Spring Cleaning Your Closet? Side-tracked by RenovationBy Debra Holland
When I originally signed up for this blog a month ago, I decided to tackle a Spring cleaning topic. So I picked my closet—definitely in need of cleaning out. I have far more clothes than I need. Because I have a lot of closet space, I don’t have to get rid of garments. I just buy new ones. From time to time, I’ll go through my clothes and get rid of some, but not nearly as much as I should.
Actually, my whole house is in need of cleaning out. I’m the type of person who tends to accumalate STUFF. Between working as a therapist, corporate crisis/grief counselor, and writer of both fiction and nonfiction, I have LOTS of paperwork. Stacks. I believe they multiply during the night.
But it’s not just clothes and papers ... and magazines ... and books. When my parents and grandmother downsized their homes, my house became the family repository. Thus I have a lot of silver (from both mom and grandmother) china (mom and two grandmothers) brass, copper, and pewter (grandmother.) I also have more furniture than I need because both my grandfather and my grandmother made some furniture as a hobby. My talented grandmother also crocheted numerous afghans, doilies, placemats, and made needlepoint coasters, and other things.
I hope my neices and the children of my cousins might appreciate some of these things some day. One is getting married in August, and I’ll ship her my paternal grandmother’s hot chocolate cups and saucers.
Although I’ve never been domestic, my home has become much worse since I started writing. I’m sure other writers may have similar problems. Who has time to clean and sort when you should be writing? An every other week cleaning crew is a great help. At least I don’t have to clean toilets.
I’d hoped having a month to clean out my closet would be enough to provide me with material for this blog. What I didn’t realize was that the long overdue home renovations I’d planned would cause me to do a lot more organizating in other parts of the house—not my closet
My Wet Noodle Posse sister, Jennifer Smith, is living with me while she attends fashion design school. (Which means everything, besides furniture, which is usually in her room and bathroom is elsewhere in the house.) She’d planned to return to her home for two weeks during her school’s break. I wanted to get all my renovations done in the time she was gone.
While she was away, I planned to remove my popcorn ceilings in the entry, living room, office, dining room, and the landing on the top of the stairs. I also wanted to put in can lights in the ceilings of the living room, office, and dinning room. Plus, I wanted to paint the whole downstairs.
The problem came when I was deluged with crisis counseling jobs, leaving me no time to plan for the renovations. At the last minute, I scrambled to get bids and line up the work. Once I selected the contractor, I had two days to pack up everything (and I have a lot of everythings).
I really didn’t realize how much WORK I’d set for myself. And the time I thought I’d have to do this filled up with unexpected crisis counseling, forcing me to work late at night and get up early to pack it all away.
I wrapped and boxed everything, then stashed the boxes and stacks in my library and bedroom, until there was NO space to walk. I didn’t have the time to sort through papers, dust stuff off, or throw things away. Definitely stressful.
My wonderful contractor finished in three and a half days. Somewhere in that period, I decided to replace the chandeliers in the entry/stairwell and in the dining room, too.
Actually, I went to the store for some light bulbs for my old chandelier in the entry because I figured the guys would have to take it down anyway, and I could replace all the burned out blubs I hadn’t been able to reach. I walked into the store, took one look at a chandelier near the doorway, and went on a lamp spree. (It had been fifteen years since I’d last bought lamps.) Two hours later, I left the store with two chandeliers, one hall light, two table lamps for the living room, and two for my bedroom.
The rooms ended up looking wonderful. I love my ceiling lights—so much easier to read and work. The chandeliers look elegant. I still walk into the rooms and admire the new look.