I don’t normally watch Oprah, so I missed part one of today’s show. Peter, from Clean Sweep (one of my favorite shows), helped an older couple clear out their house. They filled enough rental crates (about 20x20x30 inches) to fill three semi moving trucks of stuff from a 3,000 square foot house. I couldn’t help but feel that if we don’t tackle the multitude of items in our 1,800 square foot house, we could easily end up this way. OK, so their’s was a bit extreme, but the fact remains that we have entirely too much stuff in this house.
With home values down by 11%, which I just saw on the news today, moving to a bigger house is out of the question. It would be the perfect solution for many other reasons as well, though! It’s just not going to happen any time soon. So this family of six has got to make 1,800 square feet of living space work for all of us.
I don’t consider us hoarders, though. We just never get around to clearing out our closets of things that don’t fit or we just don’t want anymore. We put off getting rid of old toys and household items that never get used. Storage solutions are great to a point. Miranda’s closet is just about to burst with all the Rubbermaid and Steralite containers filled with toys and who knows what else that they have shoved in there.
Let’s take the closet situation a little further. Whoever designed this master bedroom should be executed and suffer a slow and painful death! The bedroom part is long, and on the other side of that line is a “walk-in” (more like squeeze-in) closet, the vanity area in the open, and the toilet and garden tub in a room with a door but very little ceiling. Our ceiling is vaulted, and there’s a ledge that goes across the closet/vanity/bathroom side providing a bit of an overhang for a ceiling. The rest is open to the vaulted ceiling – up and over the aromas waft from the bathroom. Our closet has an L layout, but one crosses over and under the other, rendering about a foot of the upper and lower racks practically useless. It’s pathetic! Then there’s my son down the hall who doesn’t even use his closet, which is a nice long, double sliding-door closet. My plan is to claim half of that closet when we switch Ali into that room and Josh into her room.
The condition of my house is a source of depression for me. I’m embarrassed to have anyone come over, which is why I never invite anyone. I also don’t try to organize social gatherings regardless of the condition of my house because I’ve had bad past experiences with trying to do just that. Few if any people show up. So I figure if I don’t plan things, I can avoid that let down when no one can come.
As if the clutter weren’t enough, there’s the kitchen! We started taking the crappy tile off the kitchen walls that the Vietnamese people before us put up and did a horrible job. They must have used concrete to put it up because the only way to get it off is to go through the drywall, too. That means we (I mean Greg) has to re-drywall everything that gets destroyed. This is going to be an ugly project. In the meantime, part of the wall is naked drywall, then there’s a spot with a hole and the 2×4 showing beyond it, and the rest is crappy tile job still. You can’t even remove switch plates and outlet covers because they’re embedded into the tile and grouted in!
How am I supposed to have people over when this is what my kitchen looks like??? And how is any of this supposed to get done when we’re both working about 50 hours per week?