Three Weeks In

Today marks three weeks for us in London. It’s weird that it’s been that long, but also that it hasn’t really been that long. M and I both agree that it feels like much more time than that, but in a good way.

During these few weeks, we’ve managed to accomplish a lot. I think one way to really help yourself feel settled is to get all of the normal day to day things set up as soon as possible – and we’ve tried to do that. So things that we’ve accomplished so far:
  • Opened a UK bank account
  • Bought cell phones and a 2 year plan
  • Got our cable TV installed
  • Bought a brand spankin’ new TV to replace this awesome 19″ that GSO (the guys that organize housing, furniture, and all of that good stuff) supplied us with:
I fully appreciate GSO and everything they do, but seriously guys? I think my brother’s computer monitor is bigger than that thing!
  • Booked our internet installation — this was done the first week we were here, and the earliest installation date available was September 14th. If you are a future London resident, you have been warned. 😉
  • Bought rugs and other pieces of furniture and decorations for the apartment
  • Rearranged the furniture in our living room and bedroom
  • Unpacked our UAB
  • Joined a gym
I think that’s it. Yeesh. Riveting stuff, I know, but all of it really is helpful in making you feel like you have some sort of home and stable place amongst all the craziness. I especially recommend rearranging furniture. It’s hard to make wherever you’re living feel like your home because #1, you didn’t pick the place, #2 the furniture is not yours, and #3 your HHE has yet to arrive; so rearranging is a fun way to shake things up and feel like you’ve done something to make the place your own. It’s the little things that count.
Speaking of the little things, we’ve had some time to realize that there are several things we’re missing these days that we wish we’d made room for in our UAB:
1. A tool kit! This is so so critical for when you’re trying to put together (cheap) furniture and put up decorations.
2. Kitchen knives – if you like to cook, pack your knives in the UAB. GSO will provide you with some in your transit kit to last you until the HHE comes, but ours are from Ikea, and the quality of Ikea kitchen products is not the best.
3. Spices – similar to #2 – if you like to cook, put your spices in the UAB. Spices are expensive, and they last for ages, so if you have a ton coming, your willingness to buy more in the meantime will be low. This can lead to some interesting meals.
4. Pictures & artwork – the key to feeling more at home is to put up pictures and decorations from home! I’m itching to decorate right now, but waiting to get some paintings and things that I know we have coming. Patience is not my strong suit.
5. All things electronic – example: the cable that connects the laptop to the TV(!), and extension cords.
Things we didn’t need? All of the extra clothes that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases, and all 20 zillion boxes of tissues and rolls of paper towels.  We could’ve done with about half. 😉 Noted for next time.
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