Having been “settled” in our new home almost one month, it might be nice if I was wowing you with all the fantastic projects we’ve been doing to “pretty up” the place. You’d think after four weeks, this place would be glowing with our personal touches and evidences of hard work. You’d think a month would be enough time to accomplish amazing feats around here. You’d be wrong.
Because well, ordinary life doesn’t cease to exist just because we moved: there are still 4 children, 2 adults and a dog who live here. They like to eat three meals a day, wear clothing, go to school/work/ballet/choir/gymnastics (though we haven’t been able to get the lazy dog to engage in any of these activities), wake up in the wee hours of the night with bad dreams, and other ailments, and basically continue to have lots of needs and priorities outside of the many projects looming all around them.
The mommy of the house is finding that setting up housekeeping in a new place, while fun, is also a huge challenge. First, there is the unpacking. Again, life continues…so no, the unpacking is still not complete four weeks into the new place. Unpacking naturally means things have to go in a certain place, so there is a whole process of figuring out how best to organize the space for the way we live. That requires lots of thought, especially if you tend to stress about these types of things just a little too much, as she is wont to do. And then there is the tiny little detail that we left almost every piece of our furniture at the old place, for “showing” purposes, while the house is still on the market. We are living here without the benefit of bookshelves, toyboxes, dressers, nightstands, etc. So truthfully, stuff stays pretty messy (much to my dismay). I must, however, note that we do have great builtins and closets in this house that we are loving; despite about 600 fewer square feet of living space, our current home actually has more storage capacity than the previous, much larger one did.
The everyday stuff like laundry, dishes, and pickup all seems to take much longer in a new place too. I can probably owe the dishes thing to my new “vintage” Kitchen Aid dishwasher (we think it likely that is is original to the 1965 house!), which though it works beautifully, doesn’t seem to have the capacity, or the intuitive loading abilities my previous washer had. So we appear to be using it more often than we did at the previous house. And I am owing the huge mounds of laundry (despite doing loads ALL THE TIME!) to the time of year; the weather is in that wonderful, yet unpredictable stage where the temperature can be either freezing or way too hot. This means that almost every article of clothing we all own is in play at the same time. Most of the rest of the year, the out of season clothes are packed away, and I suppose that will happen soon enough.
But overall, I do think it just takes time to develop a rhythm and way of doing things that is efficient and smooth. So I really am trying to be patient – I know my many projects can eventually happen…but for now they are more a working out of ideas in my mind than a reality unfolding before my eyes.
And I am also remembering that all the everyday and sometimes mundane stuff I am doing is freeing my husband up to accomplish some very needed projects around the house – projects much more crucial to the ongoing soundness of the home than painting every room, adding crown molding here and there, putting mirrors and light fixtures and towel bars in all the bathrooms, refinishing the wonderful back deck, and sprucing up the landscaping (and no, this is not the full list!). But as much as we look forward to these activities, we have a few responsibilities prior to starting on the cosmetics around here. You see, the home had not been “loved on” in many ways, so there is a lot of basic maintenance that needs attending to. And Jay, outside of his many commitments with work, children, school, and church, has been seriously attending to it!
So far, some of his wonderful successes have been:
*replacing locks/doorknobs/handles on all outside entry doors;
*installing (with the help of a very kind friend) a brand new toilet in our master bath – the other one had begun leaking in a nonreparable way;
*replacing the laundry/garage/attic venting system for the dryer;
*rescuing and preserving the boys’ bedroom carpet and pad and floor from ruination despite several thorough soakings courtesy of a sprinkler head aimed directly at their window, thereby flooding part of their room;
*planning and executing a garage storage system to fit everything that used to reside in a 3 car garage into a 2 car garage (and he’s done a great job – it works!);
*replacing all the “innards” in the boys’ toilet so that it is now useable again;
*customizing a kitchen cabinet/desk builtin to house our computer and all the stuff that goes with that (So I am typing this while seated in my cheery kitchen/breakfast area, and enjoying a cup of fresh coffee.)
*gradually replacing EVERY electrical outlet in the entire house, as well as every lightbulb (he found a couple inside some outdoor lights that actually aren’t even manufactured anymore – guess it’s been a while since they were changed, eh?)
and the list goes on….
Well, I’ll try and keep you posted a bit more regularly than I have been. But for now, it’s back to the dishes and laundry!