My house is about to have an awakening.
In a few weeks, assuming we don’t totally botch our financing and all the red tape that goes along with home buying, we’ll be moving our lovingly packed belongings to a new house.
As the organized one in my marriage, I’ve been packing (lightly-ish) for months already. There were periods of time during those months that I stopped, crushingly certain that we wouldn’t get a house I would love. I felt sure that, like so many times before this time in our lives, we would get the shit-end of the stick. I knew we could cope, but I was sad. I’m human.
Then I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and quit my bellyachin.’ Life’s too short to complain and whine, and once we got all of our ducks in a row, things were looking up. And now, we have a beautiful, albeit fixer-upper-y, home that we’re (hopefully) moving into, and I’ve been able to look more seriously at our packing situation.
And hooboy. We have a lot of stuff. I’m a little stressed out.
I, like so many others who feel the literal weight of the clutter around them, am about to embark on an epic cleaning and purging spree, and I cannot wait. It’s cathartic. It’s euphoric.
And it’s happening. Finally. Yay.
I guess we own indoor rocks now
I’m starting with the kids’ spaces — I know. I’m cruel.
Their bedroom and “playroom” as we’ve dubbed our sad little room downstairs — a playroom that I will not be sorry to leave behind — are both filled with toys five years too young for my daughter and, as they are neither trucks nor truck-themed, are of no interest to my one-track-mind son.
We also, apparently, have a lot of rocks.
If you’re a parent, you probably own a collection of indoor rocks, too. It’s a reality of parenting that no one told me about, and yet, here I am with nature’s paperweights that I don’t want weighing us down.
And I tell you what — I refuse to pack up rocks and cart them along to our new house. It’s just not happening.
So they’re not invited. Neither are our three (three??) kid-friendly karaoke machines. Ditto the million L.O.L. dolls my oldest collected before she outgrew them — their tiny shoes are gone, too. The ones I didn’t vacuum up, anyway.
The next purge item is one I can’t decide on — art projects. We have such an abundance of finger paintings and random drawings and “origami” and part of me can’t bear to part with any of it.
Maybe you don’t understand the severity of the situation. I have, already, four large boxes full of paper drawings and projects and reimagined toilet paper rolls that I decided I couldn’t part with — how much am I supposed to save? What’s heartless and what’s too sentimental? Marie??
I can’t take this pressure.
A budding new relationship
I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. Actually, no — prior to packing and moving, I had a hate-hate relationship with Pinterest, but now it’s a necessary (and handy) evil. I love it, but it’s showing me too many ideas.
There’s only so much DIY one girl can handle.
We’re moving to a place that is something of a fixer-upper, and my ideas are absolutely flying away with me. I want to mortar wash the floor-to-ceiling fireplace, paint the kitchen cabinets, tile the countertops, paint pretty much every space, and experiment with wallpaper and DIY board-and-batten.
I haven’t even moved it yet and already I need to slow down.
Pinterest has not only given me ideas but it’s also shown me ways that I can DIY and save a boatload of money, which is music to my husband’s ears. Through Pinterest, I have also learned to live in the space for a bit to make sure I know what I want to change — also music to my husband’s ears.
What can I say, though? I want our new place to be warm and cozy and clean and Pinterest has my brain spinning with the possibilities. I’m going to be so busy (and poor) and I blame Pinterest — all I wanted to do at the start of this little journey was paint.
I’m not mad, actually. It’s exciting.
A new home and new emotions
I think avoiding moving the clutter with you is hard when you want your new home to feel like the old home.
After all, the old home is still and will be for some time, “home.”
The kids will probably feel this change more than we will since they’ve shared a room since my youngest was first moved from the bassinet to the crib. Each night my oldest feels secure, too, by peeking into her brother’s crib to make sure he’s breathing and safe, and it’s adorable. Their love for each other is a beautiful thing.
It’s time, though. My daughter is ready for her own room (which apparently will be wolf-themed, or so I’m told) and they’ll both sleep better when they’re not waking each other up at 5 a.m.
So will I, which has absolutely nothing to do with this decision, but it’s a bonus that I won’t deny.
Anyway, I anticipate a rollercoaster of emotions from both kids. And a little from myself if I’m being honest, because every mother watches their babies grow up much too quickly and this is just one more step that I’m not quite ready for. I know very well that my kids are about to embark on two huge new journeys, and both will be as trying as they are exciting. First, a new house; and not just a new house, but a farewell to the house they grew up in. Second, separate bedrooms.
There will be tears, of that I’m sure. I just hope they won’t be for too long. A new home is an exciting thing and I hope they love it as much as I do.
But does it spark joy?
One of the best things about this move is that it’s a chance to start fresh.
What’s more, it’s a chance to move without the junk that doesn’t, for lack of a better description, “spark joy.” I’m no Marie Kondo groupie — I’ve never even watched her show — but her concept is clear:
Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle. — Marie Kondo
I love it. The idea that you are leaving behind the things that give you bad feelings, or even just things you don’t love to make space for new things that make you feel joy is brilliant. It’s a reset, as she says, and a reset is exactly what our little family needs.
So wish me luck — I just pulled out some bins to fill and I’m heading down to our toy room. The kids are not pleased but we’re going to bring joy to our new home, even if I have to drag it kicking and screaming behind me through the threshold.
We have to make room for our new indoor rock collection somehow, right? They’ll thank me when they’re older.
This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.
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