Sunday, June 12, 2016

Moving slowly but doing something every day

I have to keep reminding myself that I made the decision before I actually moved that I was going to take my time unpacking. Even if it took me months, I reasoned, this was my chance to do things properly and not repeat some of the mistakes I made moving into the last place eight years ago. My new place may be smaller but it is nicer in many ways and in the spirit of new beginnings, I felt the frustration living with boxes for a potentially long time would be worth it in the end.

At the moment, more or less two weeks in, I'm started to feel that frustration a bit and so I'm glad I said it so often to so many people. I know in the end, it'll be worth it. And except for perhaps one or two days, I really have been doing a little bit every day. The kitchen was first up and the bedroom isn't too bad either. The main living room is not usuable but I'm going to clear a couple of things this afternoon so that at least I will have set up the table. For now, I've been using a stool at the nice wide window sill in my bedroom, or eating from a plate on my knee while sitting on my bed or, a couple of times, on a stool on the balcony. I do still have to find one or two boxes of kitchen stuff. Despite my attempts to move the boxes straight into the kitchen as they were arriving, it's so small that I quickly ran out of space. And typically, it's one of the boxes that was packed close to the end that is, presumably, right at the bottom of the pile. Which means I'm missing my big knives and my salad spinner. Sigh. I haven't really cooked a lot (it's far too hot for that) yet so I can manage with just the few small knives but I'm really missing my salad spinner. Tea towels just don't work as well (at least not when I'm doing it).

Speaking of teatowels - I washed this great potato storage unit this morning. I used to keep potatoes in the top and onions in the middle and the bottom mostly stood empty. So now I'll keep potatoes in the bottom, onions in the middle and have put tea towels and dishcloths in the top. Apron and tea cosy are resting on top, still have to find a final place for them. I will evenutally, I think, put this up on a shelf so that I have the entire counter as a workspace.

One of the reasons it's taking so long is that I am determined to properly clean every piece of furniture before using it again. There is nothing that doens't need it and there was no point in doing it just before the stuff got loaded on a moving truck. So, last weekend I got the big set of drawers that used to sit in the living room done. They are now in my bedroom and serving as my main clothes storage, with everything folded vertically à la Marie Kondo. 

I had started doing this a while ago but had just the shelves in my old wardrobe to store stuff on and it wasn't ideal. Now, I've just about managed to get all of my vest tops, t-shirts and long-sleeve t-shirts into one drawer and I'm delighted. I even got rid of a couple of things, reasoning that using that big drawer as a limiting influence on my clothes would be a good thing. So, in future, I only get to buy new things if something old goes, because otherwise it won't fit. One other drawer has trousers (except work trousers, which will hang in the wardrobe), swimwear and nightclothes. And a third has jumpers, cardigans and fleeces. All sorted and my first bag of donations went off to the clothes bank yesterday.

During the past week then, I got my green shelves/cupboard done. That involved a bit more work, as the back had never really been attached properly (I bought it second-hand) since I got it. So I also spent some time hammering those tiny little nails into the back. For now, I've unpacked the books that used to be on the small bookshelves in the sitting room (mostly TBR stuff and then the WoT and Harry Potter books) and designated the lower cupboard as storage for blankets and sleeping bags. Towels are on the smaller shelf for now, as are table cloths and napkins. And shoes are going into the middle storage portion, which I used to keep records in and really couldn't handle the weight. Trying to figure out the best use of everything, as I'm changing the uses of several pieces of furniture. It's occupying a good bit of my thinking but it's another thing I think will be worth it in the end. And almost every day, I get a box or two sorted and unpacked. 

I've made a couple of new purchases for the kitchen. A kettle and toaster, courtesty of Aldi. And a nice new insert for my cutlery drawer. I'm kind of getting a kick out of having brought a bit of colour into my kitchen and it feels like I will take much better care of these things than I did of the last, which were all bought just because they were the cheapest I could find in a hurry. It's only now, smiling at my red kettle every morning, that I realise just how much I disliked the stainless steel one I had. 

And after contemplating throwing out the breadbin that had been languishing unused and hidden under a pile of stuff on top of the fridge in my old place, I'm glad I brought it with me. I've borrowed my sister's trick of finding space for it by simply putting it under the toaster. Fits perfectly and uses what would otherwise be dead space. Very nice to have somewhere to keep the bread again instead of it getting in the way all the time.

So, all in all, although I am getting a bit sick of looking at boxes, I'm happy with what I have gotten done and it's proving to me that I really am on the right track to be taking my time and doing things properly. And although I need to be very careful with money now, a few careful purchases are just putting the finishing touches on my pleasure at living here.

Sure who wouldn't smile at this lovely burst of colour every time they opened the drawer to get a spoon?

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