the Riverwalk.



In the past few weeks, things have been quite busy. My Mom remains in a rehabilitation facility and has been there for over two months now. Unfortunately, via some medical missteps, it looks like she will not return to independent living. I've been visiting her while Dear Son is at school, and that has taken up a lot of my spare time.





In addition, my apartment lease was coming up for renewal at the end of July. New owners purchased the property last year and are converting it to more of a resort community and therefore have raised the rents significantly. My new rent increased $300 if I took a 12 month lease and would increase $500/month for a month to month lease. Since I couldn't afford a rent increase, I began looking for a new apartment.




My apartment search was unsuccessful, in a way. Due to Dear Son's medical needs, I require a washer/dryer in the unit versus doing laundry outside of the apartment. In our area, only luxury apartments offer this amenity; the rest of the apartments have a general laundry area. In addition, I needed wide, three foot doorways to get him in/out of the apartment, plus plenty of room to get him in/out of the bathroom in a wheelchair. We also loved the riverwalk trail that you see in all of these photos. We walk them some eight months out of the year. I looked at other places but they either didn't meet our needs or were very "apartment" looking, for lack of a better term.







Photo is of the Riverwalk where the new owners cut down the trees. It always makes me sad when I see this. I doubt they consulted an arborist. They wanted to clear the trees to give tenants the view of the river and of the golf course. Unfortunately, there was a lot of wildlife in there.



During this time, I also checked out the Studio Apartment at my current property. It looked too small online to meet our needs but on a whim, I decided to check it out since the rent was close to what I was paying now. It turns out that while it was small, it was wheelchair accessible and met all of our needs. I liked the crown molding and I wouldn't have to give up our pretty riverwalk. I decided I'd rather have an apartment that was smaller and nicer than a larger apartment that wasn't as pretty or more "apartment looking". When I looked at other places, I could find some that were very pretty on the inside but didn't have a walking trail for us. Since we spend a lot of time walking, this was high on my priority list. Our current place had both and it was affordable. On the down side, it is 200 square feet less! I am moving from 850 square feet to 650 square feet with a disabled child in a wheelchair (translated it means he has lots of medical equipment/stuff, lol). On the plus side, with the addition of a small storage unit on the property, my new rent will be $30 more. In the past, they had given me a garage at no charge, to help with Dear Son however I will no longer have a garage.





While that sounds good, I needed to act fast to secure the new apartment. I had a choice of June 1st or June 15th and I chose June 1st since it would be a lot harder moving Dear Son once he is out of school. That means, I need to be ready to move in three weeks!





The new smaller apartment will be a challenge, in terms of space. While I love small space living, this borders a little too small for my taste however I know I can make it work and have it still look great. In these next few weeks, I need to pack, paint and clean my current apartment, plus sell some furniture. I also need to edit a lot of things because there isn't room in the new space for them. That's a lot to do! While I am organized, I needed to draw up a space plan on where everything will reside in the new space. That means, I need to change things around and re-organize items to fit the new space. I am doing all of that before I move.






In addition to doing all of that, plus visiting my Mom and taking care of Dear Son, I need to assist with the transfer of my Mom to a skilled nursing home. We did a Care Meeting this week and she will be discharged in less than two weeks. I found a wonderful organization that will help you navigate the system and help you find facilities called, "A Place for Mom". This website will match you up with an Elder Care Advisor to help facilitate the transition. They are paid by the facilities so there is no cost to you. The advantage is that since they help so many families, they also have a good idea of which facilities people like and don't like. If there are too many complaints regarding a facility, they will not refer you.












Currently, I am working on discharge planning and securing 24/7 care for her so she can return to her home for two weeks after discharge and then transition to a nursing home. That is a lot of change for her so I am working hard to be as understanding and compassionate as I can be to help her with this transition.




All of this has left little time for blogging, however I hope to start blogging regularly now.

Photo is of Dear Son after one of our walking sessions.



Now, onto the new space. Here is the floor plan of our new studio apartment.












Here is a photo of the "sleeping room".








Here is a photo of the other side of the room, which will be where Dear Son's bedroom will be. Due to Dear Son's disabilities, it helps me when I can see him and hear him since he can't move on his own. I know that is probably difficult to understand if you've never taken care of someone who requires round the clock care, but is understandable if you've been in my shoes.





A view of our tiny closet. This is a clothing closet AND it's our linen closet. Imagine that. I guess I will be purging some of my skinny clothes, lol. Only room to keep one size of clothing in there. I don't think I've ever met a woman with only one size in her closet. Have you?

I plan on having the living area in the center of the space. Here is a picture to give you an idea. I'll have the sofa at the end of my bed similar to this photo. In this photo however, the sofa is a bit too wide for the bed. It's pretty nonetheless.













A view of the kitchen with some ugly staging. Really ugly. On the plus side, I'll be taking pictures of my pretty kitchen tonight so hopefully I'll be sharing them with you in a day or so. I'll be painting this kitchen a new color too, changing the hardware, etc. In essence, making it look pretty.





That's all for now. Soon I'll be known as the Queen of Small Space Living. I have a lot of ideas on how to transform the space as well as utilize every nook and cranny. I'll be writing about those too.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of change and a lot of stress in your life right now. I admire the positive attitude you have about all of it. Please keep posting when you can.

justyna said...

As usual, with every adversity you are amazingly gallant. I've been reading you weekly for years and your grace under the most difficult and undeserving circumstances is simply heroic to behold. I wish you every ease during your move and every happiness that can be expected in your new home. I salute you.

Dream Mom said...

Thank you both for such lovely comments. Gallant, wow, isn't that nice! Yes, it is a lot of change and a lot of work sometimes but I try to stay focused on the big picture and that is taking good care of my son. Those are the real gifts in life.

Eileen said...

We have downsized steadily for the last 4 residences - which is rather easier than what you have to do in one fell swoop! Good luck with it, you have the skills to do it which will be a great help, and we will all look forward to a good write-up (obviously with pictures) once it is done. The new appartment looks delightful - and will be less to clean!!! And so much to be positive about...

Sitting At My Table said...

Good luck with your move and the many stresses in your everyday life. Your talent in making your environment beautiful will shine through in your new living space.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading those tips about living in small spaces, because I really need them.

Are you saying your rent is $300 or $500 per month? I am in NYC and a one-bedroom apartment costs around $2,000. Did you make a typo, or is my entire view of rental prices skewed?

Dream Mom said...

Anon-I reworded the text...my rent would INCREASE $300-$500 depending on the lease term. For comparison, if I recall, the one bedroom leases in our complex top out at $1800/month.

Canucker said...

Dream Mom, have you considered a queen size "murphy bed" for your living room area? During the day, it folds up into the wall unit and you can lower it down at night. I had one when I had my apartment with Joe. It costs about $1,000 but is well worth the price. The best thing about it is that it uses a regular mattress. Here is a link for you to check out: http://www.showerking.com/murphy-beds.php

Canucker

Dream Mom said...

Thanks, Canucker. Yes, I am familiar with Murphy beds however I have an amazing mattress and I don't want to change. Thank you for the suggestion though.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Hi, Dream Mom. Wow! Do you have a lot on your plate or what? Besides the worry of your Mom, you have to move too? God bless you. Why does it always seem that when it rains, it pours? I read your other comments and I agree with everyone: you should be commended for your positive attitude. I also agree that you will make your new apartment so pretty and nice -- plus, as one writer mentioned, it will be less to clean! ;) Well, good luck with getting everything done and settled for your Mom, and I wish you much happiness in your new place. I think you are going to love it there, I have a good feeling about it! And isn't it nice that you and dear son can still take your walks in your favorite spot. And one good thing is that you will have a storage unit! That will be good to hold extra stuff. And trust me, I understand small spaces! My house is tiny! And remember this: a small home can hold as much love as a big one. :)
Best,
Gloria xxoo

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Oh, I forgot to say: I was going to say for you to get a 'daybed' for yourself, they have so many nice ones out there now, but I saw your reply that you like your mattress... But I did want to say that I loved the photo of the sofa in front of the bed! If you do something like that, it will look great!
gv

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