The exception to the "everything in the middle room" request was supposed to be the bags and boxes (there were four or five) on which we had written "PERISHABLE! PLEASE PLACE IN KITCHEN." The requested exception was not made. An overfull two bedroom apartment's worth of stuff was, therefore, placed into a room that measures 10' by 10'. In the middle of this, um, pile, was rotting spoiling stuff.
From that moment forward, the middle room was not treated with respect. For months, perhaps years, it remained the repository of all things placeless. Some of that, of course, is necessary. You've got to put the gift wrap and Christmas stuff somewhere. Some of it, though, was a function of fear. Perhaps ennui. Certainly a function of objects at rest tending to stay at rest.
Some years ago, I tried to transform it into a "den." It had a love seat and a chair. It was functional enough, I suppose, but there was still a lot of stuff. Relaxing was hard in there. Once, while reading the paper, I noticed flora, specifically vines. In. The. Room. They had grown in through the window.
It was a Grey Gardens moment if I've ever had one.
I have had spates of organizing the house. (I was just going to post links to a previous post about it, but now realize that all my picture links from my wordpress days are broken since sporksforall.com has expired. Ah well, trust me on it, won't you? I've organized things. The middle bathroom. The utility closet.)
So, flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I purchased a new chair and a work friend came over to my house to help me move the old one. I showed her around the house and realized my horror at the state of the middle room. There was stuff in there that had literally been moved in with the rotting spoiled perishables and had not been touched or seen the light of day since. Eight plus years.
(Does it need to be said that the perishables were disposed or properly? Perhaps. They were.)
There's another factor at work that I should mention.
Honey has started graduate school. She's in the super intense program wherein she takes seven classes a term.
I have a D of Ph and I took two classes a term mostly. So, Seven. Whew.
I want her to have as much freedom as she needs to move around the house. Living room, office, dining room. Most of the time, I am perfectly happy to be around when the graduate school peripateticity happens. Sometimes, though, I might want somewhere to go. Somewhere that isn't our bedroom where my choices are to lie on the bed, sit on the bed. Or take a shower, I suppose.
Mostly, though, there was the whole business with showing someone that room and thinking, "um, time to get this sorted." Past time, really. Well past.
Yesterday morning I announced my intention to tackle two projects. The first was a sock organizing project. The second was the middle room. It was a bit like saying, I think I'll read Fox in Socks and then see how I get on with Remembrance of Things Past.
The socks went fine. Most are reunited with their mates. They're now all in the same drawer and much more accessible. I've got a bag of unwanted ones to leave for the folks that come around looking for recyclables on trash day.
After the sock success, we ran some errands and got some lunch. At 4pm yesterday we got home and I got started on Proust.
Honey says I sometimes push past my limits. I certainly did last night (and this morning).
Here is most of what was taken out of the room:
It has accepted every single containment task I've asked of it. The new living room chair? Check. A new office chair and our weekend luggage? Check.
All the crap from the middle room? Check.
America, listen up, you don't need SUVs. You need hatchbacks. They do what SUVs do. And, if you're smart like me, you get one with good gas mileage and it's superveryfun to drive. Thank you Wolfsburg.
From another angle:
That, friends and neighbors, is a lot of crap.
Three hours of clean out lot of crap.
Look, a usable, crap free room! Forgive the bright spider fleece throw. A gift, don't you know.
I'm really pleased.
There may be some tweaking
Imagine all that stuff in the car in the room and in this closet. It was so shudder worthy that I couldn't even take a picture of it before or in process.
RIP old middle room. 2002-2010.
Welcome new middle room. 2010-
Now, if you'll excuse me the Sunday paper awaits me in the new space.