A unique view of my remodel – stuff

home at last - remodelI’ve posted bits and pieces about my remodel, and we’re not quite done.

I’ve already shared a story of my remodel from the view of our toilet arrangements.  Now, I’d like to share the story from another unique viewpoint.  This time, it’s

The story of my remodel from the viewpoint of my stuff.

First, the details.

It’s complicated.  Hang on to your hats.

January 2011 – I started packing up stuff for storage A.  Loaded into the POD.

May 2011 – Load up essentials in to RV.  Cram everything else into three “safe” rooms in the house.  Family room, Storage bedroom, and Functional bedroom.

October 2011 – Move into Hotel A.   Leave lots of stuff stored in RV.

November 2011 – Move stuff in house from Storage Bedroom and Funcational Bedroom to Empty Bedroom.

December 2011 – Empty house completely in 24 hours (with no notice).  Stuff spread between Storage B, Storage C, garage, and closet of Storage Bedroom.  (It was the day of class Christmas parties. I cried.  A lot.)

December 2011 – Go on vacation.  Vacate Hotel A.  Load stuff into either Storage B or Car.

January 2012 – Return from vacation and return to Hotel A.   Load stuff into Hotel A.

January 2012 – Move from Hotel A to B because I felted my hair. Move stuff to Hotel B (a minimalist design), Storage B, or Storage D.

March 2012 – Move from Hotel B to C.  Move into house.  Go on vacation. Stuff is spread out between FOUR storage locations, a closet, the garage, two cars, and an RV.

I realized I have no clue what we own or where it is.

April 2012: Empty Storage D

May 2012: Empty Storage C

June 2012: Empty Storage B

Don’t freak out if you couldn’t keep track of that.

Don’t even try.  Until December, I could have told you what was where.  I had a pretty good idea what was in each box and what else I would find there.  Somewhere along the way, I lost track of stuff and lost my cheat sheets.

No one could possibly keep track of that stuff without a huge bar code scanner, a big database, and a full time professional organizer.

Where I am now:

Every single box I open is like Christmas.  I have no clue what is where, and it’s a big mystery how stuff ended up where it is at.

(it doesn’t help that my husband manages to stack every box with the label facing the wall.)

All the stuff I really care about (the nice furniture, the china, my coffee cups) are still in storage, sitting in the POD (storage A) in my driveway.  I still have clothes and books and toys in the RV.

I’m slowly working through a year of living as a gypsy.  I make weird discoveries as I unpack.  Nothing major.  Small stuff.

  • My husband owns 36 pairs of socks.
  • I quit counting at 44 pillowcases.
  • I own approximately 342 K-cups for non coffee beverages.
  • I have three copies of the same book, and I’ve still never read it.
  • For some reason, I packed a bag of trash into a box labeled “do not loose this bag.”  I lost the box for at least ten months.
  • I have three pair of black crocs.  They are virtually identical.
  • I had single shoes packed in two different locations.  More than one pair!
  • I kept purchasing home organization books – all of them on the market I think.  (They don’t sell any books on how to keep your house clean and organized during a remodel.  You can’t.)
  • I packed clothes for my kids to grow into that they have already grown out of.

Dealing with all that stuff is exhausting.

It’s probably the least favorite part of the remodeling process.  You have all the work of moving (over and over and over) with none of the support or understanding.

 Any advice?  Sympathy? 

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. dawnpalsgrove says:

    You have my absolute sympathy!! I’m trying to imagine, and I know I’m coming up way short. The fact that you are still sane, still married, and still able to parent astounds me!! You are my hero!

    • Honestly, my mom is worried I’m going to lose it completely one of these days. I asked her what that means. She said she has visions of me running away from home and dressing up in circus clothes. I have NO idea what she means by that.

      Dennis and I consciously chose to put our marriage above the remodel. Whatever stress or disagreement may be going on, there is a point where I look at him and say “I value our marriage too much to keep focusing on this.” Then we put it away. We find a way to fix the problem, or come to an agreement, or just ignore it for a time. It’s not easy, but we both agree that it’s essential. We value the HOME more than the HOUSE.

      My ability to parent is, at times, questionable. My kids are pretty easy to manage as long as I feed them a steady diet of lego boxes and popcorn. There have been some times over the past year that I’ve been a bit neglectful because of my own mess. There have also been times where I’ve looked at them and said “I need five minutes before we deal with this.” Then I go hide in the bathroom and pray and get myself pulled together enough to parent.

      I did get a year long “pass” from bringing stuff for the class parties at school, writing thank you notes, bringing breakfast for our small group at church, being on “casserole patrol” for friends and family, bringing snacks for soccer or baseball games…

  2. {Melinda} Totally get this. In 2004, we had an unplanned remodel when Hurricane Charley did a number on our house and community. We lived in a shelled-out house. Loaded what was left in a POD. Lived in a rental with broken hurricane shutters that was so dark, it gave me seasonal affective disorder. 🙂 By the end, I had greatly pared down my “stuff” and learned that living simply is THE way to go. My advice? Purge, purge and purge some more as you go. It really is freeing! 🙂

    • I purged when I packed, but that was Spring of 2011. At the tail end of packing, I had four boxes of stuff I couldn’t make up my mind what to do with it. So I drug it with me. All four boxes. For a year. When I finally unpacked them, I threw 99% of what is in them away. There is NOTHING like having to move your clutter around that much to make you want to embrace minimalist living.

      Yes! I need to purge purge purge. I know I can get a small dumpster delivered for $400. I am seriously considering it.

  3. {Melinda} Totally forgot to type in all my info when I commented above. Oops. Anyway, that was from me. 🙂
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..mending the holes in our motheringMy Profile

  4. MY head hurts babe…I can’t imagine living like that you need your home to be done NOW. (HUGS)
    karen recently posted..Need HELP with Meal PlanningMy Profile

  5. All I know is that I feel exhausted for you!!
    Roshni recently posted..Me? Sleep where?My Profile

    • Every time I talk to women in real life about the remodel, their eyes glaze over and they get this vague look of terror. I have no idea how I’m still standing.

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