Sunday, July 22, 2012

Going Into the Closet

I'm glued to the computer today, since I was productive yesterday; the boyfriend is out of town, so I cleaned the house and had a little get-together with some work friends. I think my living situation surprised my friends, who are 21, 22, and 19. They were amazed that a house lived in by a college student and recent graduate could be so "grown-up" and clean. What's more, I gladly took to the "mama bear" role and made food, insisted they stay over, and then made breakfast for them. It felt AMAZING to have people over just because, (especially after feeling a little down and reclusive after my accident) and to feel good about it because everything was clean. I was proud to show off my home. I did warn them about the garage, because while half the house is clean and organized, the other half is boxed up and in the garage waiting for our move in 3-4 days.

So back to being glued to the computer (and Law & Order). I'm looking into ways that I can organize the closets in the bedrooms and the laundry closet in the kitchen for our new place. I'd like to share some of what I've found, and I apologize if this post is pinterest-y.

This is a picture of a similar condo and the laundry and pantry closets
I have several of these collapsing fabric totes in black and white, they're in the bedroom closet now, with smaller clothing items and things less frequently needed

I like the idea of labeling totes in an attractive way, no guessing about the contents of my fabric totes

These wire baskets look like a miracle. These might find homes in the laundry closet...and the pantry...and every other closet.

Shelf dividers will come in handy for keeping folded stacks straight. It might be convenient to just keep clean kitchen linens in the laundry closet. Because it's right in the kitchen (versus us having to take a basket down to our basement), we're going to try just adding dirty laundry to the washer daily, and when someone adds enough to fill the machine, the load is washed.

This little ottoman is adorable, and the fact that it has hidden storage is a bonus. This made me think of another concept...

This is one of those benches you put at the end of the bed. I'm thinking since we don't have a million blankets to store, this could be used for shoes! SHOES! But seriously, it's out of sight, and still easily accessible. This thought also makes me wonder if a storage bench could be near the front door, as a "taking shoes off- bench" that would in-turn store said shoes.

In general, there's always room to ditch stuff too. When these organizational things come in, something else has to go out. I know, personally, that just buying organizational systems and parts doesn't clean up, and doesn't fix the situation. More often, the cleaning out has to be done before the cleaning up can really be successful. I think, when we move in, I may try the six month hanger rule. It consists of hanging all your clothes on hangers backwards, and as you wear each piece, you rehang it (clean) the normal way. At a glance, in six months, you can tell what you haven't worn. I am keeping a few pieces that I would normally already be able to toss (volunteer t-shirts) but I plan on using them if we paint the condo. I'd like to take pictures when we do our initial walk through for the lease, and progress photos for moving in. If anyone can learn from my mistakes, or make suggestions, it's a win-win.

As for my poor Subaru, I'm still in the market for a car and will use the excitement for moving to keep my spirits high. Thanks to everyone who expressed their concern.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Perspective While Spinning at 70mph

 What a Wednesday. I left work an hour early to meet my boyfriend and look at couches for our new condo. Turns out, that wasn't in the cards. On the way up, while going 70mph on the interstate, a semi merged into my right front tire and spun me. The next time I looked out my windows I was perpendicular to the semi who was still coming towards me. At this point...things started to go out of focus, and come into perspective. I saw the semi's tires feet from my driver side door. You know those moments when you're driving, and you think, wow, that was close. Instead, the semi kept coming.

He swerved to the right again, and clipped my right back tire, spinning me again into the guardrail. I ricocheted between the guardrail and semi a few times before the semi broke loose and I came to a stop, miraculously on all four wheels, pointing mostly the right way.

 I walked away, my car certainly didn't. I had just cleaned it out, when I had to grab everything before it was towed, I was thanking my lucky stars that everything in the car fit in my purse. I haven't hit the mental wall yet, it feels surreal still. These pictures look like some other person's car, and when my boyfriend drove me home last night I entirely expected to see my car in the garage.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I don't know what this feels like

I noticed this post on reddit early this morning, and when I looked at the picture, I giggled, but then I realized that this isn't a reality for me. When I go home, there is no bed in that room. Technically, yes, it's there somewhere. But functionally it doesn't exist. There are piles of crap stacked high all over the room.

My boyfriend and I have been struggling to find a new apartment to move into next week, and until we found one recently, it was a very real possibility that we might have to move in with our parents for a few weeks. Because of my dog, that made it a likely place to go. Any time I brought it up with my boyfriend, he'd joke "Oh yeah? Where are we going to stay?"

I'm grateful that we found a place when we did, because logistically there's no way we would have fit in their three bedroom, one and a half bathroom house...even though it has a full sized basement and family room with fold out bed and locking door. I know I'm not the only one, but it's incredibly frustrating, knowing I can't go home, even if I wanted to.

Our new apartment is a much different layout compared to the split level townhouse we're in now, and we're excited to make it our own for a year. The landlord has also agreed that in the interest of selling the condo after we leave, we can do minor to moderate updates. Some of the first tasks include installing ceiling fans in the bedrooms, and maybe painting. We're not going to rip out cabinets, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of furnishing and organizing a new space. If anyone is passing through east central Iowa, look me up, can't wait to entertain :)

I'm starting to apply the energy and inspiration I had for my mother's shop and home, into my own, for me. I'm not abandoning her, but she still says she's working on the house, and since I haven't been there in a month or so, I'm not jumping to conclusions one way or the other. Although I wish I could post here every day like before, my full time job is taking up a large chunk of my time, and I'm really okay with the fact that my parents' hoarding isn't consuming all my thoughts.