It's been a year today since we moved into our current apartment in Paris, and I'm happy to say that it finally feels like home! Does it sound surprising that it took this long? It surprises me a bit too!
When we sold our house in the summer of 2014, we placed our furniture and personal effects in a storage unit in Canada and embarked on a several month trip through the south of France. When my husband received a job offer in Paris in late December, we already had tickets back to France for early January, and didn't have the time to organize the shipment of our things. Instead, we rented a furnished apartment in Paris where we've been living for the past year.
As for our stuff? Well, to be honest, I didn't miss most of it at first. We had already pared down our things when we sold the house, and the reality is that my husband and I have never been the type of people to buy a lot of "things." We've always preferred to spend our money on travel, with the exception of books in my case.
However, over time there were things I found myself missing, starting with some of my furniture. The rental apartment has everything we need, but the sofas were old and uncomfortable, and much of the furniture isn't our style. Since we didn't want to put the kids through another move, we negotiated with our landlord to get rid of some items while keeping others. The sofas were the first to go! I also found myself missing my books and some sentimental items, such as photo albums. I wanted my kids to have some of their books and toys back as well.
When we returned to Canada for Christmas, we spent a few days of our holiday getting our things ready to be shipped. Since we are in a furnished apartment, we couldn't bring absolutely everything, but we brought our living room furniture, most of my books and the majority of the children's items.
It all arrived just over a week ago, and as the elevator in our building is barely big enough to hold more than one person at time, the movers brought everything up by a lift attached to the moving truck and moved it in through the dining room doors. Very Parisian!
It wasn't until I saw my own things that I realized how much I had missed some of them! Seeing our own furniture in the space and hanging our own photos on the wall brought me more happiness than I had anticipated. It also turned our apartment into a space that felt more "ours;" more like "home" than it had previously. We had been seriously considering whether we wanted to move to another apartment or not, but now it feels like a brand new apartment. There are still some boxes to unpack and things to put away. We have to buy a few bookshelves for all of my books, but overall it's coming together.
It feels like home.