Barbara Barrett

Romance at Work

Midwest Musings: Settling In

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’re aware that “Thoughts from the Treadmill” went on a bit of an unplanned hiatus since March 17. But I’m back now in the Iowa version of this blog, “Midwest Musings.”

I devoted a few blogs last year to my experience decluttering our home and getting it ready to put on the market. Our Fourth of July was spent cleaning out our garage for a garage sale the next week. What we didn’t sell went to various charitable organizations. Little did I realize as I left for Florida in early fall that we’d just completed Phase One of the process.

Phase Two began when we signed with a realtor and exposed our home to a stager. Even more items were removed, now large pieces of furniture. New items, like bathroom light fixtures, guest bedroom bed covers and decorative pillows appeared. To me, the house appeared extremely empty, so when we actually sold it this March, I was in for the surprise of my life when I discovered how much more still remained to go. No longer did we have a full summer to box up items and find places to sell them or give them away. Now we were working against time to get what was left moved to the new house.

There's a bit of a path around the various bags filled with goodies.

There’s a bit of a path around the various bags filled with goodies.

Phase Three wasn’t fun. While my husband dismantled electronics, my job was to clear his office. He swore he’d been cleaning it for weeks, which although was probably true, still meant more books to be boxed up and transported. The man had a small business library! Once I finally completed this task, I “graduated” to his workshop in the garage, shelf upon shelf of nuts and bolts in hundreds of varieties. Never again.

We have now entered Phase Four, settling into the new house. We recently returned from Florida facing the summer’s task, unboxing everything and finding a new home for it. Here I thought the boxing-up part took time. This is much more time-intensive, because we’re having to decide: a) to keep or not to keep and b) if we keep it, where does it go? The solution to much of these questions has been to install more shelves. Shelves are a wonderful means of storage, but beware, they also are enablers that allow you to hold onto items that should otherwise go elsewhere.

Like the game of pick-up sticks, we started with the easy-to-deal-with pieces, in my case, the boxes of items for my desk, which I so laboriously labeled last summer with the exact drawer they were to go back into.  But once those were disposed of, several more remained. I have one full box of used copy paper just waiting to have the other side printed with rough drafts of future manuscripts. But that’s nothing compared to the pile of notepads, notebooks, note paper, and various other tablets I’ve collected over the years. I tried, I really tried to get rid of them. And I did eliminate a few that were old and torn. But I kept thinking, “I might be able to use that someday.” Like shelves, beware this thought. It will have you hoarding in no time.

So that’s where we are at the moment. Progress has been made, but there’s MUCH more to do. Stay tuned for future reports.

Just one of many boxes of the books I can't part with yet.

Just one of many boxes of the books I can’t part with yet.

Oh, yes. The writing-relatedness of this post: all this sorting and putting away gets boring fast. I’ve found myself frequently seeking the solace of my current manuscript in progress. Already managed to finish the current revision. It’s just about ready for submission to my editor. Success!

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