Monday, February 28, 2011

This Old House

I have a love/hate relationship with my house. It was built the same year that I was born, which means its getting up there. Now, don't get me wrong, these old houses (mine is sort of a Cape Cod style farm house) are full of charm. The first time I saw it, it was vacant and I pressed my face up to the windows and peered in. I was fairly newly married and our first child was on his way. We were living in a tiny house and we needed more space. This house fit that bill but, it needed some TLC. I love 'diy' projects so I saw nothing but possibilities. It was love at first sight. We bought it and have lived here since 1985. But, after years of projects and money spent, the kids have left home and ... well ... we have space. The downside is that its filled with stuff. I have been on a decluttering bent for a few weeks now and it is helping but, I can still see all of the flaws that old houses have and that there is really no cure for. Closets are plentiful in this house but, they are not well laid out. The idea of walk in closets and master baths wasn't even a consideration when this house was built. Still, our rooms are large and full of light and the house feels wonderful. But then wait, I know everything that needs attention and its daunting. The more I clean out, the better I feel and yet I know that our days in this house have to be numbered. It is just too much house for elderly people ... which is exactly why the previous owner and builder sold it to us. That's right, we are only the second family to ever live here. Both owners raised wonderful families here and I like to think that this house was built for kids. That point was brought home to me this afternoon when a young repairman came in and told me that his wife would absolutely fall in love with this house. I offered to sell it to him ... nope. Guess that was a little abrupt. Anyway, someday in the not-too-distant future we will move on. We will be sad. We will remember all of the memories of raising our family here. But, it is my hope that a young, enthusiastic family gets the house and has years of making their own memories here. And then, I'm going to have all of the modern amenities in my next house yet in a scaled down size. I will set out to make that home a place for new memory making.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Organizing Update

And so it continues .... my getting organized that is. I have now cleaned out and reorganized the two major trouble spots (pantries) in my home. Ah, such a feeling of lightness. We can walk into both pantries (yes they are large) and not trip or have to shove stuff around to get what we want. It is so motivating that I took today to go purchase drawer organizers and storage baskets so that I may continue in this mode. I don't believe that I will miss a single thing that I got rid of and I have actual empty shelves that I do not feel any need to fill at this time ... if ever. I have been inspired by all of the online bloggers who have been following an 'organization challenge' and it is paying off. Join me ... you'll feel better, I promise.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Enough Is Too Much

Well, I like reading other peoples' blogs ... especially having to do with decorating and/or organizing. I used to be an organized person. No really, I was. I don't know what happened. I moved into this house and it was huge compared with places I had lived before. It had unlimited storage ... well, it still has it but, we've filled it up. Somewhere along the way, while raising two kids and getting busy with life, the clutter took up residence and multiplied. I have been trying and threatening to do something about it now since the kids left home. Its still there ... mostly. One of the blogs that I read is called 'Thrifty Decor Chick'. Now I don't know this woman but, I love her. She calls the process of getting rid of things and organizing 'decrapification' and I just love that term. I mean, who has not asked themselves "Why do I have all of this crap?" Her before and after photos are to die for. I just cannot deal with my mess any longer. So, let the games begin. I have designated an extra garage bay for the temporary destination for everything that is leaving this house. I also forewarned my kids that they can have whatever they want to haul away but, it is definitely out of here and not coming back. We started today with a large pantry off the laundry room. My gosh, who knew that the pantry could look so good and feel so roomy. I actually have empty shelves and can walk right on in without stepping over crap. Bliss! I've got to go buy some of those cute little organizing bins that 'Decor Chick' uses so I can keep various items corralled but still, major improvement has been accomplished. It feels so good that I am going to keep going until every nook and cranny of this old house contains only what we really need or want. I'm still deciding if I'm insane enough to do a garage sale but, if not, I'm pretty sure that Goodwill will want to see me coming.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where Am I?

Well, there is nothing like a good wedding to transport a person forward in time and make them wonder if it really happened. And, it was a very good wedding. All of the painstaking plans came off without a hitch, the venues were stunning and the bride ... well, she's my daughter but, she was simply breathtaking. Her intended was not too shabby himself. A good time was had by all. Of course, just when I thought I could breath ... have a little rest and relaxation ... a family emergency caused me to fly with my mother to the east coast. Needless to say, that is not the best of ideas in January but, it couldn't be helped. We went so that my mother could say her goodbyes to her elder sister who was dying. We managed to get there in time and she was lucid enough so the two women could have some time to say their goodbyes and my mom could get some closure. We had planned to stay a week and so we were left with a couple of days after my aunt's passing to help her husband deal with her personal effects. It was a good thing. Then, the 'storm of the century' hit the midwest and there was no way we were going to be able to fly home on that day. Furthermore, air traffic was so disrupted that we had to stay an additional three days. By that time we had been there ten days and had run out of charming little places to dine or get coffee. We were ready to get home. So, we headed off to the Roanoke airport early on a Saturday morning. It was not to be ... well, at least not timely. The airport was socked in with fog and we sat in that tiny airport for nine hours. Our flights were cancelled and rebooked about three times in that one day. Finally, we were able to get to Charlotte, NC and from there to Phoenix. But, alas, there were no more flights out of Phoenix to Portland on Saturday night so we spent the night there ... sans luggage. If you've ever had that experience, enough said. We got out of Phoenix and into Portland at about noon on Sunday and drove the roughly two hours home. By this time, my mom had been sick for a few days and was not doing well and I was beginning to come down with the crud as well. My brother collected mom and took her home and I have been sleeping and/or vegging out since. I have now lost about two weeks since the wedding. Ah, the best laid plans. No spring cleaning and decluttering has happened. The fun vacation with a friend has not happened. But mostly I feel like I have been stuck in the "Twilight Zone" and it hasn't been fun. I'm really looking forward to getting life back on track. After all, there is another family wedding coming up in July!