If I could magically do one thing for my life right now, I would give myself a house. A house with a yard (and 6-foot fence) for Riker. A house with a huge kitchen, a 3-car garage, a crafting room and a music room. A house with extra bedrooms for friends to crash in (and, someday, babies to grow up in). Why do I want this so badly? Part of it is because my boyfriend and I have enough stuff to fill a house, and it's all crammed into under 1,000 square feet. Also, if I want to play the piano/guitar/ukulele/banjo/mandolin or sing or sew, he hears it all while he's watching a hockey game/doing homework/playing Xbox (which isn't necessarily bad, but it might be nice us to have some more privacy).
Since (unfortunately) I do not possess magical powers, I have to work and save for this, and it will take time. So what can I do in the meantime to get me through my non-homeowner days? I've decided to make the related goal of always taking pride in the home I live in.
I want my home to be inviting and organized and a place where people feel comfortable. And I don't actually need a house to do this. That's why this "Spring" Cleaning I've been doing is so important to me. Each small thing I do is a little goal that brings me closer to the bigger one. And it's not just a one-and-done sort of thing, either. I will have to work to keep my closet organized and my kitchen clean, so there are small things I can do daily that contribute to this life-long goal. No matter where I live, I want to be proud of it. I can also find happiness here, because I will be able to visualize these results. You can see that a room is clean, and that the hard work pays off.
So here's an update on my Spring Cleaning progress, which I am definitely proud of:
- Look how many cups we have! (right) Even in a house, I don't think we will need this many, so hopefully I can convince Nathaniel we can give some away.
- Below is the finished laundry room. There is still a lot of stuff in here, but it feels less cramped, and looks a bit nicer, since things seem to be stacked prettier than they were (trust me on that), and I've consolidated some of the boxes (like Nathaniel's Nerf guns) so things take up less space. I also completely untangled a rats nest of cables (speaker, iPod, ethernet, phone, coax, USB... you name it, it was probably in there), and the bin with all those seems much less full, and looks way better. Again, just trust me on that (didn't take a picture - sorry, not sorry).
- Next is Nathaniel's side of the closet. All I did was make sure everything was folded and/or neat. I didn't want to make any executive decisions on what stays or goes (though we could probably get rid of 75% of his T-shirts and he could still wear three a day and not run out for a couple weeks), I just did what I did to the laundry room to make things more consolidated and stack nicer.
- And here is my side of the closet. One thing about this apartment is that we are COMPLETELY spoiled when it comes to this closet. My "side" is bigger than many couples have for BOTH their wardrobes. However, that has just led me to hold on to more things than I need to, before realizing just how much crap I have. This picture was taken mid-cleaning, meaning I've gone through half the drawers, and also just thrown a lot of stuff on the ground as I'm waiting to decide where it should go. I still need to go through the clothes and decide which things to donate.
- I went through all the products in the bathroom. While I'm still holding on to a lot of them (I don't feel like showing you how many bottles are still under the sink...), I got rid of a bunch of things I don't use anymore. One thing that Nathaniel has told me time and time again is that he feels like he doesn't have many storage places, since he moved in after I had already lived here three years. So I was able to clean out a whole extra drawer and a whole square shelf space just for him.
I've still got A DAY to finish a few things before he gets back. It's a lot easier to clean when you don't worry that the temporary mess you're making is inconveniencing someone else. My big To-Do's are to finish going through the closet, clear out under the bed, organize my sewing/crafting area and tidy the shelves in the bedroom.
I think I can, I think I can...