Monday, August 27, 2007

The stars align

What a successful weekend! I got three major items on the to-do list accomplished.

On Friday I ran out to Bed Bath & Beyond (my unofficial second home these days) during lunch and bought a nice bamboo shade for my window. When I got home from work I decided to try installing it before leaving for Connecticut. The directions were vague at best - take out shade, install metal brackets, attach shade. Okay, super. Except I realized I needed my drill to install the brackets so it had to wait until I got back from Connecticut.

On Saturday I sold my SUV to a dealer. I'm only breaking even on the deal (they're paying off the rest of my loan) but I'm not complaining. I'll drop it off next weekend. On the way back to CT house (or weekend house as my NYC friends are calling it) I stopped at the IKEA in New Haven to buy two Lack shelves to put under my bed.

Backstory: since I knew I would be short on storage space at the apartment, my plan was to turn my bed into a captain's bed, which basically means putting drawers or shelves underneath. My original object of desire was Pottery Barn's Stratton bed with drawers until I came to my senses about the cost. Then a couple of months ago I was watching "Mission Organization" on HGTV and watched the designer put closet organizer shelves under a bed to make a de facto captain's bed. Brilliant. Except I wanted to use drawers so I could store clothes down there. I wanted to recreate that and found reasonably priced drawer units at Target. But the shipping was going to kill me. So I moved down to the city without the shelves. I saw very similar units at Bed Bath & Beyond but they were $130 each, more than double the Target shelves. I'd pretty much given up hope until I found this blog post. Amazing!

A coworker and I discussed the logistics at work - would I need to build the platform? Only if the Lack shelves wouldn't support the weight of my boxspring, mattress, me and occasional guest sleepers. IKEA is a store I try to avoid as a rule. Like Stew Leonard's the store is set up so you have to walk down every freakin aisle before you can check out. Sometimes I just want to get in, find out what bin the furniture is in, get it, and get out. Had I been smarter I just would have gone to the self-serve furniture area, done a search and been on my way.

As it was I hard such a hard time remembering Aisle 5, Bin 26 that by the time I made it to the warehouse I had to look it up anyway. Then I had to go get a palette cart. I made it through checkout and didn't even bother with the loading area. I pushed the cart out to my SUV, loaded the shelves up and headed home.

Back at weekend house, I was telling my roommate about how I really wanted furniture similar to what we had on our front porch for my NYC backyard. In a kind gesture he said I could just take the furniture. It belonged to a roommate who had long since moved out and our deck had plenty of extra stuff to move there. Score!

The party on Saturday night was great - lots of Beer Pong, asshole and drinking. Also, lots of people crashing at our house. With my mattress down in the city, I was forced to sleep on the extra boxspring I'd left behind. Uncomfortable at best.

Sunday was nuts - I loaded the porch furniture into my car, and drove down to my city apartment. I was lucky enough to find parking right on my street, not too far from my building. Then I unloaded the furniture, plus my shelves and some other stuff I'd left behind. Then I loaded some crap from my apartment into my SUV, drove back to Connecticut and then finally took the train back into the city.

I was exhausted and all I wanted was a night in my bed. But that meant setting up my bed, which meant setting up my shelves, which meant clearing a space for my bed, which meant finishing hanging my bamboo shade and moving a bunch of boxes. After 15 minutes of high comedy, I managed to hang my shade. It was heavy and I was afraid the brackets would get pulled right out of the wall at first. But everything held and the shade works great.

I moved the boxes to the other side of my living room and started assembling the shelves. The directions were amusing - no words, just pictures. I had both shelving units assembled in a jiffy. There was one screw missing (my bad luck with pre-fabbed furniture continues I guess) but it didn't affect the integrity of the unit. I sat on each to check and they most definitely held my weight. A friend and I set them up on the floor, dropped my boxspring and mattress down on top and - ta-da! - I had my bed back! I was incredibly excited. Plus, the shelves left plenty of room for storage. So while I couldn't store my clothes there without buying baskets, I could store all my books and anything else missing a home.

The shelves also came with brackets to wall-mount them, which gave me a great idea. I want to buy three more and make a full entertainment center. Two shelves on the side and one along the top. It will be awesome, and it will be a nice stopgap until I can afford something nicer. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sunday night I slept in my bed. I can't tell you how great that was. Now if only I had more time to catch up on my sleep. Still no gas, still no trash key. I don't quite feel at home yet.

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