I know, it is only January 7th but we are hooked! And know that June won't be like January, so better to clean when it is 2 degrees out than when it is 75 degrees and there are veggies to harvest and process!
Our weekend plans changed dramatically when we were on our way to have dinner with friends Friday evening and Alida threw up in the car. Terah already had a cold, but this appeared to be a new bug of some kind and one we clearly didn't want to share around (nor did she feel up for socializing with others). So back home we went to get her cleaned up. And she has spent most of the last 36 hours laying around (with a couple of those hours spent being entertained by Curious George movies from the library). In the end, due to illness in both households, we also rescheduled the meal we had planned to take to friends last evening so all of a sudden Saturday dawned and was wide open for me.
Jason and Kali had already planned to spend a good part of the day in the garage splitting her climbing tree down into boards with wedges (in preparation for turning it into her hanging bunk bed). But I was not involved in that project so the day was there in front of me and room #2 was calling my name!
It was the last "easy grab" and so I went for it. And the easy grab ended up taking me ALL DAY (minus, of course, the time spent feeding people, getting spoonfuls of tea into Alida, stoking the fire, my work hours for CJP during Terah's afternoon nap and other random small tasks). I think the lesson is firmly imprinted in my mind - I told Jason last evening that no other rooms can be done without a full day and without both of us fully engaged. And I think some rooms we are going to need to split out into "part 1" and "part 2." I think it would be overly optimistic to think we could do the kitchen in a day, for example! Maybe cupboards in one day and the rest on another or something like that. I don't want to skimp on any parts of the process so better to make realistic goals and do it right!
There was less stuff to take out of the bathroom so I was able to do that on my own and all the cleaning by sundown. My biggest take away: Spiders poop a lot! The wall cleaning felt particularly satisfying in the bathroom, thanks to them. The floor was not disappointing either!
The one thing I had not removed was a colored lamp we had salvaged from Martin House before they tore down the community living house I had spent my last unmarried year of life living in. The cord of it was affixed to the baseboard making it difficult for me to remove. And I didn't question that we would want to keep it. There enters Jason - this is why this is a team effort!
I admit that I was a bit of a slacker by not pulling it out, but we had said things that were "installed" didn't necessarily have to be removed. But what a good exercise to question everything. Do we really need it? Does it still serve its intended purpose (the non-sentimental one that is)? In the end the answer seemed to be "no." In fact, we admitted that leaving that light on had actually been annoying sometimes and was too much light at night. So last night was our first night without it. The only person that has missed it to date is Terah. When I took her potty early this morning she was disoriented and wanted me to turn the light on. I was able to distract her from that by the two new little night lights. I think we'll all be used to it in no time. Now to see if any of my Martin House housemates need such a lamp in their homes as I'm still struggling with the thought of Gift and Thrifting it! It was a great fit for the "diaper changes at night" phase of our parenting with Terah but it appears that that is now in our past (a subject for another blog post but it appears that Terah's interest in running around with no clothes on has more or less done the trick for her regarding potty training too - thanks kiddo!).
The putting back in was easier in some ways for this room until the last two drawers. It was pretty obvious we were putting the toilet back in and our bath towels and the shower curtain... But oh the drawers of hair things and chapsticks and random lotions and outdated medicine. That is what took us until about 10 p.m. And I was tired by that time and sometimes tiredness makes me grumpy but sometimes it makes me feel silly. Let's just say that Jason, Kali and I were laughing a lot as we sorted through our collection of "things to rub on people."
Once again pulling everything out made all the difference in the world. It's one thing to leave an almost used up bottle of sunscreen in a drawer that is bound to frustrate the next person who tries to get some out of it. It is another thing to deliberately put it back in the drawer after removing it. We tossed a lot of such items and I am 100% sure no one will miss them! Those are the hardest things for me though - things that really don't have any use for anyone else but if we took the time to cut them open and scrape them out we might get just a little more out of them (maybe).
So now I want to live in the guest room and our bathroom. :) Jason admitted that this project is more addicting than he imagined. I asked him last night (when he commenting on how obvious it is that I love this process) if it also increases his quality of life at all. He said that, in fact, it has and the one thing he notices is that the rooms smell better. They have a fresh feel to them. And there is space! Now the goal is to not fill it all back up!! And for me to exercise patience in the process as we clearly won't be able to keep up this pace, though I'm already itching to get into the next room. If the last two have been this satisfying, I can only imagine what the remaining ones will be like (but they will also include more hard decisions about what stays and what goes). Wish us luck and stamina!