Friday, August 21st, 2009
Decluttering the house.
I am sitting in the living room, looking at the massive coffee table that’s a hand-me-down from Mom, and the whole thing is covered with STUFF. My wedding album and two scrapbooks, invoices and image CDs for my website work, Millie’s gutted tiger toy, the cats’ glove with all the fun stuff dangling off it, three Harry Potter DVDs and a few others watched recently, an audiobook borrowed from a friend, the binder of adoption stuff from our facilitator, a decorative tray holding foot lotion and a PBTeen catalog, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books (useless piece of junk, *grumble, grumble*), a few Summit Racing catalogs, a little container shaped like a green M&M, a lap desk, and a few random papers.
In the time it took to type that, I could’ve cleaned the whole thing off. But instead I am still sitting here. (I did finally file some invoices this morning, though.)
I must take a moment to point out that we have been gradually working on the clutter all year. We’ve made significant progress in the master bedroom. We built the walk-in closet we’d been planning for years, installed hanging rods and shelving, and I’ve gradually been converting everything to those flocked, slim-line hangers (on HSN they’re called by the stomach-turning name “Huggable Hangers”), which really do work to make everything in the closet more compact. No way could I fit in everything without them. We also organized D’s dresser drawers, and we are finally at the point where ALL our clothes have a place to be put away somewhere out of sight.
The laundry room, too, has seen major improvement. A couple months ago, we finally put away every stitch of clean clothing that was piled in there (which caused a crisis in the already-packed master bedroom, but we managed to solve that by putting away off-season clothes in Spacebags under the bed). A couple weeks ago, we pulled out the dryer, cleaned out the vent hose/pipe (which needed it desperately), and wiped down and/or vacuumed every surface in the room.
I also began organizing the adjacent office, but then someone broke into my car and scrambled around the mass quantities of stuff in my trunk (they didn’t get anything but loose change), which finally prompted me to bring said stuff into the house. This is stuff I haven’t seen or cared about in at least a year, so I have no idea what to do with most of it. So it ended up getting plunked in the office floor, right into the spot I had just conveniently cleared out. *Sigh.*
As for the kitchen, it’s about the same as always. Sometimes the counters are tidy and the table (mostly) cleared off; other times (like now) there is so much junk mail and other flotsam that I’m afraid it will develop intelligence and plot to overthrow us. It seems like Pottery Barn sends me a catalog every 10 minutes. We recycle all the zillion catalogs, but even the recycling bin is overflowing right now.
Selling stuff on eBay.
The guest room is full of inventory from my mostly-defunct eBay store. I sold plus size clothes for a while a couple years ago, but then we started the costume website, and that ate up all my time and there was none left for eBay.
Recently, I was selling off stuff in lots, but then I got frustrated when two people in a row won my auctions and didn’t pay. It takes like two weeks to resolve a non-paying bidder on eBay, and it makes me want to donate the whole roomful of clothes just to avoid the drama. But then again, there’s the equivalent of a lot of money sitting there in my guest room. Anyone out there wear size 18/20 clothes? That’s mostly the size I have left now. They’re new and mostly from Torrid, with a few from Lane Bryant, Old Navy, Alloy and Delias. I sell a lot of 8 pieces (shirts, tops, skirts, dresses, pants, etc.) for $40, plus $12 shipping within the U.S.
I lost 21 pounds this spring, working out four times a week, doing the treadmill, lifting weights, yoga, crunches, etc. But all the recent vacations and fertility treatments and whatnot contributed to my falling out of the habit. Now I exercise more like one time a week.
I know I would feel better if I got back to exercising every other day. It felt good to notice myself getting stronger, and to put away piles of too-big clothes in storage. I haven’t met my goal yet – another 9 pounds to go. And then I’d like to set another, lower goal.
But somehow, though it would probably help things, it’s hard to get motivated to lose weight while doing fertility treatments. What’s the point of struggling to shave off a couple of pounds when I might get pregnant and gain it back? Especially when these stupid meds make me feel like a bloated, slow-moving parade float.
I should go get on the treadmill right now. Or walk the dogs. Or I could sit right here.
I recently got interested in sewing felt “softies.” I made a felt elephant for my friend with a circus-themed nursery and a felt owl for myself and a fabric-and-felt cat that turned out less-than-awesome. I loved the way sewing – hand-sewing in particular – took my mind off the pressing matters of adoption and infertility. I couldn’t obsess over that stuff when I was busy obsessing over getting stitches exactly the same size and distance apart. Around the same time, I painted a stylized version of the solar system on canvas for our future kid’s room, and that distracted me from my insanity for a day.
Just doing some with my hands again – creating something – made me feel more like myself. I grew up with a crafty mom, the kind who was always making flowery curtains or puff-painted T-shirt dresses or crocheted poodles (what can I say – it was the 80′s). My sister and I both had artsy-craftsy interests, and went through phases of drawing classes, painting classes and ceramic painting (my favorite product of which was the enormous lavender unicorn that decorated my room for waaaay too many years). We won poster contests and made a realistic Native American log house out of reeds and invented a magazine spoofing Teen Beat and Bop. We made our own board game called Rad or Bad (I must tell you more about it some time), drew pencil portraits of our favorite celebrity crushes, and – after watching Just One of the Guys – made naked posters for our Ken dolls’ bedrooms.
As an adult, I went through a phase of doll-making and later doll-clothes sewing. Then we got this house, and it became the grown-up outlet for my creative energies. Painting walls, designing shelves for a niche in the bathroom, ripping out flooring.
But even that has fallen by the wayside somewhat in the past couple of years as the major projects of kitchen and bathroom have been (mostly) completed.
So now I need to resort, again, to arts and crafts. That’s fine with me. Only my fingers feel too tired to hold a needle just now. Maybe next week.