Sunday, March 11, 2018

Room #6 Our bedroom

I told Jason yesterday morning that it was a good thing we took breaks in between rooms AND that we don't do this very often. I enjoy cleaning (some) and organizing (a lot), but this process is putting that to the test for sure! I did say that taking pictures along the way is kind of an encouragement mechanism for me because I have the thought, "before too long you'll be putting before and after pictures on the blog." Yesterday Jason was my hero! While I cleaned furniture, organized drawers, kept up with feeding all of us and doing dishes, as well as keeping the laundry going, he washed all the walls/trim/windows AND the ceiling fan and loft area. Had we not been a team on board the whole time together, the bedroom would not be DONE!!! Today was our "finish up" day and there in case we needed it. Thankfully, it looks like we will mostly be able to fill the day with other things - EXCEPT for having to flip over our mattress which Jason discovered we reinstalled upside down. But I think we can handle that and since today won't be deep cleaning, I have a secret hope of getting our taxes done. Fingers crossed. Right now Terah and I are working up a Sunday brunch: grits, chicken sausage, potato crusted ricotta quiche, squash chocolate mousse with chocolate persimmon bars and while the oven is on I'm roasting another round of squash, because that's what I do these days whenever the oven gets turned on

But back to the bedroom cleaning! We gave ourselves parts of several days again, breaking up the job into a few parts. Day #1 was Thursday and all we attempted that day was to take our books off the bookshelf and sort them. I guess I should not say "all" as that was plenty for what ended up just being an evening job! The removing was easy, the sorting not so much. But we got rid of some, some are now in the Free Little Library and I have some stacks on the guest room bed of books we want to pass to others. So that task will linger with me for a bit yet. We were able to move all the girls' books onto shelves outside our bedroom and with all that we are parting with, everything we have not fits very easily on the shelves. AND we even found a good use for a few of Jason's precious rocks - book ends!
Day #2 we tackled our closet. Now THAT was a job. And it was the "room" in our house, I was most eager about transforming into a more usable and less frustrating space. We actually spend a lot of time in there and it was beyond cluttered. Like the back kitchen being the repository for all our family stuff we didn't know where to go with, our closet was the repository for personal/sentimental stuff that we didn't want to part with but weren't sure where to go with. There were multiple reasons I anticipated the closet being an emotional roller coaster ride. And it was in some ways but I felt amazingly positive that day - and even had some good laughs throughout the day, not the least of which came when Jason modeled his red union suit one last time for all of us! We both tried on more or less all our clothes. And once the clothing part was done, we starting sorting through our shelves stuffed with random items, etc... I finally felt ready in this 10th year to part with the little wrist band that Nora wore when she was in the hospital. I also was ready to recycle "my life." I had piles of old date books. Maybe some day I would want to look back on what I was doing on March 11th, 2006?! Alida was my great assistant disassembling them for recycling. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my current date book, let alone having time to peruse old ones which are hard to even read because I crossed off things once they were over. And that's why we have this blog anyway, so the girls don't have to root through date books if they want to go back and reminisce! The girls (and I) were also ready to part with the accumulation of baby teeth - my goodness we had a lot of random containers of teeth. And getting rid of Jason's pleated dress black pants freed him up to get rid of his black shoes - you be the judge how recently he wore them?! In the end, this one room has our trunk loaded for the thrift store. As we sat down for supper last night, I mused with Jason about how absolutely overwhelming it would be to think of bringing all that stuff back in and finding homes for it!
I didn't do great with before/after pictures but here is one of Jason's side of the closet. It's even better in real life!
By Day #3 (yesterday) we were done most of the emotional work and now we had the work work left! I've never photographed so much dirt as I have during this project! Our bed hadn't been cleaned around and under ever. We kept our commitment and took EVERYTHING out - detached the bookshelf, disassembled the bed, removed the recliner... The most challenging item to move was our mattress. Could anything we more awkward - why did they not install handles on those things? Maybe because then I would not have laughed so hard my stomach muscles hurt as Jason and I tried to return it to the room (remember, we get to flip the thing over today...). I should note that the worst part of the whole day was when the girls came in from playing outside and Terah discovered the mattress returned to our bed frame. They had been having a lot of fun with it on the floor of their room. She was so so upset - one of those all out tantrums that she wears herself out having and has red blotchy skin at the end of it. Poor little gal! It didn't help that it was 5-6 p.m. on a no nap day; our attempt to be prepared for the time change!
I had a few surprise moments as I cleaned all the furniture and things from our windowsills. And I found myself taking a short break here and there to send an email to the various people that came to mind as I cleaned things. I know that I've made a lot of disparaging comments about "stuff" throughout this process, but it is also kind of amazing how our "stuff" also provides powerful reminders of relationships that are important to us, or memories of times that were significant. For me, most poignant yesterday were memories of starting the job that I've now been in for almost 20 years and then memories around the time of Nora's death and gratefulness for those who journeyed so closely with us during that time. For those memories and feelings of appreciation, I thank our stuff!

We once again made some significant changes to improve the flow and quality of our life in that space. The annoying hanging lamp is gone, a bedside stand is now by the recliner. The bedside stand removed from our bedside enabled moving the bed over to make more room to pull the drawers out on the one side more easily. YAY for ending that ongoing frustration. And yay for having a lamp to read by that will be easy to turn on. And yay for windowsills now having one plant and one picture, rather than cluttered so much it was hard to pull the shades down. Ahhh...that's how it feels!
One more room to go! Ok, so the front room is probably best to be thought of as two rooms and I'm going to need some more "laying in bed at night planning sessions" to work out how we are going to approach that one. Let's hope for sunny days where we can air some things outside! Stay tuned...

Now to put the finishing touches on our brunch before kiddos get too cranky (oh, and I guess it is time to fully rouse Kali so she can join us!).

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