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April 2011
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gwen [userpic]
moving mess thoughts.

One of the things about moving under any circumstances is that it takes some time to find new places for everything. When you're moving on your own (or if you're moving with someone you've already been living with, roommate or relationship), you can at least move your patterns along with you, and your stuff is findable in at least similar locations, if not the original furniture item. When you move in with someone who has been living somewhere, you learn their preset patterns and map to them; this may cause you some confusion at first, but at least the other person can help. Moving into a new apartment with a new person (or people) means that you have to find new methods of doing things, new places to put stuff. I am in this position now.

Moreover, he and I are combining stuff entirely, so we have to find all of the redundant stuff and remove it. And worse, we're moving into a place that is about the same amount of square footage as one of our apartments was, so we have to get rid of a lot of stuff, much less find places -- and worse, space -- to put the stuff we're keeping.

So, two and a half months after our first move-in, and I've finally unearthed the dining room table from under the mound of boxes. The boxes are not done, mind you, there are still about a dozen left waiting to be gone through, their contents sifted and sorted, and either put... somewhere... in the house (for now) or sent off to Freecycle or Goodwill or that worthy charity I just read about, or perhaps just a friend. The stuff we get rid of is the easy stuff right now, really.

The problem is what we're keeping. There are now mounds and mounds of stuff on the floor all over the house. "I'm intending to put this on the desk after it moves to the room I want it in," or "I need to go through this pile of clothes one more time to get rid of more of them," or "This pile is waiting on shelves to be put in."

It frustrates me. I lust after shelving units on IKEA's site. I dig through Target's site looking for easy remedies to storage issues in the bathroom and kitchen (in fact, the only mad money I've spent this month has been on a wall-mount spice rack). My boyfriend wisely vetoed my plan to visit The Container Store while we were in Columbus, OH (I am still sad about this!) The obsession with vessels for stuff consumes me.

But worse, I cannot find anything. I don't mean the power cord for the portable speakers that's somewhere in a box, but rather: day to day mail. I used to put it on a mail table just inside the door, my boyfriend a similar deal. Well, "just inside the door" has been a mound of boxes ever since we moved in, and I only just found the mail table again last night. So, two and a half months' worth of mail is scattered around willy nilly... contributing to the mess, of course.

It all saddens me. I fell in love with the house because it is beautiful inside, but the mess has now consumed it and made it ugly. I look around and see the potential marred by the sheer amount of stuff laying about. I try to find new places for the stuff to go, but more is coming out of boxes faster than I can put it away; and, of course, there is the stuff that belongs on "that thing we have yet to buy/make." It can be totally overwhelming.

I know I will conquer it yet, I have been succeeding in little doses here and there. In fact, tonight I hope to finally have a dining room table! But in the meantime, I will continue to lust after large plastic bins with hinge lids, and wonder when it was I became my mother.

Current Mood: quixoticquixotic
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

If we're still playing Tetris by November I am going to be very sad.

Sorry for the long response...

I just wanted to tell you that I understand completely and know how overwhelming it feels. I had a similar situation when I moved into my house about a year ago.

The sad part was that it was all my stuff. Boxes and miscellaneous items piled everywhere, a small path snaking through it all. I dug through boxes when I needed something versus putting it all way for 2 MONTHS. It was ridiculous.

I actually didn't attack the mess fully until after I started dating Dan. He cracked the whip and together we got it done. He and I came up with a solution that worked well:

I dumped all the "not sure what the hell to do with" items and "misc" boxes in the basement. I then was able to make the rest of the house functional and work on the heaps of stuff in the basement at my "leisure".

Though it's been nearly a year and there are still piles I haven't touched, but at least the top 2 floors are clean and organized.

I am really trying to break my packrat ways that I too, inherited from my Mother. I worry about what would happen if I became severely ill or suddenly died. The mess would be so unfair for someone else to deal with.

Best of luck to you guys as you tackle the task at hand. If you have a basement or space to solely use at a "sorting center" I highly recommend that method.

Re: Sorry for the long response...

Yes, the biggest fear I have is that my house becomes like my mom's: A perfect target for "Clean House".

I need to get a bunch of big plastic bins for the basement idea. Our basement is a wet one, so just sticking stuff down there willy nilly is a problem. However, my plan is to put all the house decor stuff in the basement until I have the rest of the place clean enough to set everything up.