Sunday, September 09, 2012

September already?

September already?

Nico was overtired yesterday evening and ended up going to bed about 45 minutes early, so I decided to take advantage of the unexpected extra time and get some organizing done in our bedroom. I've been buying things here and there for months with the intention of saving them for Nico for Christmas, but I never remember what all I've bought. I pulled everything out of my closet and down from the catch-all storage bookcase, consolidated everything into two boxes for storage, and made a list in my phone of everything I have. By the time I got done with that, MB had dozed off on the couch. I was rolling along pretty well and didn't want to waste good decluttering momentum, so I decided to tackle organizing and decluttering the storage bookcase and the top of my dresser. The dresser-top felt particularly important because that's where we are planning to move the printer. Right now our router (I was going to say modem and really had to think about whether that was correct. Am old.), printer, stack of printer paper, and our Apple airport thingie are all on an end table in the guest room, and they'll need a new home once the guest room becomes a baby room.

I don't really love the idea of putting the giant printer on my dresser, mostly because I'm selfish and like being able to pile clothes there that fall into the "wore it but not enough to require washing" category. I also keep a small laundry basket up there as a holding facility for Nico's clean clothes since I almost always do laundry after he's in bed. I guess the clothes-piling could continue even with a printer taking up half, but Nico's basket would have to go somewhere else. If we do end up using the dresser for all the printery stuff, I'm thinking it might be nice to get some kind of two-tiered storage shelf so we can stack the printer on top of all the other stuff and save space. Another option might be to put a little shelf or cart thing in that space between the dresser and the wall, where MB currently piles his work clothes (he takes those back to work and turns them in to a laundry service). I think we could squeeze another small hamper into his closet along with our regular one, but he might not like that idea too much. So it'll come down to my space to pile clothes preference versus his how many hampers in the closet preference, I suppose. What do other people do who have a printer but no home office space?

After I got the dresser and bookcase done, I moved on to the stacked-up boxes along our bedroom wall, where they've been since way back when I cleaned out our hoarder-room and turned it into Nico's playroom. Apparently I am a rank amateur and yet again neglected to take any "before" pictures, thus robbing myself of the satisfaction of proving how much work I did. Here's a photo from the second-to-last phase of the process, after all the boxes were sorted but before I started moving them down to the basement:

I had originally planned to keep only the sentimental bits and pieces I could fit into one storage tub, but I ended up with a bunch of stuff that I didn't feel was important enough to go into long-term storage in the attic but that I also wasn't quite ready to throw out. It's that category of stuff that has stalled me on this project at least twice, so this time I decided to cut myself a little slack. I did get rid of a few boxes of stuff, between the Goodwill pile and the recycle pile and the throw-away pile. The not-precious but not-worthless stuff only filled one office paper box after all, which feels pretty reasonable. That box, a box of games and electronics stuff that I wasn't sure about, a box of photo frames and photo albums with no homes, and a box of papers to sort and file went down to be stored in the basement. That left me with only what you see in the photo below, which is such an improvement. The boxes to the left in this picture are full of things destined to be consigned, posted to Craigslist for sale, or donated to Goodwill. The green tub is the definitely-keeping keepsakes box and is going to the attic. The boxes on top of the green tub are full of odds and ends that need to be distributed to other parts of the house. The blue tub over on the far right and the box on top of it are maternity clothes that I don't quite need yet.

Looking at this, I'm realizing the windows look weird and bare. We had two-tier white old lady curtains that came with the house up until about six months ago when I finally got sick of how much dust and dog hair they collected, took them down to wash them, and never put them back up. I don't really care all that much about window treatments and wouldn't mind keeping the bare blinds indefinitely, but I think MB prefers curtains. Someday maybe we'll get around to de-wallpapering our room and painting, and then we can buy or have my mom make curtains to match. In the meantime, no one is going to see the windows but us, so I'm not too concerned. And oh, God, that dreamcatcher is really tacky and embarrassing and cringeworthy, right? Every time I take a picture in there I think about taking it down, but I got it in Arizona when I was twelve, during the biggest family vacation my parents ever took us on, and I can't help myself, I'm ridiculously sentimentally attached to it.

This huge project has never just been about getting rid of stuff. That's part of it, obviously, but it's more about learning to occupy less space. It's about living in a way that is better for Nico, who needs room to grow, and for MB, who feels stressed and unhappy in a cluttered environment. I guess ultimately it's about appreciating who is in my life more than what is in it, as horribly schmoopy as that sounds. So when I finished around 11:45, even though my back was achy and I had dust up my nose, I felt like playing a triumphant anthem and doing a victory lap. Piece by piece, it's getting done.

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