Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011


The Question Of Furniture

Early on we made the decision to not bring most of our furniture.  We wanted to blog about the reality of that decision, and what we would do differently if we had to do it all over again.  You may be wondering, so what did we bring?  Here is a short list:  3 end tables, jewelry armoire, 2 corner tables, decorated stool, laptop table, couch table, kitchen table, baker’s rack, 2 scrapbook carts, 3 headboards, 2 bed frames, 2 small chests and 2 small bookcases.

The concept is nice:  discard all of the old furniture and purchase new.  We had a lot of pieces we acquired from relatives; functional but not in the best of condition, and we decided that it would not be worth moving the pieces to Florida.  This meant, however, that we arrived at our apartment with no place to sit down.  We purchased a nice padded counter stool from TJ Maxx, so the first night we at least had one chair.  When our furniture arrived five days later, we also had the decorated stool:  two chairs.   We are ambivalent right now as what to do with dining room chairs.  The ones we are considering are a little out of our budget right now, but we don’t wish to purchase cheap ones just to get through, either.  It’s not that we want to purchase highly expensive ones, but we do need to purchase all four at one time to ensure they match.  At this point in time the dining room table is covered in items, so it’s a non-issue right now, but we hopefully will restore some order this week.  We still feel it was the right decision not to move our dining room chairs, as they were in need of replacement.

If you follow our blog regularly, you know that we decided to sleep on airbeds until we were able to purchase mattresses.  Nice in theory, but our Coleman airbed decided to blow out on our third night sleeping on it, and we had to sleep on the floor for the following nine nights.  It was not returnable, as we purchased it at a local store in Wisconsin, and we are extremely dissatisfied with the lack of customer service Coleman has since provided to us. Blessfully our mattresses were delivered this morning; our bodies will definitely thank us for that.  In hindsight, we would have chosen to move our beds.  Did the mattresses need replacing?  Yes, but an uncomfortable mattress is still better than the floor.

One of the misconceptions we had is that we would be able to purchase mattresses inexpensively once in Florida.  A Google search reveals several mattress companies offering sets starting at $299.  However, after visiting several mattress stores in Clermont we are here to say that the cheap mattresses are just that:  cheap.  You get what you pay for, and in our opinion, these mattresses are flimsy, cheaply made, and not worth purchasing.  A nice queen set will run you at minimum one thousand dollars.  Several stores do offer financing if you cannot afford to purchase your mattress set outright.  We do recommend bringing your bed frames with you if they are in good condition; bed frames start at 69.99.

We found a desk we love at Ikea; but as we only have a car, we are having transportation issues in bringing it home.  Tonight we decided to purchase it, with the trunk hood partially open and tied down, but then while at Ikea it decided to storm, and we had leave it behind. We need to purchase a desk soon as Mark goes back to work in a week and we need to have the workstation established and ready to go.   We don’t regret leaving our desk behind, as it was extremely heavy and too large for the apartment.  Another consideration is the placement of the kids’ computer:  we may utilize the baker’s rack as a temporary “desk” but it would also mean it would be without internet capability until we purchase a wireless card.

We’re finding that dressers aren’t an absolute necessity right now, as clothes can be placed in bins for the time being.  Our dressers were in pretty rough shape, so it was an easy choice to leave them behind.  We will make getting Catie’s dresser a priority, as her bedroom is the smallest, and she needs the room the most.

Last week we focused on emptying the boxes, as we’ve been living with boxes since January and really tired of seeing boxes.  🙂  However, we discovered that without furniture, it is really hard to put things away, and things are now piled up on the floor.  Our storage closet is almost to capacity, but truth be told the Christmas boxes were not unpacked, just placed in there, so once those items can be placed in totes, it will free up a lot of room in there.  It’s not a priority right now, and we’re thankful and amazed that it all fits with a little room to spare.  The big question out there for us was regarding whether we decluttered enough stuff so that it all fits, and we’re glad that we did and it does.  Our advice is that you cannot declutter too much:  sell or donate as much as you can.  You will not miss it, we promise.



The Movers Came And Left Us Boxes

Which was the whole idea, of course!  We weren’t sure if the huge tractor-trailer was going to make it into the complex, but there is a back entrance and it worked out just fine.  They unloaded in less time than it took to load the truck, so it was quite nice for it to be done in under three hours.  Of course now we are surrounded by boxes; but we are able to find what we need by referring to our list.  What a time saver that has been!  The movers commented on how well packed the boxes were, and were a little surprised at how little furniture we brought with us.

Looking back I believe we’re both regretting the decision to not move our bed.  We chose to do this because the mattress was not comfortable anymore, and it made financial sense to buy new mattresses when we arrived.  The airbed was a practical solution.  However, the airbed did not hold up its end of the bargain, and it blew a hole Wednesday night; repeated efforts to fix it with duct tape only made the hole bigger.  So we’ve been sleeping on the floor for right now, as our expected expenses were much larger than we anticipated (details in blog post coming),  and we are unable to return the airbed as it was purchased in a store that exists only in the Midwest.  We were able to unearth Ben and Catie’s body pillows, in the hope that laying on them will prove to be a little more comfier than the floor. We both feel, however, that the temporary discomfort of sleeping on the floor is just a minor blip.  We love living in Florida; we have found most people to be very friendly and nice and willing to help out.

So today we’ve been slowly unpacking boxes and trying to make our apartment our home. Catie has done an awesome job with her room, though we’ve discovered that Brighthouse will need to come back, because the cable outlet in her room is not functional.   The kitchen, although small, has some very roomy cabinets, so we’re confident that everything will fit. We’re thankful there are recyclable dumpsters in the back, which allows us to easily dispose of our cardboard boxes and packing paper.  It seems a little “un-green” to not Freecycle them, but with the gated entrance it’s not a viable option.

We also drove around the city of Clermont to sightsee and locate the public library and the middle school.  It was too late in the afternoon to go to the library, but we will do that during the week to check it out.  We took what we thought were pictures of the area, but they ended up being videos instead, so we will go around again later and take pictures and post to the blog.

We discovered our local Winn-Dixie grocery store, and we were quite impressed by it. Winn-Dixie does have a saver card (the only one of the three main grocery stores to have one), and we probably will frequent this store quite a lot.  We were originally put off by Winn-Dixie because we had visited one in the Kissimmee area two years ago while on vacation and were not impressed.  The store in Clermont, however, is fairly nice and the prices are not unreasonable.

After dinner we took time to swim in the pool, which is so nice to be able to do that.  Ben is turning into a regular little fish, and I”m sure it will not be long before Catie is as well. Tomorrow morning we will visit a church that is one of our top choices, and are really looking forward to getting settled into a church close to home.



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Craigslist Booty



Plans on the docket for today include finishing up packing and cleaning.  We decided to break open our piggy bank–the one we’ve been putting all our extra money and Craigslist and Ebay winnings into.  We’re here to dispel the myth that Craigslist is not worth the effort, and a few dollars does not make a difference.  We started listing on Craigslist soon after we made the decision to move this summer, and while it can be tedious at times: listing items, responding to emails, waiting for people to come (or not come, as the case may be), and repeating the process over and over again, we are here to say it is well worth the effort.

We expected to have approximately $200- $250 in there.  Our grand total is $382.70!  $346 of this was in bills, and $36.70 in change.  This does not include the $10 we had to “borrow” to give Catie a little extra spending money on her ski trip.  We may also be adding $15, as someone is scheduled to stop by this afternoon and buy our weed whacker.

We’ve decided to keep as many quarters as would fit in an M&M’s tube:  In case you’re wondering, it holds $22 worth of quarters!

The remaining change we will turn into a Coinstar and use to purchase our picnic goodies for our dinner on Friday.

Thanks for following along!  We will try to keep posting smaller updates as they happen. Tomorrow we lose our Charter internet, but we do have the hotspot to keep us connected to the Internet.

Two days!


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Approaching the End

Last week we received a call from our landlord, stating he was going to send us a checklist of things we need to complete if we want to receive our security deposit back.  He called this morning to check to see if we received it, and as of yet, we haven’t.  He then stated he would get it to us soon, but we’re not overly concerned with what’s on it.  This will be the fifth time we’ve moved in thirteen years, and we know what needs to be done, and are working on completing it.  It’s exhausting to say the least, but we are thankful the end is in sight.

Today we pulled all items off Craigslist, except for the lawnmower, and will donate them to Goodwill.  The kids’ mattresses were picked up today, and the television armoire was also picked up today.  Yeah!   Our garbage can and recycle bin are overflowing, as we tried to dispose of as much as we possibly could, so as not to leave the cans full when we leave.  (Pick up is Wednesday morning)

Today was Ben’s last day with Ray* (*name changed to protect privacy).  Ray has been Ben’s therapist since Kindergarten, and he has really helped Ben to grow and mature, and understand his autism.  We have had several therapists come and go in our household, but Ray has always been there for Ben; he has been his steady rock in a world that seemed always changing and unfamiliar at times.  Ben knew that no matter what happened; Ray would always be there for him. Over the years Ray went from being a therapist to one of the family, and really provided that Grandfather presence that Ben lacks.  We are so appreciative of Ray’s devotion to our son; there is no way we could ever express how much it means to us.   And so today, we said good-bye to Ray; there were tears, but Ben handled it really well.  God bless you, Ray, for making a difference in the life of our child.  ♥



Moo-ving along!

 We’re from Wisconsin–we had to include a pic of a cow somehow! 😉

We have reached a point in our move where we need to examine what we will need for the next few days, and pack the rest away.  It’s very refreshing not to be hassled at the last minute, as we have been on all our other moves. Instead of being in major packing mode, these past days have, for the most part, been pretty routine.  Catie’s room is done, except for the last minute necessities that need to be packed up, and the kitchen is slowly getting packed away, as we decide on whether to keep certain items or give them to Nick.

On Monday we received 25 boxes from a fellow Freecycler, sturdy boxes from a moving company, and we were so grateful to get them!  We are currently trying to dispose of the rest of our furniture, and will have to decide soon when the break point is when we pull everything off Craigslist and donate it to Goodwill.   We also have a lawnmower, which is less than a year old, and a weed whacker, which is less than a month old; if these do not sell before next Friday, then we will give these items to Nick to try to sell for us.

We’ve finalized the payment for Mayflower, and are really excited to see that part of our journey unfold, as we’ve never used professional movers before.  We’ve learned so much about the “right” way to pack, which is really a consideration if you are moving such a long distance.  Please see our earlier post ‘Packing Those Boxes’, published in March, if you are looking for more detailed information.

Thank you for following us along on our journey!