Myself, why do we own so much stuff? This condo, on Mulberry Street, looked pretty big before we actually brought our stuff. Now the condo looks like a storage unit with people living here. I didn’t realize how many things we owned while living in Austin. That house never looked cluttered; I guess a garage and plenty of storage does that for a person.
It took moving all our stuff three times and losing the garage and 800 square feet to realize just how bad I am at organizing our stuff. How do you guys put away all of your things? I can’t imagine I’m the only person who has struggled with the dilemma of where to put everything. I’ve looked and I’ve looked and I’ve kept careful track, but I just can’t seem to figure it out.
It doesn’t help I live with 2 people (Thing 1 and Thing 2) who refuse to get rid of anything. My 11 year old daughter, Jessie, is a pack rat (Janet is too) and I’m not sure where she gets it from. I’m starting to believe that the crazy rules of genetics skip a generation. Jessie is a lot more like my mom than she is like me. Jessie loves to dance, draw, knit, bake, sew, and anything else even remotely crafty. I yawned twice just typing the list.
I have big dreams of going through everything and getting rid of most of it. In my dream, I’m helping Janet and Jessie work through the separation anxiety pack rats have. “Now you do as I say, you pack up those Things and you take them away.” And in my dreams, they do. In reality, they say, “They are so good, so good you see, we couldn’t possibly get rid of any of it!” And I did not like it, not one little bit.
Jessie has learned to give some things up like clothes and shoes which have started to cut off her circulation. There are some other things she won’t give up, much to my dismay. We bought Jessie a loft bed from IKEA, the kind with the desk underneath, and a futon for friends to sleep on several years ago when Jessie was a little tiny thing.
After moving into this condo, when we put her loft bed back together, we realized, oh good, she has 18 inches of room between her mattress and the popcorn ceiling. Watching her fold her 5 foot skinny frame up to the head of the bed every night is a funny sight. She gets up there with big bumps, jumps and kicks and with hops and big thumps and all kinds of bad tricks.
She insists she doesn’t want to give up her bed and she loves feeling snug as a bug every night (I swear I didn’t kennel train her as an infant). Jessie lies in bed, lifts her head up slightly, and tells me, “Up here, mom, I can keep my eyelids up and see what I can see.”
I’ve tried convincing her IKEA has quite a few lovely beds for her and I’ve even tried bribing her. I asked her, “Now, how can a puppy sleep in your bed at night with you so high up there?” Her response, “Mom, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.” Dang! What kid says that? She hangs out with adults too much, I’m thinking.
We sold her futon before we left Bend because sitting on the futon was kind of like sitting on a big pile of bricks. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve sat on and I can make myself comfortable just about anywhere, usually. But I would not, could not, get comfortable on the futon. Jessie hasn’t even noticed it’s absence.
We have a spare bedroom we’ll actually use as guest quarters instead of an office, just in case someone wants to come visit us here in the tundra. Before that can happen, I’ll have to stop using that room as storage, figure out what to do with all the boxes and stuff in the room, buy another bed, and put better lighting in there. But, hey! How long could that take? If you want to come by for a visit we do own a couple of inflatable beds. I’m sure I could find those if I looked.
We decided to use the dining room as an office and it’s worked out really well. Not only did we free up a spare bedroom to use as storage, I mean for guests, but we are really close to the kitchen. It takes 7 steps to get from the desk, which is strategically placed by the window and right over the heater, to the refrigerator, one of my favorite areas in the whole condo.
There are a few things I’d like for Jessie to keep around. One is her very first blankie, a small, very soft, Winnie the Poo blanket given to her as a gift. I want to keep some of our favorite childhood books, too, especially Dr. Seuss and the pigeon series. I spent many nights reading to Jessie and laughing along with pigeon on the bus and with Dr. Seuss in his crazy imaginative worlds.
I’ll keep working on talking Jessie into a new bed before she grows a foot overnight and gets stuck up there. I’ll keep working on unpacking the last hundred or so boxes. I’ll keep asking Janet, “Would you like this here or there?” I’ll try not to buy too many new things; I just don’t know where I’ll find the space for anything new. I guess I could just put new stuff in the spare storage unit upstairs. Oh wait, that’s for guests.