So, um, we bought this house about a month ago. We moved in three weeks ago.
We are rapidly approaching the time when piles of boxes in the middle of every room is less “golly, there’s so much to do and we’ve just moved in” and more “holy hell, what is the matter with you slobs?” Otto and I decided to set a goal of Finishing Unpacking this weekend, because it just seemed like it was time.
And we are… well, it’s close. I can’t quite say we’re DONE, but it’s much better than it was. We even hung some stuff on the walls! Yay us!
Really, I’ve had only two things to focus on this weekend: Finishing unpacking, or face the reality that I am clearly dying.
As lazy as I am and as much as I am completely sick of unpacking, even a hypochondriac such as myself doesn’t want to face an imminent demise when the stupid move hasn’t even been paid off yet, you know? So I tried to focus on the unpacking.
[As for the dying: I have always bruised easily. Remember, I’m a delicate flower. For a month now I have been COVERED in bruises, most of which I assumed I sustained while moving heavy objects here and there. But it’s been a month and I’m STILL covered in bruises and many of them have been around for a month or longer. So I’m sort of starting to wonder. Also, I went down to the bottom of our pool for a dive stick a couple of days ago and got a charley horse on my way back up—oh MAN did that kill; for a couple of seconds I wondered how much it would suck to drown in my own pool—and now I have a huge bruise from that as well. Otto is worried people will think he’s beating me, but I also think he’s a little worried that maybe I have leukemia. I consider myself far too exotic for that; I suspect leprosy. Or ebola. Or perhaps a rare form of TB (too bad I don’t need to fly anywhere). I suppose I could go spend at day in my doctor’s waiting room so that they could take some blood and tell me I bruise easily, but that would take all of the mystery out of it.]
So! The unpacking!
I started down here in my room. For weeks I’ve had about 4 pieces of luggage in various states of unpackedness (totally a real word) sitting in the bottom of my closet. It’s a walk-in closet, but you couldn’t actually, you know, WALK IN because of all the crap on the floor. Plus I had boxes of stuff for the closet that hadn’t been unpacked. So I took care of all of those things.
[Exhibit A of my dorkitude: I was pulling on a belt that appeared to be stuck on something on the floor, so I got down on my knees to have a look. The end was snagged on the vent cover. I gave a sharp tug and the entire grating came up and towards me. I freed the belt and pushed the grating back in the general direction of the vent and IT FELL IN. Fortunately, due to the way the ducting bends, it was reachable. That was a relief because I did not want to have to explain to Otto that I’d just completely hosed our air conditioning because I managed to drop the ENTIRE VENT COVER down the pipe. Whoops!]
Next I finished unpacking all of the bathroom and linen closet stuff. When we first moved in I refused to buy more hand soap because I KNEW I had a bunch packed, but I couldn’t find it. Eventually I had to admit defeat and buy more, of course, because I can only stand on principle for so long with four bathrooms and only one container of soap. I mean, really. Well this weekend I found SIX CONTAINERS of hand soap. Of course.
[Exhibit B of my dorkitude: I came across a pretty wire basket someone had given us a gift in, and decided to use that on my bathroom counter to hold my lotions and stuff that don’t make sense to put into drawers. (My bathroom has many many drawers but no medicine cabinet.) I set about happily arranging my perfumes and such in the pretty basket, and then this morning—went I went to actually USE some of the contents—discovered that the uneven wires mean that every time I actually TOUCH anything in the basket everything ends up tipping over like dominoes. I spent more time re-standing up everything in the basket than I did in the shower.]
We rearranged some furniture in our bedroom and things were looking good down here, so then we went upstairs.
I finished unpacking and sorting out things in the kids’ playrooms. I set up the keyboard, which was good, because the kids are taking piano lessons now and were totally going to rat me out for making it impossible for them to practice. (They practiced. I am apparently taking piano, too, because they need help and hey, I can learn this stuff for free if you overlook all the money I’m paying for their lessons.) I unpacked roughly eighty quadrillion books on their shelves. (With their entire library now available, they both settled in to read Captain Underpants books. They are klassy with a K, dude.)
Chickadee has the dubious honor of having the bedroom with the access door to the usable part of the attic. So far all that has meant for her is that for the last three weeks she’s had about two dozen boxes piled in her room. And the way she’s carried on about it, you’d think that each and every box has been taunting her mercilessly whenever my back is turned. Because it’s no FAIR, that she’s got all these BOXES!
So we vacuumed the attic and set up a bazillion storage shelves, and we unpacked all of those boxes that were in Chickadee’s room. I am feeling better about this notion of storing things in the attic (in my old house, the attic was a scary place you had to go through the ceiling to reach, and the floor was treacherous and it was very dark and sometimes there were things living up there, and basically I never went up there). This attic storage is basically just a room right off of Chickadee’s, and other than the fact that it gets to be about a hundred and twenty degrees in there most days, it’s not bad at all.
[Exhibit C of my dorkitude: I used to store candles in the basement. I have spent more time than I care to admit trying to figure out WHERE DO THE CANDLES GO NOW? I can’t put them in the attic. I am perplexed. This is a major issue in my life. The candles. Yes.]
With all of the above done, it was finally time to finish the kids’ rooms. Otto strode around manfully with his drill, putting up shelves and bulletin boards and generally winning hearts. I followed behind with the two packages of wallies we bought a few weeks back. Flowers for Chickadee, airplanes for Monkey. This would take no time at all!
Except that the package of flowers we bought for Chickadee turned out to be the clown car of wallpaper cut-outs. I think there were a hundred pieces in there. GAH. But her room is now a girly haven, and after weeks of churlishness she threw her arms around me and said “This room is even better than my room at the old house! Thank you, Mama!” I know she’ll be mad at me again tomorrow, but it sure was nice, anyway.
Monkey’s airplane wallies were much more cooperative, and after two hours in his sister’s room wrangling flowers, his were done in fifteen minutes. Thankfully.
[Exhibit D of my dorkitude: The first few flowers I put up, I really didn’t have the hang of things and every time I went to sponge the pieces flat to the wall they sort of skidded around. As a result, a lot of the paste ended up not actually where it belonged, and a few flower petals were curling up after all was said and done. I fixed them with an Elmer’s glue stick. DUDE. I’d already been in there for hours. I was DONE.]
Tomorrow Otto takes the last load of cardboard to the dump. Because now we’re unpacked.
Which I guess means that it’s time to start writing thank-you notes. Hmmmm. Maybe I’d rather focus on that whole dying thing, because if I died? I wouldn’t have to write those thank-yous. (Not that I’m not thankful. Just that I hate writing thank-you notes. Even though I might truly FEEL very enthusiastic while saying “Thank you so much for the gift card to my very favorite store on the planet, TARGET!” it can be difficult to convey my love for buying Lysol and candy and furniture all in the same trip to someone in the space of a 4″ x 6″ card.)