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While Charlotte is still draining the life out of me, apparently I am becoming accustomed to living at a perpetual "day after the all-nighter" level of exhaustion. Apparently all of those years of late nights painting to have the document done for the next day were just training.


Last Saturday was Balfar’s Challenge, so not only did nothing get done, but there was the usual great pulling out of stuff, much of which hasn’t been put back away yet. Sunday however – Sunday was *productive.* The very first thing that we did was to haul the huge, ugly, ill-made hutch that was "conveyed" with the house down to the curb for this week’s bulk pickup. Thank goodness for my dad’s heavy handcart. I’d borrowed the moving dolly for the job, but the handcart worked much, much better. It ended up being no big deal getting it down there, or even getting it up onto the curb. Proper tools are important – obviously I need to go out and buy my own handcart. You have no idea how deliriously happy it made me to haul that albatross out for the trash. Actually, "millstone around my neck" is probably a better analogy for this thing if you use weight as your guide. I’m pretty sure they conveyed it because they couldn’t get it out of the basement, given that at one point I almost went to get the wrecking bar when we were trying.

We’re very lucky. Burlington does bulk pickups with all of their trash collections of the month once a quarter. The sheer luxury of that cannot be overstated. We also put out a ton of the assorted scrap lumber that’s been generated by various disassemblies – the stuff that’s too small to make anything out of but that is taking up way too much space in my life. Also, the old garbage can that was full of salt/sand mixture when it came from the house. It was rotted through, so we put a sign on it saying "take the can too, please." I have a brand new can for woodstove ashes, once the old molding is out of it. Maybe that can happen for next week’s pickup.

Pulling out the hutch and the old garbage can, and taking the last of the moving boxes to give to 


  actually dealt with a fair bit of the garbage in the garage. At this point I’m forced to admit that most of the remaining accessible clutter is mine. I’ve got gardening stuff everywhere that I need to get organized and under control. I’ve also got boxes and boxes of "stuff" to take to the Salvation Army. I just need to log them into ItsDeductible, box/bag them neatly, and manage to get over there during donation hours (which is easier said than done.)

Once the millstone was delivered to the curb, I pulled out the rake, finished cleaning out the last of the garden beds, and Bob was kind enough to haul the leaves back into the woods for me.

What do people with no woods do with all their leaves? Of course, people without woods don’t have as many leaves to deal with as we do...

After the raking, I opened up the Bilco door to get some fresh air in the basement. Originally my thought was just to facilitate the removal of event stuff from Bob’s car back into the basement, but once I was in there and there was sunlight, I started rummaging/cleaning. A decision came out of this that makes me both happy and sad. Since before I moved in with him, what, twelve years ago?, Bob has been storing an old chaise. It is the ugliest thing that you’ve seen in a while. But comfy. Really, really comfy. Comfy enough that I was perfectly willing to reupholster it and put it to use, except for the other problem. It’s also huge. I think the thing’s footprint is something like three feet by six feet. Maybe a little wider, maybe not quite that long. But you get the idea. It looks something like this:
Bob’s has a smooth s-curve throughout and is upholstered in... wait for it... black plush. But it’s comfy. Unfortunately, there just isn’t room for it in the house. Even if we didn’t already have living room furniture, it’s really too big for that room. On Sunday we talked it over, and Bob agreed to get rid of it, either to the Salvation Army if they’ll take it or bulk pickup next week if they won’t. I try really hard not to be the evil wife who forces her husband to get rid of all of his stuff, but honestly, this is IT. This is the house, this is the floor space, these are the rooms that we have. It’s not going to get any bigger, and we’re not going to be moving. That means that things need to go, and so far it’s been my things going. I’m sad that the chair is going, because I really would have liked to have kept it. But I’m thrilled to be getting the space back in the basement.

While the chair was on the back deck having photos taken for vetting by the Salvation Army, I was able to get to the stuff behind it. I determined that unfortunately the old treadle sewing machine I got at a barn sale some years back will not fit into the sewing room. Not even close. So with great reluctance I posted to the BBM email list looking for a new home for it, and have two takers. There are a few other things in the process of going to new homes also. I was surprised to discover that once I factored out the sewing machine and the tent canvas (which has to stay there) most of that "pile" is speakers. There are four full-sized speakers in boxes, to be precise. Thinking about it, two of them can probably go into the crawl space, and the other two have always been intended for use upstairs. I’d hoped to have the end table replaced with something smaller first, to be honest, but in the new spirit of fiscal responsibility that will need to wait until Bob has located gainful employment. The exciting part about this discovery is that the act of properly disposing of four speakers is going to free up a huge amount of floor space. That is officially Pretty Cool.

Bob also hauled a ton of stuff up to our little tiny attic. Mostly empty plastic crates and Christmas decorations. But once those were out of the sewing room it allowed me to put away bolts of fabric that I’d pulled out for the cloak project (more on that in a different post,) which freed up significant space. All in all, it was a very productive day.

Then on Monday I decided to assign the slot between the oil tank and the workbench to my collection of extraneous furniture – the things that don’t fit in the "new" house, but that haven’t found new homes as yet. So Bob helped me to haul things down from the sewing room, and I also consolidated some of the bits that were already in the basement.

I have rediscovered my enthusiasm for de-cluttering. Halleluiah. I think that probably the next thing I’ll do is make up some room by room lists of what needs to be done in task order. I’m very list driven, so that should help keep me on track. I love bulk pickup months!



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 23rd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Again, thank you for the boxes. While I couldn't see ourselves putting the books in them, I think they'll work great for the blankets, linens, and clothing, as we go along. :) The copy paper boxes will be great for the glasses - and I'm heading to the liquor store after work again for another request for wine boxes for books. Still more books, not enough boxes, what a surprise. ;)

By the way, I have an etiquette question on housewarming inquiries from relatives.

What's the polite way to reinforce "Gift certificates are just fine, we have a decorating style in mind?" when the relatives in question are asking (before we're even done moving in) what the color schemes are, what furniture do we need, etc. in the house....

Not that I don't appreciate the gift my Aunt gave us at our wedding, of the 5" thick wall clock that plays Greensleeves and a dozen other musical things, with a castle and knights in motion on it. But... it's not quite our style. Cute. But perhaps more meant for a kid? I'm sure I'll be debating on whether to hang it in the basement or not at all for a while to come.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Heh - at barony meeting, remind me to tell you the story about moving to Syracuse, Balfar, and a box full of books. I think that you and Ryan will be amused.

The etiquette issue never came up for us - my family just automatically gave us gift cards for Lowes and Home Depot. Of course - they'd seen the house.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
Will do. 8) And the trips to the Barony meetings are about to become 20 minutes shorter. Yay!

I can only hope that at some point in-between packing, next time I take a break to breathe/rest, I can form up a new Etsy account specifically for the purpose of hearting items for housewarming. Maybe that will help...
Apr. 24th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
re: housewarming
Would it work for them if you set up a wishlist or gift registry? That way you can pick out the sofa/saladspinner/tchatchkes of your dreams...
And then there's always the Home Depot registry. :)
Apr. 25th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
I think it may be too late - we were told today to bring my husband's car tomorrow, an SUV, after all the Q&A this past week from the family...

Hopefully it's not my family jumping the gun before we're even set up.
Apr. 26th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm so glad my family knows me well enough to not do things like that! The one and only instance where they did, was my father re-upholstering the Victorian sofa I had picked up from a friend's grandmother that had been living in his attic. Thankfully he knows me well enough that he picked a perfectly lovely subdued Victorian floral brocade. Even better, I remembered the colors in it well enough that the living room paint color coordinated perfectly.

I will send positive thoughts that you be as lucky!

My friends all know my colors...they helped put them on the walls, which was how we found out about Charlotte's impending arrival. "...ummm... I can't really be around oil-based primer right now" :-)
Apr. 28th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Turns out it was something that will go with just about anything:
A new gas grill. =) Totally floored both of us, and glad my family gave us the heads-up to bring the larger car (couldn't even possibly fit that on the roof of my 2000 Honda Civic EX...).

The other part of the gifts were kitchen things, including a set of lovely ceramic cannisters in canary yellow, white, and black, with black measuring cups to go with the black stoneware we already have.
My kitchen is going to look like a bee. Not intentionally, but still... :)

And my family really has started picking out things for our house, far in advance of us owning it. I'm debating whether the clock that digitally plays "Greensleeves" and a dozen other cute melodies with two mechanical knights duking it out on the face (one of those kitchy Seiko big wall clocks) will go down in the basement, or hide after housewarming... We received it for our wedding, and think it's cute, but... more appropriate for a kid.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Oh god I feel awful... my furniture is taking up all that space in the basement! I swear I will get it out of there soon!
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
No, no - this is MY crap that I need to get rid of. YOUR stuff is neatly tucked away places (and as a matter of fact, two of the chairs have become a moderately integral part of our dining room set up.)

What I'm trying to do is divest of furniture that I own that I will *never* do anything but store. That's just silly. When it was stored in Middletown, it was for the concept of having a house in the future. Now that there IS a house, there's no point in storing it for the future house, because that would be now. Your stuff is in the "stored in anticipation of the future" category still. It's fine.

Edited at 2009-04-23 07:41 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )