Monday, November 19, 2007

Settling in

... or what I've been doing when not at work.

About a month or so ago, I finally came to the realization that I was "at home." As I have stated previously, I have always had a bit of wanderlust but now? Now I really feel like putting down some roots. That means making some changes at home. So I did some research online and I made a list. Because when it comes to major changes, I always make a list. And then I started carrying my planner again. Because I need to assign tasks to each day. And make more lists.

I think I was inspired by two things. The first was returning to work. When you have all day at home, it's easy to notice the lack of organization but not be too worried about it. After all, you have all the time in the world to look for things when you're in that situation. By the end of my first week of work, I was almost depressed to return home. Everything at work was so organized. Why wasn't it so at home?

Then there were the parties. My first two weekends after starting work, I ended up at parties in my neighbors' places. Nothing is more depressing than to see an apartment that is basically the same as yours (I say "basically" because this is the Winchester Mystery House of a building and no two apartments are exactly the same in their features.) but seem to look a lot better.

Those two apartments? Well, they probably looked good due the age of the occupants. They were rather minimalist in decor. I remember being in my 20s and not owning quite so much stuff. Life was a bit easier then. Well, at least in terms of storing things at home. And the two apartments I've seen on my floor? Obviously inhabited by grown-ups. With taste. Bottom line is that I'd love to invite the neighbors over but I am ashamed of my home.

But all of this came later in the thought process. It all started with a need for a new dish drain. The old one was wooden and was starting to turn a strange shade of green around the legs. Ewwww!

Then I realized that I had been having a hard time finding stuff in some of the cabinets. But since I'm renting, I didn't want to install anything permanently.

And then there was the fact that the coat closet has never had a shelf. There has always been framing for a shelf, but no shelf itself. I was thinking plywood but then I talked to my dad. He told me that I needed a 1x12. Luckily the fine folks at Home Depot will saw that board to the length that you want. I must admit that once it was cut I did freak out a bit though. I mean, I had only measured once. Look at all that lovely space just begging for stuff.

I like to keep my shoes in boxes. Unfortunately after a number of moves, many of the boxes had seen better days. The answer was plastic shoeboxes. I can't say enough how much I love them.

I've also preferred to keep bulky sweaters on the closet shelf, as well as a few other things. (Don't even get me started on the topic of sweaters on hangers. Bottom line is that my mother knows that I will rarely purchase a sweater in a store if it is on a hanger.) The problem is that the stack starts to look a little sloppy over time.

And I've always had lots of stuff in boxes. It helps me to stay nomadic. It's a mixture of books and craft stuff mostly. (Yes, with four six-foot bookcases, a four-foot bookcase, and another three-foot bookcase in the kitchen, I do not have enough shelf space for all of my books. And no, I am not getting rid of any of my books anytime soon, Mother.) The problem was that some of the boxes were starting to collapse, creating quite the hazard in the closet. Yes, I realize that I have a weird closet. Hibiscus, owner of Dumb and Dumber, (Yes, I finally came up with a name for her.) says that I'm in one of those weird buildings in which they were trying to make architectural changes but the ideas ended up being a mishmash that didn't take practical form until after WWII. (My building was built in the 1920s.) So I have a closet that is entered via a single door but then stretches for a length of ten feet or so. And Boris approves of the shelving. He now has access to the overhead shelf in the closet where I store my luggage. (I would have taken a photo but I was too busy trying to get stuff done. Just like I should have taken a photo of him standing on the top of the open closet door.)

So now that I have finished Phase I, I am ready to start saving for Phase II -- the one involving new furniture in the living room. The LPs must be protected from the cats. And the futon must go. Because I'm here to stay for some time.

Oh, and does anyone want a cat? Because it may be time for Boris to leave. Last night as I was dozing off, I heard a strange noise. I got up to discover Boris hanging from the Roman shade I had put up a few months ago. Apparently he had been there some time because I arrived in time to see him and the shade coming off the wall. And for a brief moment, I felt homicidal. And so now I am debating about finding Boris a new home. I'm not sure if I can take his destructive tendencies anymore. I was at my wit's end and just started to cry while shouting at him to go away. He kept following me. But then I was up so I got a cigarette. And the rage subsided. For now. He's just not helping in the home beautification department. I know there's that plug in stuff you can get. Do any of y'all think it will help him? Because we need some severe behavior modification around here. The place right now just isn't big enough for the two of us.

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