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My husband and I moved to the suburbs a month ago and it has been such a change from our city life. We learn more and more everyday about the joys and challenges involved in home ownership and having a yard. From feedback I’ve heard from some readers, the prospect of the suburbs is a consideration at this chapter of life, so I figured I’d share the 10 most important things I learned the first month in the suburbs.
1. You Can Never Have Enough Garbage Cans/Bags
Our first day in our new house, we could not find the garbage can for the house. You know, the one that you have to drag out to the street once a week for pick up? The recycling can was on the side of the house but there was no trash can in sight. That’s when we learned that we would have to pay monthly for a leased trash can from our garbage provider, or buy our own and pay for garbage stickers. Losing the garbage shoot just down the hall was a real wake up call!
2. Weeding is a Pain, but Also Oddly Satisfying
We have a large yard, so we’ve spent probably a combined total of 10 hours weeding where it is needed. We haven’t gotten it all, but we’ve gotten the weeds out of our flower beds and garden. While it is time consuming work, the wet ground and all the rain in Chicagoland has made it pretty easy. The satisfaction of pulling up a weed that has tracks underground and leads to pulling up one or two others is so satisfying.
3. I Know Nothing About Plants
We have a ton of plants and trees in our yard. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a weed and a wildflower before we moved in. Luckily, one of my colleagues owned her own landscaping company in the past, so she has been such a Godsend in terms of coming over and helping me to learn what is what.
4. Getting to Know Your Neighbors is a Big Deal
We haven’t had a chance to meet many neighbors yet because it’s been so rainy that we’ve been stuck indoors. The ones we have met are so kind, and we’ve exchanged phone numbers and offers of mail pick up and plant watering in the future. This weekend, I’m baking cookies to meet the rest of the neighborhood and can’t wait! We also had a housewarming party just for the neighborhood.
5. Bird Feeders are All the Entertainment You Didn’t Know You Needed
Thank heavens for the previous owners. The wife had grown up on a farm, so she set up bird houses and bird feeders all around the property. The entertainment we get from watching the birds in the mornings and evenings has kept the TV off far more than on.
6. Binoculars and Bird Identification Guides are a Must
I think we are birders now.
7. Slippers and Slip-On Shoes are Needed at Each Entrance
Sometimes, I just want to pop in the backyard to check on the garden or hunt for morels (not yet successful). Lace up shoes are such a pain in the butt.
8. It Takes More Time to Furnish a House
It’s been a month, but we still don’t have any new furniture in the house, other than a kitchen table with no chairs. We thought we’d have people over and a housewarming by now, but that was wishful thinking!
9. You Don’t Want to Leave Home as Much
I have a few trips planned from before we moved. I just came back from a lavender farm in Northern Michigan, which was fabulous. To be honest, it’s a little hard to leave home!
10. There are a Lot of Surprise Expenses
Gutters? We need those cleaned. Water bill? This will be the first time we have one of those! An indoor and an outdoor broom? We need one of each. All the furniture we don’t have? Yeah, we’ll get to it.
It’s been such a learning experience for us to own a home in the suburbs. So far it’s awesome, but we have a lot of work to do! Let me know what you learned about living in the suburbs in the comments below!
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