Living in a city during a global pandemic is…not ideal. After months of quarantining just the two of us, Kev and I decided that for our mental health and wellbeing, we would attempt to spend the summer in our hometown of Mystic, CT. We thought a little water, some sunshine, and a change of scenery (when would we both ever be able to work from home again?!) would do our souls some good. So we set out to find a place we could spend the summer months without breaking the bank.
In May, my mom happened to be walking and stumbled upon a rental in a great area. She sent us the number and we called, assuming that the rental would not be simply for the summer months. To our surprise, our landlord was understanding of the situation and willing to rent to us from May-August. We were thrilled! But then the reality of it all hit and we found ourselves asking, “how in the world will we furnish this place without spending a fortune?” Together, we compiled a list of things that we would need, what we had already that we could bring with us, and what we would need to purchase. When I say “list,” what I really mean is a color-coded, room by room spreadsheet with price lists or where specifically each item was coming from. I’ll admit it, I went a little overboard…but it worked!
Our goal was to spend the least amount possible and to only purchase what we needed. To do this, we had a few major strategies:
1 – Take what we could from our Boston apartment that we wouldn’t need while we were away and was easy to transport
For example, we had just gotten a new TV stand, so we were able to bring our old one and the TV from our bedroom to use for the summer. We brought our extra sheets and towels, an old clean shower curtain, some kitchen favorites (how adult to have a favorite mixing bowl, no?), and a few photos and all of our plants for decor.
2- Reach out to family and friends (hello Facebook!) to see if anyone had the items we needed
Between items our families had stored away for us (like our old bed and our kitchen table we took down to fit our Peloton…lol), items they had but were not using (a bedside table, a coffee table Kev’s grandfather made years ago, and an area rug for the living room), and those that friends were looking to get rid of (like a window AC unit and a set of pots and pans), we only needed a few big things.
3- For the things we could not bring or find from others, we purchased budget friendly items
This may have meant outfitting our entire kitchen for $75 from the Dollar Tree (plates and bowls for a dollar each, what?!) and ordering a few items online spending about . Here is what we ended up getting:
-A super cute, but not super comfortable, couch from Wayfair – $285
–A floor lamp because we have no built in lighting – $80
–Curtains for our big living room windows – $30 ($5 per sheer from Walmart)
-A few organizational shelves and miscellaneous decor items (linked here!) – roughly $150
-I was also fortunate enough that Comfy Sacks provided me with this awesome bean bag lounger that I have been living in all summer. Check out the video below to see how it went from a small box to a six foot lounger:
Obviously, we were very fortunate to be able to spend the summer away and still keep our Boston apartment. We used our vacation/travel fund for much of our time in Mystic because, you know, traveling in 2020 isn’t quite happening for us. It was worth it, though, to spend time in our hometown and with family while we had the opportunity.
If you are planning a visit to Mystic, be on the lookout for a blog post with some of my favorite local spots! And stay tuned for updates on our move back to Boston…and into another new apartment. Send good vibes because, boy, are we going to need them!