One Thing At A Time.

The house is slowly but surely getting put back together after the chaos from the upstairs renovations, painting, carpet. Have I said that already? I feel like I’ve been saying things are “slowly but surely” getting done for like two years now. IT IS ALWAYS TRUE. I am permanently slowly and surely doing something. It is just like my zen state now.

I’m trying to be REALLY deliberate about moving everything back upstairs, trying to keep in mind we’re downsizing…decluttering…reducing. Adventures not Things. The ultimate goal is a much-smaller house which takes much less energy to maintain and much less money to pay for. So, just like when I moved it out from the upstairs, I consider whether or not we even plan on keeping the thing I’m moving. We actually ended up getting rid of a lot of furniture that was upstairs. But now, as I’m putting things back, I’m going through the same motions.

1) Do we want to keep this?
2) Does it help with staging?

If we don’t want keep it? It gets thrown in any of the discard piles: Trash, Donate, Side of the Road. WE HAVE GOTTEN RID OF SO MUCH STUFF IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. At least 10 pieces of furniture ranging from small tables to giant china cabinets. We’ve also reduced a lot of the stuff we keep in storage. FOUR BINS OF HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS? Who needs that? Items making it past question 1 with a “yes” are actual more rare than I thought they’d be.

BUT! If we want to keep it – but it does NOT help with staging – we box it up to move to the next house where we’ll sort through it one last time before permanently allowing the item to stay in our home. Since our upstairs has built-ins – built-ins I’m fairly certain we won’t have in the next house – I’ve been trying to really think about the books and knicknacks we had on those shelves before and most of it is getting discarded in some fashion. WHY DID WE HAVE SO MANY KNICKNACKS?

IMG_2090I’ve got one room left upstairs, the living room with the built-ins, and then it’s on to the downstairs where we’ve been storing everything from the upstairs. We didn’t want to go through the trouble of re-filling the 5 GIANT closets that were up there. We already moved that stuff downstairs and there’s no need to put it back into a closet upstairs if it’s not something we need access to, so I’m moving it all to the garage. BUT, the garage is pretty full as it is and I don’t want to jeopardize my ability to park my van in the garage since my A/C in my van doesn’t shut off up front. I NEED A WARM GARAGE FOR MY ALWAYS COLD CAR. So I’m looking at this like a giant game of TETRIS, and I’m trying to figure out how to double the amount of crap in the garage without encroaching on my much-needed parking space.

My point? I’m overwhelmed and there’s a lot more to do.

Because there’s a lot of “extra” stuff that needs to be done during any given day, I find myself feeling like 3am is no longer early enough to wake up. Yesterday I actually woke up about 1:30am thinking of all of the crap that needed to get done and then got into doing it and the next thing I knew it was almost 4am and time to make lunches. I opted NOT to go run as I suddenly was feeling too rushed AND I WOKE UP AT 1:30am! How was I rushed?

But I am making progress. Slowly but surely. I’m just feeling that overwhelming dread like the first time we got close to putting the house on the market. And really I only have to worry about half of the house this time! But still. DREAD. And it’s that overwhelming dread where I walk around, see all the crap that still needs to be done and HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START. So then I sit down at the computer and fart around on Facebook for awhile instead of doing anything.

I CAN’T QUIT YOU, FACEBOOK.

But today is a clean slate. I’m going to run at Wes’s practice tonight so I can just get some work done this morning. I’m going to just tackle one thing at a time. It doesn’t matter what thing. Just one thing at a time. And I’m going to stay off Facebook in the mornings. I’ll check in when I first wake up just to make sure nothing terrible happened but then I’m DONE. FIVE MINUTES, FACEBOOK…DO YOU HEAR ME?

I have no idea why I’m taking out my anger on Facebook.

I’d like to be ready to photograph the house in two weeks, but my hard deadline is the first of February. TWO WEEKS. Can I do it all in 2 weeks? Who in the hell knows. But I’m going to try. One thing at a time. Be kind to yourself. Relentless forward progress. The early bird gets the worm. This too, shall pass. The journey is the reward. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Okay. I’ll be honest, I got kind distracted after “Be kind to yourself.” Where was I?

6 Comments

  • Karen

    You can do this! What am I saying, you ARE doing this. But sleep is important to mental and physical health. Please sleep.

    Garage Tetris–I think storage units signal the downfall of our society BUT have you thought about renting one? Just until the house sells, then you have to move all that stuff into your garage. Maybe a friend would let you rent part of their garage? (win-win for everyone)

  • Hillary

    First of all, you clearly share my love of bins from Target 🙂

    Second, my son woke up at 3 am last night and as we were cuddling and I was trying to help him get back to sleep, I thought of you getting up at 3 am! I was so tired I keep falling asleep and he kept poking me (mommy, wake up!). You and I do not share the same body clock.

    Good luck with all that you have to do!

  • annettek

    I was going to say the same thing about renting a storage unit. We did this for our last two house sales and it made my life so much easier to get those extra boxes and furniture out of the house. I only put stuff in the storage unit that was definitely moving with us. We did a HUGE declutter and house downsizing two moves ago and I’ve never once regretted it. It will all be worth it when you’re done!

  • Grace

    Ha! Just moved permanent residence from Houston, TX to St. Simons Island in Georgia. Hubs and I made 7 trips to the donation center that benefits the Women’s Clinic, filled up a commercial trailer pulled by a truck with heavy stuff not transportable by us (the treadmill I couldn’t give away, the heavy metal chimenea, almost dead lawnmower, etc), and we STILL have too much stuff!

    Like you we’re (or he is, I’m working in South Carolina) doing additional downsizing before the stuff goes in to the new place.

    Hang in there, you’re doing great. You are an inspiration to so many!

  • Katie

    We are in the midst of doing the same thing. It is overwhelming!! I am trying NOT to rent a storage unit. But, it would sure be nice to do for this temporary time. Also, one thing to make you feel better: it doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY DONE to list your house. So the first couple people through it may see some boxes here and there. Its not big deal. They know you’re moving. And when taking photos you can move it out of the space for the photo and then move it back in until you find another home for it. I know the goal is to have it all DONE in two weeks, but if it isn’t, it is still okay to go ahead and list the house and just keep working at it. Or, you just keep plugging and at last minute just shove it all in garage and wear gloves and scarves and hats to the van!