The house is done for values of done. By which I mean all that’s left is cleaning the remaining living room floor (about one fourth) and polishing the wood in the back hall, and then cleaning the kitchen. However, the painting, flooring and heavy lifting is done. I might need to help the guys paint the fence, but we’ll see.
However, what I’ve found is that we have way too much … stuff.
Most of the stuff we have too much of are cleaning implements and tools. How many jigsaws can a woman have? This woman, at least four. Three sanders. Five stapleguns. This is not counting the endless packages of special cleaning cloths, the FIVE count them five glass cleaner bottles, the…
You get the picture, right. So, how did we get here?
We got here mostly by having large storage spaces for both tools and cleaning implements. (And food. More on that later.) Oh, and lousy memories.
Because I spent so much time busy and overworked and sick, I’d TOTALLY forget I’d bought a saw or a sander. OR more commonly I knew I’d bought it, but I couldn’t find it when I needed it. This was made worse by carrying things from house to house. For instance, I have sheers for every imaginable window, except the windows at this house.
The saws, mostly were because I never unpacked boxes from the other house and decided the saws were lost in the move.
We’ve found a similar problem with the deep freezer.
Before we had the kids we made do with the freezer in the fridge. Then a year after Robert was born, my inlaws drove from Ohio to North Carolina bearing their old freezer as a gift.
At the time I was flabbergasted by the idea. You must understand that at that time we rarely could afford more than one meal at a time. Of course my inlaws had also brought us several blocks of Pennsylvania cheese. Which went into the freezer.
Over the next three years, though, the freezer was often clean and empty. Notwithstanding which, out of a sense of obligation, we carried it with us from house to house.
Then life got a little better, and I discovered sales. Things like the week before Thanksgiving, we’d buy all the discounted turkeys we could and I’d chop them into faux veal scallops, and stuffed thigh roasts and… and we’d live off it for three months.
The problem came when the writing became a job, rather than a somewhat paying hobby. No, I’m not complaining, but it was a disaster for my housekeeping.
You see, I could no longer take three days to cut up a turkey or that great roast at a great price into smaller meals. So I’d shove them in the freezer and forget them.
The forget them was the big problem. When I started looking at moving stuff from the freezer a lot, if not most, of it was freezerburned and past its prime.
So we didn’t move the freezer and I don’t hit the meat sales. Weirdly, that means we’re spending less. (Well, not this last month, because we’ve been eating out, because there is no strength left to cook. THOUGH I’m a cheap date. I get so tired I can’t eat, so I just have a glass of milk before bed.)
The problem with the cleaners and tools is similar. It’s okay to have storage and keep a lot of stuff when you are doing primarily cleaning and fixing. But my job now is writing (again not complaining.) This means I will clear forget from one year to the other that I even have a staplegun, or more likely where the heck I put the thing the last time I used it.
So part of the clearing up is going to be “pick one of the thing I use every once in a while” ONE and put it in a place we remember and where all the tools are.
As for the deep freezer – almost brand new – it will stay. Particularly right now, at the cusp of the boys moving out, and with this sort of internal feel that my writing is about to become way more important/demanding, I don’t see much use for it. I had the fleeting thought that I could cook once a week and freeze the meals, but then we’ll just forget them. Better if I do that to keep the meals in the fridge, where we’ll remember them.
And that’s what’s left: other than the fence and finding someone to build two steps and a little platform in the back – reevaluating our lifestyle going forward.
Weirdly, abundance and trying to save money can cost you more money and infinitely more time/clutter. It’s time to change that.
So today we go over and clean. And tomorrow we start looking for a place for older boy.
And then I can write.