Griffiths On The Move!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we’re moving! Sorry PA friends and family…we’ll still be in CA. About 2 miles from our current place haha. But we’re pretty darn excited about it for several reasons. As with everything in life, there are pros AND cons to the new place of course.  But in the spirit of learning to be grateful and content I’m going to focus on the positive and list every possible thing I can think of to be happy about regarding this move (there are way more pros than cons, and the pros are HUGE for me).

Here you go:

new house

*House hunting in the Bay Area (especially for a large family) is extremely stressful unless you’re loaded. And loaded we are not. Though if you looked at the numbers (of our total income) and we lived just about anywhere else in the country, you could easily put us in the “loaded” category. No joke…we could possibly live in a legit mansion anywhere else. But alas, this is where God has us. And we’ve embraced it (aside from the housing market, it is a really great place to live and we’re happy here). But I digress. Whether buying OR renting, it can be stressful. It’s competitive. We had competition for this place. With another family. And that other family had a pregnant woman in it. I was sure we were going to lose it to that family. But our future landlord “had a good feeling” about us (we may have brought our cute baby along with us to the house showing for sympathy points…#noshame #dowhatyagottado). But praise be to God, we were chosen! Thank you cute baby and “good feelings.” So pro #1 is just the fact that we got it at all lol.

*We’re FINALLY going to be living in a detached, single family house. For the first time since being married. No more shared walls. No more rules and regulations or limited parking for our friends who visit. . We’ll have a driveway plus street parking- with no time limit!

*We’re going to have a back yard. Having 3 kids, this makes me so very happy. I can say daily, “for the love of God, please go outside and play!” while I stay inside and only semi-supervise them. Yes, that’s right, I said SEMI-supervise. I used to play in the back woods and in junk yards when I was a kid, with little to no supervision okay?  Don’t you dare go calling CPS on me for letting my kids play in their own fenced-in back yard. I WILL check in on them, I promise 😛

*Said back yard also has a really nice-sized patio area for outdoor dining. When the weather isn’t in its current state (bye bye drought), it’s really nice to sit outside and eat a meal. Also we love grilling. So you can expect lots of BBQs at The Griffiths house this summer.

*Natural light. Lots of natural light. I may be extra sensitive to this because I’m a photographer, but it’s really important to me. It makes me happy (darkness = gloom and despair, light = happiness). And my indoor photos of the kids will be SO much better. The kitchen in particular has a lot of natural light- basically an entire wall is windows and the sliding glass door to the back yard. So I can do dishes/cook while keeping an eye on the kids outside (see, I told you I’d keep an eye on them).

*Hardwood floors in the entire place. No more carpet. Again, having 3 smalls kids and a cat- this makes me happy. Speaking of the cat- finding a rental that accepts pets is also really difficult. So we’re very thankful.

*A HUGE bedroom for the kids. Like, actual space to put things other than just their beds.

*An office/recording/creative space WITH A LOCKED DOOR that my kids will no longer have access to. This also allows my husband to be able to work from home more easily- which is really important to us.

*The upstairs bathroom, which will be the kids bathroom, has 2 sinks. So Gwen and Ivor Baby can brush their teeth at the same time without fighting over who goes first. This is huge. You have no idea how much this will help the dreaded “bedtime routine.”

*It’s a cute house from the outside (see above picture). It’s blue with a red door. White fence with yellow flowers. Both the front and back yard is well manicured (Gardening is included). Great curb appeal!

*Location, location, location. Close to the shopping center we like.  Close to freeway access. Still close to Gwen’s preschool. Friends within walking distance. And from what I hear, the street we’re living on has other families with kids. And it’s safe (I always check crimereports.com because I’m paranoid).

*Master suite on the first floor is a decent size with a nice bathroom (the whole house was renovated/updated just a few years ago).

*Now that we don’t have to park in the garage, we have more space for our home gym! I’m not sure if it’s a California thing because of the weather, but no one here parks vehicles in their garage if they have a driveway. It’s basically considered an additional room in the house. So that’s a lot more usable space for us.

*I’m happy that the laundry area is NOT in the garage, like a lot of places we’ve seen. It is right inside the garage door, inside the house, but still. It’s own area lol. With shelves and a good spot for the cat litter box (a little thing, but important).

*Landlord is letting us bring our own washer/dryer. While it is an added expense, we can swing it and I’m just really excited to pick out my own washer and dryer (the one he was going to put in for us is way too small. I have 3 kids and a king sized bed..I need a big washing machine. This matters. So I’m happy he’s cool with it.

*Speaking of- the landord and his wife seem really cool. They also have kids. Their adorable son, around Gwen’s age, picked a flower for me the day we signed the lease. I melted <3

*A fresh start in a new place is just good for the soul. I look forward to decorating and putting personal touches around the house. Arranging furniture, picking out curtains and area rugs. Oh goodness, I am about to turn 32 aren’t I???

 

If you’re curious about the cons, here they are:

*Not a ton of closet space. Our current place has a lot more. That said, it will force us to live more simply and de-clutter and NOT use closets as storage spaces for crap.

*The ideal home for our family is a 4 bedroom (this is a 3 bedroom). But while the kids are still little, sharing a room is not a big deal at all. They don’t need their privacy just yet and they love playing together. We can make do.

*No central AC. Kind of a bummer because contrary to what people  say- it does get REALLY hot here in the summer. And running portable floor unit ACs makes the electric bill insanely high. BUT the landlord did say he’d consider putting it in for us. So this con could be moot. We shall see.

 

Anyway, T-Minus 4 days until the move! I have no idea when I’ll post again- probably not until we’re somewhat settled in the new place. But when I do, I’ll share some pictures- beautifully lit pictures 😉

Containers and Cases

You may not know it walking into my house sometimes, but I really do love organizing. It’s kind of like therapy. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders afterward. I have a clear, sound mind. I can take a deep breath and relax. When things are disorganized and cluttered, so is my mind. That’s just how it works for me.

It’s not much, but I wanted to share 2 things I’ve done recently that have made a huge difference in our house. Both ideas I got from other people and they’re so simple, yet so genius. Maybe these aren’t issues in your home, but they were in mine!

First problem: Tupperware Lids. Solution: Contain them. That’s it. Get a container, and put all of the lids inside. Maybe I was the only one not doing that to begin with, because it seems so obvious. Previously, I tried to keep them in neat stacks in the cupboard right next to the tupperware, or underneath them (we had the kind that snap on the bottom, but we just never took the time to do that). So they never stayed neatly stacked. I could never find the right size lid I needed, and it just made the cupboard look messy. Drove me crazy. Now all the lids are in a basket in the same cupboard, and I can always find what I need quickly and it makes the cupboard look clean and organized. Bam. Done. The basket was something we just had around the house that collected junk- this is a much better use for it. And it looks pretty 🙂 If you don’t have something suitable already in the house, take a trip to the Container Store, enjoy spending hours browsing and thinking about all the possible things you can contain in your house hehe.

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Next problem: DVD Collection. When we moved into our current place, we couldn’t find a good place for our DVD shelves. We also had a baby/soon-to-be-toddler who loved to explore and play with things she shouldn’t be playing with. And since we rarely watched DVDs anymore anyway, we decided to just put all of our DVDs in a storage bin and shove them in our closet. The shelves are still out  in our garage being used for other things. But those 2 large plastic bins were taking up a lot of space in our closet, and I desperately needed something to store all the kids clothes in that they were growing out of so quickly. And…I just wanted to start watching DVDs again. So a friend of mine mentioned a CD Binder as a solution. Of course! And just like that, 2 large plastic storage bins have become a single, space-efficient case with all our DVDs inside, in a drawer in our entertainment center. Now, if you have a thing for displaying DVDs, getting rid of all your DVD cases and putting the discs in a binder might not be of interest to you. Or if you have the space to display them, by all means, go ahead and display away. I decided I no longer cared about a DVD display. The cases have no use to me. And we just don’t have the space for it. So into the recycling bin they went.

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Don’t judge me by my movie collection. Rather, don’t judge my poor husband. Most of the movies you see here are mine. And no, I didn’t get around to organizing INSIDE the binder just yet. But I will someday 🙂 Note: I did not include the LOTR collection inside the binder because each movie has like 3 discs (extended edition!) and I was running out of room in the binder. Plus, it’s a pretty case. I can deal with keeping that one. We only purchase movies digitally now, so I don’t really need to worry about buying more binders. Also, that drawer still needs to be organized. I could probably fit 3 binders inside. That said though, still fits!

Anyway, those are my 2 tips. My house has a long way to go still, but my husband will be taking the rest of his paternity leave soon, and I have a list of projects 😉