Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where I've been

So we bought a house. It isn't our first house, but for all practical purposes it might as well be. We have been in "temporary" houses for all our married life. The first house we bought was teeny but adorable and we therefore crammed way too much stuff into it. When we moved, we were smart enough to rent until we sold the first house. By the time the first house sold, we realized we were going to move again.

The upshot? For almost 11 years, anywhere from a third to half of our worldly goods have been in boxes, attics, and storage units. That is a LOT of crap to weed through. Add in outgrown baby clothes and paraphernalia, and I decided to have a yard sale before we moved. Observe:

Baby clothes. Way too many baby clothes. Sorted by size.

Many dead animals on the walls
I am not a yard sale person. I am never doing that again. Ever. But it did pay for about half of the painting we did in the new house. Because the new house featured a great deal of brown. In many different shades. Also, dead animal decorating. Aside from leather and a cowhide rug, I am not a fan of dead animal decorating. I don't want anything with eyeballs hanging on my walls. But this is what the den looked like before the previous owner moved:

Seriously, y'all. A bear, four deer- or maybe three deer and an elk, a couple of birds, and I think there was a fish in there somewhere. It was a bloodbath. Or, if one is being generous, vaguely medieval. And very, very brown. It's still brown because we haven't gotten around to painting it yet.

So. First we painted the dining room, foyer, living room, one bedroom, and the master bedroom. They were all brown:

Brown living room...3 shades of brown!
Other side...still brown! With many tchotchkes!

Brown Master Bedroom

Then came the boxes. This is a sample assortment of the boxes in question. Note the formerly brown walls are now green in the dining room that is currently a staging area for unsorted boxes, which almost certainly contain books:

Never ending pile of boxes. And there are more!

For those of you who are already organized, that might not look so bad. For the organizationally challenged or people married to my husband, this represents a nightmare. When I pack a box, it is filled with like items that should be unpacked in the same place. When he packs a box, it is "Holy crap! I bet I can beat the world record for cramming stuff into a box the fastest!" The items in said box could include shampoo, a lamp, three coffee mugs, a sort of melted candle, a few coloring books from 1970, and some back issues of Rolling Stone. Every box represents an adventure or a nightmare, depending on how you look at it. Or how tired you are of figuring out where to put stuff. Or whether or not said husband is at home and might catch you throwing out his first Playboy.

The "sorting of the box content" unfolded into projects like this:

Yay! Orderly crayons!
Culling the broken stubs from the crayons.

And this:

9 boxes of ribbon leftover from gift happily residing in master closet!

As a side note, I am thrilled with the ribbon rack. It hurts my heart to give someone and ugly present, especially when I knew that somewhere in all those boxes I had this abundance of ribbon and wrapping paper. I even found my special super-sharp ribbon scissors! And about five rolls of the invisible variety of scotch tape!

At any rate, every box represented at least an hour of sorting, donating, and throwing away stuff. And I still have more boxes! But the living room now looks like this (work in progress, but it's taking shape):

Built in shelves with our books! And our stuff! And a near naked Pirate!

I have a World History shelf, a yearbooks shelf, a Southern Authors shelf, an "I was an English major and here is the proof" shelf, and my favorite, a Dungeons and Dragons Shelf! The organic chemistry, physics, and medical tomes are in the cabinets. And it smells like a library. *happy*

The Dungeons and Dragons Shelf
I was an English major shelf

Also, I absolutely see the point that frequent movers have about the benefits of eBooks. But with eBooks, you can't put your friend's books on the shelves in the living room!


In fact, I am so enamored of having friend's books on the shelves that I am considering dedicating a shelf to just that. Of course, that means that I will have to purchase dead tree versions of many things I own in digital format, but oh, well.

The best part of the new house, though. Ah. It is marvelous. And it isn't even in the house:

The back yard! From only half way back!

 Here it is as viewed from the house:

Daddy playing ball with the kidlets.

The move continues. I still have to paint things. We have furniture projects to complete. But it's slowing down around here and hopefully the dust will settle into a nice, ordered living space. The closets are done (why, yes, I did divide the kid's closets into "school uniforms" and "other" sections), the kitchen is put together, the sheets are resting comfortably in assorted bins labeled "king, master BR", "queen, guest BR", and "Full, Pirate BR" or "Full, Princess BR." At long last I have the square footage and closet space to unleash my OCD.

When I get everything all pretty I'll post some more pics.


  1. I have the eBook of The Tavernier Stones. I have a ton of print copies of that other one, though...

    Glad you're making progress, looks like cozy new digs with the fireplace and the pool. And the Browns. You could be honorary Cleveland-ites if you had an orange accent in there somewhere.

  2. Beautiful home, Laurel! Your family looks like they're enjoying it. :)

  3. Tkx, E.J.! We are, although it's now too chilly for swimming. Kids gave it the old college try anyway.

    Rick: Oh, Lordy! That's exactly what it looks like! A Browns fan did the painting. Actually, I like brown fine and it was nicely done, it was just too much. I'm a lot happier with the green and the robin's egg blue we now have in the master bedroom. I have ambitions for the bathrooms, too, which are guessed it...brown. As is the hallway.

  4. Oddly enough it was the pic of the swimming pool that reminded me to visit you someday.

    My father-in-law was a hunter who decorated his house with remnant dead animals. All I can say is, I'm glad he wasn't a mortician.

  5. Come visit anytime, Parrish! Also, what's the story? Are you going to be in the US sometime this year? Enquiring minds want to know. Maybe you should bring yer gerl. We'd love to have you both.

  6. I hope this goes through as your blog is one that doesn't think I exist - login-wise.

    All I want to know is when you're moving in with us and organizing us?????

  7. Yay! It worked!

    And when are you moving in?

  8. @ Sarah: Ha! Anytime, mon ami! With all the animals at your place it would be sort of like running away from home to join the circus :)

  9. Can I say how fascinated I am that you let us into your closets, and shelves? I'm bewitched by your organizing project. Love the house! Congrats, and good luck. I'm still facing boxes and stuff left over from a house renovation, and this is the year I'll tackle it. Maybe I'll make you my task master.:)

  10. Ha! Thanks, Heather. I basically got tired of having six things fall off a shelf when I only wanted one of them.

    I stopped by your choices in publishing blog That was one depressing story. You bring up lots of good points about the choices for writers and after reading about the Penguin imprint debacle it's good to know there ARE other options.

  11. Nice place. I, too, have a D&D shelf, but it has... D&D books. Yes, ancient versions of the Dungeon Master's Guide, Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and others. I even have Deities & Demigods, one of my favorites when I was 14.

    My only other comment is the painfully obvious: "Orderly Crayons" would be an awesome name for a punk band.

  12. Ok, I"m coming over for the pool party. Congratulations on the house!

  13. I'm late with everything in my life, but congratulations! Your new home looks beautiful, and will get more beautiful still when it's filled with memories.

  14. Wow, sounds like you're having fun! Congrats!

  15. Happy New Year! In honor of my blog's first anniversary, I have an award for you on my site. Stop by to share the magic. Hugs.