So, I did it. I’m now out of my insanely expensive apartment and am temporarily renting a room in someone’s house. Moving during COVID is not something anyone should be doing right now but I had no choice. After my boyfriend died, the rent was more than I could handle on my own.
Rent prices in Los Angeles are astronomical anyway for just about everyone unless you’re rich or you bought a house decades ago that survived 2008 and it’s paid off. When I look back it’s hard to believe I paid $300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the mid-70s that I’m sure now runs well over $2000.
Add that to the fact that I have 2 dogs, which offers its own set of challenges like pet rent. I’d prefer my own apartment even if it’s a studio but with pet rent, utilities, and cable prices it would take a major slice out of my lifestyle and who knows when things will get back to normal.
Moving during COVID is an extra challenge
The biggest hassle for me was getting rid of a lifetime of belongings. Not so much my own because I’ve shed my possessions numerous times over the years. I’m talking about my boyfriend’s stuff because he was a guy who saved everything.
I took an extra month to get rid of as much as I could and paid dearly for it in rent. I don’t know how many times I hauled boxes and oddball items from my apartment, down a flight of stairs and into the dumpster. When the lockdown began, I had to put on a mask and wear plastic bags on my hands because I couldn’t find disposable gloves anywhere.
Moving during COVID was also frustrating because recycling plants, donation centers, and other places I needed to go to dispose of things were closed. Instead, I had to toss appliances like my microwave oven and other electronic items in the dumpster.
I braved Big Lots to get bins for $5 to put my belongings in that I was taking with me but tried not to venture out unless I absolutely had to.
Giving back to the Universe
In addition to my tossing, I also made donations to charities of clothing, books, and food, which made me feel good that my discards were being put to good use and not wasted. It was hard to let go of some things, especially the books but they’re heavy and I’m getting a little too old to lug them around.
Many of the charities were closed as well, because of the pandemic, but I found volunteers online who worked with charitable organizations who came to my apartment to pick things up which made it so much easier! I also drove to a food pantry and handed my canned food from my car to a masked and gloved volunteer.
And talk about downsizing
I’ve downsized and gotten rid of stuff several times before but this time I gave almost everything away including my furniture. The only furniture I kept was my ergonomic desk chair, which was an expensive sucker, a nightstand, and my twin-size mattress.
I saw a very nice small desk that someone left by the dumpster and snagged it, so I’d have something to put my computer on. The old desk that I sold online would have filled up my entire rented room which is only about 12′ x 12′.
Even with all my discarding I still had to rent a storage unit. Thank goodness THOSE places haven’t closed. I hired a guy from Taskrabbit.com to move my storage items down to the carport, so I didn’t kill myself. He came in a mask and gloves which was cool and got the job done quickly.
They have a wonderful service for small chores like hooking up your entertainment center or hanging up pictures. You can choose your own tasker and everything is automated sort of like Uber where you don’t have to deal with exchanging money. It’s all done on your computer.
After he left, I made several trips to my storage unit because I kept finding things that I knew I couldn’t fit in my room when I moved. Luckily, those places are generally quiet and isolated, but I made sure to wear a mask and had wipes in the car to clean wash my hands off. My unit is now almost completely full but I’ll need to make one more trip now that I moved.
Getting moved in
I rehired my “tasker” from Taskrabbit to help me move and he got everything to fit in his truck so we only had to make one trip.
The house I’m living in is in a beautiful neighborhood in the West Valley and perfect for walking. But, inside I’m pretty much crammed in my room. I share a bathroom with another tenant who is a guy and I’m allotted a teensy-weensy spot in the refrigerator, freezer, and kitchen cabinet. I’ll have to learn to eat small because after I put my dog’s canned food in the fridge, there’s barely room for my food.
In the meantime, I’m taking full advantage of Grubhub takeout delivery which has been on time and accurate so far. I like that I can support local restaurants that are struggling
The day after I moved in was Easter and the lady who owns the house had her kids and grandchildren over despite the lockdown order. I guess you can’t keep a Grandma from entertaining her grandkids with Easter eggs. So much for social distancing! Because they were all there, I stayed in my room except to take the dogs out or go to the bathroom.
One of the grandchildren had to go to the ER because she was having stomach pains. That put the fear of God in me that she may have COVID. They thought it was appendicitis, but it turned out to be nothing. Meanwhile, she was in the ER and who knows what germs were lurking in there?
To say my life is in disarray would be an understatement. I still have my clothes in suitcases and nowhere to put them. My room is cluttered with big ass ugly bins, that are being used as tables to set things on. Not exactly Martha Stuart decor but it will have to do until I figure out how to make it work. It’s a temporary arrangement until I find something better I can afford, hopefully when all this craziness is over.
One thing I’m grateful for is that I work online so my blogging business hasn’t been impacted much at all. And, I just saw that my government stimulus check is pending in my bank account. I’m glad I got my taxes in and had direct deposit.
As for moving during COVID – don’t do it unless you have no other choice.
Have you noticed that masks are everywhere on the Internet and have become the latest fashion statement? I bought 2 pink ones at myblanke.com which is a baby clothes site. I’ve also seen some amazing ones like dog faces, harlequins, ninja-style, and every sort of print imaginable. People have become creative, expressive, and entrepreneurial during this crazy time. Etsy also has a wide variety of colorful and unique masks that are handmade by small business owners.
Are you going through any major transitions during the lockdown and how are you coping? Please leave a comment below.