As many of you know, last summer we bought a house.
It is beautiful and lovely and we have barely set foot in it. In case you are new here, let me briefly explain…
We live and work in China. We are from the States. We wanted to buy a house in America in hopes that it might offer our kids (and us!) some semblance of “roots” (read more about that here). We ended up buying a house in Bend, OR. The plan is to spend our summer holidays (when we are off of work for 2 months) and our 3-week winter vacations there. And maybe…someday…we will move to Bend permanently. Fingers crossed cause that back porch is looking pretty inviting these days.
We have been super lucky because the people that we bought the house from decided to rent it back from us for the past year. This might not be ideal for most, but it was perfect for us since we weren’t going to be living in it right away anyway! This way we have been able to ease into this whole home ownership thing and have had the very excellent bonus of earning some extra income to help pay the mortgage. Awesome, right?
What is even more lucky, is the fact that we have become great friends with the previous owners (our now-renters). So much so, that when we went home for Christmas this past winter, they volunteered to temporarily “move out” so we could stay in our house. Basically, they removed all their personal belongings (like clothes and toothbrushes etc…) but left all of their furnishings. So when we got off the plane in December we rolled up to a completely functional, cozy and pristinely clean house. We had freshly laundered sheets and towels, an operational T.V. equipped with Netflex and saved episodes of Fixer Upper (what more could you need?), and 12-piece place settings. They even stocked the refrigerator for us with all sorts of goodies from Trader Joes and Whole Foods.
I told you. We got SUPER lucky.
But friends…the dream is about to end. As of May 31, our renters are moving out.
The good news is that now we can properly move in; put our stamp on things and really make the place ours. The bad news is that, when we arrive in June, the house will be empty. Like…COMPLETELY empty.
No furniture. No TV. No chocolate covered cashew clusters. No nothing.
So for the past month or so I have been frantically trying to figure out how we were going to furnish a whole house. By June. On a budget. From China.
This is no small feat, I assure you. But if there is one challenge I am TOTALLY up for, it is the challenge of furnishing a house. Bring it!
In fact, I have already purchased a couch, a bed and a T.V. Just need to buy some wine glasses and toilet paper and then we should be able to survive for at least a week, right?
I kid. I kid. Because here is the thing…I am not really interested in “roughing” it. Not even for one day of my precious summer vacation. Nor do I want to spend my whole summer shopping. Not with kids. No way man. That sounds about as fun as having hemorrhoids and sitting on a bed of nails (or so I have been told).
Come June 18, I want to walk into a decently functional house. I want to be able to battle my jet lag properly: with comfy blankets, Netflix, and a coffee table to set my latte on. So, I guess what I am trying to tell you is that I am currently on a household item shopping MISSION!
And just to be clear, I have no intention of purchasing EVERYTHING before we get home. We definitely plan on acquiring things slowly. Mostly, because our bank account wouldn’t accommodate a more accelerated plan, but also because a gathered look always produces a more personalized and cozy space.
But that being said, when you own absolutely nothing…even buying the bare minimum number of things needed to furnish a 3-bedroom house…ends up being a lot; a lot of things, a lot of time researching and a lot of money.
I have literally spent weeks scouring the Internet for affordable (but stylish and functional) beds, coffee tables, rugs, mattresses, couches and washing machines (the list goes on and on). With that in mind, I thought I would share a bit of my household shopping journey with you; from the planning process to purchasing specific items.
Chances are you will never find yourself in the position of having to furnish an entire house from top to bottom (I mean, who does that?) but, then again, maybe you will. Either way, I think you might be able to benefit from my all of my online shopping suffering (HA! That was a joke! I haven’t suffered AT all. This has been so fun!), so I’m gonna share it with you.
I will start this series where every respectable household series should start…at the beginning. And, when it comes to household shopping, the beginning has the honor of being both the most important and my least favorite part of the process. So, YAY! Something to look forward to.
Stayed tuned folks! Tomorrow, we begin.