One of the things I looked forward to when we
bought our house in Peachtree City in the spring was "making it our
There was little to do inside cosmetically
except some painting because the sellers left the house very clean,
the hardwood, tile, and luxury vinyl floors were in excellent condition,
and the bathrooms and kitchen had been updated recently. They also left all their window coverings,
saving a lot of time and $$$ to not have to purchase those right away.
But it still needed to feel like our
home. I loved the blank slate and had already been thinking how I wanted
it to look before we moved in.
MLS photo of living room;
the sellers left us the sofa,
chairs, ottoman, and 9x13' wool area rug.
We closed at the end of March and stayed in the house a few days before
driving up to Roanoke to get the items in our storage unit.
Fortunately, we had comfy living room furniture the sellers left for us
and a nice new bed we'd already purchased, but little else in the way of
furniture the first few days since we were moving from our RV and not
from another house.
When we sold our house in Virginia three years ago we also sold and gave away much of our furniture.
We were tired of some of it and we knew some items, like upholstered
furniture and mattresses, wouldn't fare well in storage for an
undetermined number of years. Even though we rented a climate-controlled
storage unit it wasn't humidity-controlled. And it's plenty humid in
One back corner of our storage unit in VA
Before closing on this house we ordered a king-sized Sealy Cocoon Chill memory foam mattress.
One of Jim's sons had recently purchased a Cocoon and loved it. We love ours,
We also ordered a padded linen headboard, bed frame, and new bedding. We
had all of this delivered to Kings Bay a few days before we left so we'd
have a bed to sleep in our first night in the house. We stored the
unopened boxes in the truck and camper until we moved in.
It was fun the first
day to open that mattress box and watch the foam expand to full size!
came in a relatively small but heavy roll. This is the
bed frame and fabric headboard we assembled, also purchased online.
We slept well that night, the first in our new home.
Thank goodness we didn't have to send the
mattress back or donate it somewhere (Cocoons are guaranteed for several
months). After one of those things expands exponentially, it'd be like
putting the genie back in the bottle!
Before closing we also bought special stainless steel cookware suitable
for our induction stovetop (never had one of those before), a new microwave oven
(the sellers wanted theirs), and a washer and dryer so we'd be up
and running at the house the first few days.
Lowe's delivered the washer and dryer the first full day we were in the
house and Jim got them connected. The sellers remodeled the kitchen two
or three years ago so the refrigerator, oven/stove, and dishwasher are
relatively new. I'm glad we didn't have to buy and install all that,
Above and below: MLS photos of the
kitchen and eat-in area. We put our table and chairs in
the separate dining room. The area by the windows,
below, "went to the dogs" after we moved in.
(That's where we put their beds, water bowl, toys, and
the pup's kennel.)
All we had to do in the kitchen was figure out where to put all of our
equipment and dinnerware when we got it out of storage. The sellers
equipped the soft-close drawers and cupboards with sliding stainless
steel racks and other aids to keep everything well organized. Examples
are in the picture directly above, another one of the listing photos.
Jim and I are ardent do-it-yourself-ers, doing as much vehicle, home, and
yard maintenance as possible, even in our late 60s. It's not just
that we want to save money, it's more that we've always done these
things and refuse to believe we can't do them any more! I think we're a
lot like other Boomers and folks from the Greatest Generation in that
We're also pretty sure we can do most of the work better than anyone
else; we have pretty high standards.
With all that in mind, we decided we'd move our own stuff from our
storage unit in Virginia to our new house in Georgia. We knew it would
be a strain on our aging bodies. We were right but, in retrospect, we're
glad we did it the way we did.
Next time we move, hopefully a long time from now, we'll hire help. Or, by then,
we can just get rid of everything before we head to the nursing home
. . .
Following our rental truck back to Peachtree City
on an overcast day in early April;
note all the flowering redbud trees lining I-81 a
little south of Roanoke.
It took us just two days -- long ones -- to get our
belongings in Roanoke. We drove up there the first day in time to check
into our motel, go across town to get the 26-foot Penske rental truck we
reserved from Home Depot, drive back to the storage unit, and begin to
organize how we'd pack the truck.
After eye-balling the
inside of the truck and all the stuff we had stored in our 10x20-foot
storage unit we weren't sure everything would fit into the truck. We
moved some things aside that we could leave in Roanoke and either do
without or get later and began putting some absolute must-haves and
stackable stuff in the truck until it got too dark to work.
The next morning we had help from two experienced self-employed movers
for about two hours after we'd already packed about half of the items.
We left the heaviest items for them. Lo and behold, with their additional padding
and straps they were able to stack things up quite high and we ended up with some
room to spare in the truck. Whew!
Jim drove the truck back to Georgia that afternoon/evening and I
followed in the minivan with the dogs. Everything and everyone arrived
Above and below: unloading the truck at our house, with Casey's
We got everything off the truck in a few hours the next morning but
paced ourselves unpacking boxes once they were inside the house.
We were real glad we sold most of our furniture and got rid of a lot of other
things three years ago so we didn't have as much to move this time.
Moving was hard on our deteriorating joints but we didn't get hurt.
It was nice when we finally got most things organized in the house and
garage and we weren't tripping over boxes and plastic totes. Since the
house is fairly small and we don't have a basement it was fairly
intuitive where to put things so they'd be convenient.
Items we seldom use are in the attic, like holiday decorations, some
empty boxes, and all the gray plastic totes we used to store things
when we were RVing full-time. We don't need a basement, and
we vow to never accumulate as many things as before.
Living in an RV for so long made us realize we simply don't need much to
FEATHERING THE NEST
Then the fun part started -- I love to decorate a house! It took me about two months to get
it furnished and decorated the way I wanted.
We kept some of our
newer furniture in storage and can use all of it in this house. But
there were still a lot of things we needed to purchase to complete our
three-bedroom house with separate living, dining, and family rooms.
room was pretty easy. We already had the chest and bench to use in this corner, plus
recliners, an end table, a
smaller cabinet, and an office chair. I bought the 8x10-foot area rug at the local
The canvas art print was on sale at Kirkland's for only $30. Plants are
from Home Depot.
It would have been faster to "fill in the blanks" with furniture, area
rugs, art work, and other household items if we'd been willing to make
several trips closer to Atlanta to shop in bigger stores than local
businesses like Home Goods, Kirkland's, and BedBath&Beyond.
However, we didn't want to hassle with metro traffic. The only furniture store we
visited in Atlanta was IKEA, and that was only because we were going up
there for a medical appointment nearby.
We bought a large white gently-used IKEA dresser for our master bedroom
closet from a couple we met soon after moving in. They were selling their house
to RV full-time (imagine that!) and selling many of their furnishings at
low prices -- just like we did before doing the very same thing three years
ago. (We also bought our guest bedroom mattress and bed frame from
We liked the dresser so much we bought a new chest to match it at
the IKEA store for our guest room closet. Jim assembled it in a couple
We ordered about half the new furnishings online -- several
things from Wayfair.com, as well as chains like BedBath&Beyond, Kirkland's, Sam's
Club, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Walmart if they didn't have the items we
wanted in local stores -- and had them delivered to our house.
We are pleased with the quality and prices of everything we got
online. I read reviews thoroughly before ordering anything and submitted
some reviews of my own, which I had never done before.
For example, we got the 9x13-foot
sculptured Henderson rug, shown below, and pad from Wayfair.com for
the master bedroom. It is a very popular design, with over 2,000 reviews
when we ordered ours in April. We love how soft it is on bare
We had to move the bed frame and Cocoon mattress to install the rug and
I don't know how anything would get done around
here without Casey's help!
It was more nerve-wracking to me to choose large area rugs online than
any of the furniture or art work we ordered without seeing it in person
but I was happy with all three rugs we purchased that way. I just
couldn't find all I wanted in local stores.
I decorated most of the rooms in soft tones of gray or blue, taupe and white.
I went the wildest in the study/craft room, ordering this colorful rug
and the two ocean-themed canvas art prints from Wayfair.com:
After I got done decorating the house (is one ever done
decorating a house??) I decided I like the master
bedroom the best.
Since the bedroom was already painted light blue and white, I chose coastal-themed
art work and accessories from about six different stores and online
businesses to complete the relaxing look that reminds us of
pleasant winters spent camping near Cumberland Island:
I've purchased different lamps with blue
bases since taking this picture.
Corner of master bedroom; the pillow has an
embroidered blue heron on it.
We have herons by the lakes and streams here in
Peachtree City, too.
I carried a subtle coastal theme into both full bathrooms also.
This house is more modern than most others we've had in the past. I've
really enjoyed finding more contemporary furnishings than I've had
Some of the furniture we sold/gave away three years ago were things I
had when I was a kid, or furniture and other household items that
belonged to my parents and grandparents. I still appreciate antiques
-- but now, only in someone else's house.
It's not just Generation Xers and Millennials who like simple, modern
We deliberately bought an updated house because
we didn't want to get into any lengthy remodeling projects.
So far we've only done a few smaller projects to
freshen up the interior of the house or make it more efficient, like
painting one bedroom and some woodwork and doors, adding towel racks in
the bathrooms, taking out shelves in the laundry room to accommodate our
larger washer and dryer, and replacing the vinyl horizontal blinds in
the kitchen and family room with Bali honeycomb shades to match the rest
of the windows in the house.
One feature we wanted on a house was a screened-in back porch. What we
got instead is a large, open concrete patio across most of the back of the house
and many tall windows looking out to the yard:
Since the back of the house faces mostly south, we wanted a cover of
some type in the summer to reduce the heat pouring inside and to protect
us from the rain when we take the dogs outside.
We ordered a wide, motorized SunSetter awning to shade the four tall
living room windows. That part of the patio is recessed in sort of an
alcove (see photo above).
We saved a lot of money by getting a refurbished SunSetter
awning -- in the size and colors we wanted and with the same
guarantees as a new awning -- and installing it ourselves. It
looked brand new when we got it. Jim got some help hoisting it up onto
the wall brackets but he did all the other work himself.
SunShade on the left, just part way down, and
awning fully extended to the right
He also installed a reflective manual SunShade by the same company on
the outside of the three tall kitchen windows. It's like the windshield
covers we've seen on many motorhomes in campgrounds -- you can
see out but other people can't easily see inside.
Both of these
products have made the interior of the house more comfortable this
summer and the AC unit doesn't have to work as hard.
We've done a lot since we moved into this house. We have a few more
ideas for the near and distant future. None of it is pressing, so we're
mostly just enjoying our new home and neighborhood.
After living here for six months (I mentioned I'm updating this in
October), we have no regrets so far about moving here. It's been fun to
get settled into our new community.
We still have no travel plans. Someday we'll get the travel bug again
and be excited about wherever it is we're going. Meanwhile, we're
happily "nesting" in Peachtree City.
Continued on the next
page: landscaping the large -- and largely un-landscaped
-- back yard with "Susie the Pot Woman's" help
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody, Casey, and Holly-pup
© 2017 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil