We received notice from our landlord 6 months ago to vacate the apartment we called home.  At first I thought we were in some kind of legal trouble.  The notice came from the ‘huissier’ which means bailiff.  Immediately visions of courtrooms came to my head.  But after more research, I determined what it was and put it off to the side. After all, we were fully expecting to leave Paris by early 2016. We were not expecting to be moving apartments.

Then one month ago, the realization set in that David’s company was not moving us before April 1.  The apartment hunt went into full swing.  It was all such a blur that I didn’t even post about my apartment hunt in International House Hunters style.  Just like I did for our first apartment.

In one day, I saw four apartments all by myself.  (David was too busy with work and couldn’t take the day off).  Deciding which apartment to take all by myself was one of the more anxiety filled things I’ve ever done.  Especially since I have poor spatial awareness.

Immediately after telling the agent we’d take it, I thought our furniture wouldn’t fit.  And panic struck.

A week later, both David and I returned for the entrance inspection and the key handover.  This is common practice and it records any pre-existing issues that the new tenants cannot be held responsible for.  That’s when we found out David barely has 2 inches of clearance above his head in the shower.  Too late…the apartment was due to become ours either way.

A few days later, I went over with cleaning supplies to get the apartment spotless for our permanent arrival.  My granny shopping cart came in handy for hauling the vacuum, mop & bucket and 10 bottles of toxic chemicals.

Then the day came to pack up our stuff.  The moving company arrived 7:30am to start packing!

I had done some pre-work to clean our drawers and closets.  That’s when I found out I was harbouring a dozen empty jars and a five-year supply of toothpicks.  I clearly had spare kitchen space.

The best part of moving is throwing things out.  And finding things you forgot you had.  In many ways, moving is a cleansing process.

When we first moved 3 years ago, we were amazing by the genius way the moving company brings furniture into old apartments.  It’s called the ‘monte mueble‘ which translates to “furniture lift.”

But about half hour into the operation, the police came and told them they couldn’t block the street.  That’s when we learned they never had permission from the Prefecture de Police to use it.  They just take their chances every time.

So everything went down the 3-person elevator or the three flights of stairs.

And just like that our home for the past 3 years was empty.

The real work was just about to begin.

Luckily for the movers, they could use the furniture lift at our new place.  Otherwise it would have been up five flights of stairs with a lot of heavy furniture and boxes.  Our new apartment has the tiniest elevator I’ve ever seen.  Within the hour our new apartment was full and buzzing with activity.

David and I spent the rest of the night and the whole next day putting everything in place.  It immediately started to feel like home.

I already love our new place.  It is spacious and bigger than our last place.  It gets lots of sunlight.  It’s on a quiet street.  It’s perfect for entertaining.  I have the double sejour (a living room that is open to the dining room) that I’ve always dreamed of.  And a separate office.  We have a cave (a space in the basement) to store all our luggage and random items. (which is also the creepiest part of living in an old building).  The two large balconies are amazing. The ceilings and the building are just gorgeous.   We’re next to Rue du Commerce: a bustling shopping street in the heart of the 15th.  The church bells we hear in the evening is quite nice.  I am a 4 minute walk from Crossfit.

It has come with some ‘sacrifices’.  I traded my beloved kitchen for a smaller space (although still pretty generous by Parisian standards).  The water pressure in the bathroom isn’t so great.  The bathroom is also quite small.  I can hear my neighbours quite clearly when all is quiet.  And my neighbour plays the piano every day (Actually we had a piano player next door at our old place as well.)  Sometimes that’s a beautiful bonus of living here.  But when I hear the Downton Abbey theme song for the 10th straight time… well… then it’s not so great.

We are still settling into our new place.  Our cat Sadie was thoroughly disoriented the first few days.  I still feel like I am.  I go the wrong direction to get to the bathroom. I open the wrong cupboards in the kitchen when I’m looking for plates.  I still press the 3rd floor button on the elevator instead of the 5th.

We finally handed over the keys of our old place yesterday during our exit inspection.  The landlord was there and by the end of the visit, his wife and daughter came.  His daughter will be the one living there now.

And we were sad to say goodbye.

Feels like an end of an era.   The beginning of the end of our time in Paris.

The memories we made there were so wonderful.   The fiasco in installing that kitchen.  The parties! The dinners.  The meals and coffee breaks on the balcony.  The friends and family who graciously stayed there sleeping on the couch or an air mattress in the cramped room.   Our guardienne (the building’s caretaker) who was so friendly and kind.  She sometimes took care of Sadie when we went away.  And I was able to practice my Portuguese when speaking with her.  The handful of people I usually crossed paths with in the elevator: the old lady with her white dog. The old silver haired man who always smiled.   The Spanish family next door with 4 kids that always screamed and cried each morning before going to school.

We’ll make new memories now in our new place.  We hope to stay here as long as possible.  But we know our time in Paris is close to ending.  And sure, we’ve been saying that for the past 6 months.

Either way, we’re going to squeeze as much out of it as possible.

About Author

My name is Emilia - I love versatile trips! You might find me at a trendy new restaurant one night, but the next day you're just as likely to find me at a local market sampling exotic foods. I'm open to just about anything when I travel and I want to encourage you to be open too!