Tag Archives: decluttering

Going Polar

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A year ago, almost exactly, Urbana-Champaign was coming off a pretty decent snowstorm and heading into this situation referred to as a “polar vortex” and it was already cold as hell and basically, friends? It’s happening again, including the snow, today and tomorrow and into late week. Sigh. But the full moon rising last night through some very pretty snow flurries was extraordinary, particularly so since the sun really couldn’t get its act together during the day. See below.

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909 (our house) is small. And old. I mostly love it this way. I don’t much feel its smallness and oldness those 7-8 months out of the year where we spend a lot of time moving freely between indoors and out. But when winter comes, and especially with bits of weather like what we’re about to get, 909 feels dollhouse-small and extremely drafty. V unglamorous plastic covers some of the windows. The doors have fabric snakes to keep drafts out (BONUS: They also trip visitors). Things pile up by the back door to combine trips to the trash/recycling bins or the garage, and if the weather is happening on a weekend and we’re all just nesting under blankets and hanging around, it gets chaotic. There just aren’t many places for each of us to go. There are the bedrooms, the living room, and the kitchen area. That’s it.

OK, that’s not exactly true. We have a basement that’s partially finished and has a ton of potential, but no one hangs out there these days because a) it’s cold and b) it’s a repository for crap – mostly ancient homeschooling stuff, clothes, useless small appliances, etc –  that needs to be sorted and donated/thrown out. This task has been put off for YEARS. However… I’m currently reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, thanks to my terrific and smart friend Amanda, and I’ve decided that I like where Kondo’s head is at even though it’s pretty intense. There’s lots of baggage to jettison here at 909, both literal and figurative, especially as Jim and I move ever-steadily toward eventually being the only two B-Ks living here full time. 909 will seem cavernously huge then, I’m sure, and I’ll probably be getting misty over the time(s) during Polar Vortex 2014 where I made several batches of snickerdoodles and we put quilts on the windows Long Winter-style and watched a bunch of movies together and there were teacups everywhere and the heat always seems to be on and my beloved orange chair had a huge indentation from my butt being in it all the time, etc.

It’s 2* right now – I’ll report back on #PV2015 Wednesday, when our high will be a single degree.

Forward, March

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We like to fly kites.

Along with almost everyone else in North America, I’m a little anxious about spring. I think when it comes, it’s going to come fast. I’m hoping for (almost literally) zero-to-sixty.

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This chicken looks like how I feel about heading into March. Determined.

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Truth!

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I can practically smell it.

Because spring is on the way, I’m working on throwing away/donating SO MUCH. So much. Like, almost everything. I’m an archiver – I like to save things because I like to think they’ll be important in some way someday. These tchotchkes will lend context! If this clutter could speak! OK. Sure. But for the love of all that is holy… SO MUCH OF THIS STUFF DOES NOT BELONG HERE ANYMORE. They are the things of a family that has moved along and changed incredibly.  So many old homeschooling materials that no one has looked at or used in 8 years. So many broken things littering our basement. So many unbroken things in our basement too, things we can’t use any longer, things to be jettisoned. My tiny little “dressing room” (which I share with Jim and also doubles as a closet) bursts with clothes I don’t wear and never will wear (and clothes that he doesn’t wear and never will wear). My even-tinier office (we call it “The Cloffice” because it’s really a closet) is completely unusable right now due to formidable piles of books and magazines, mostly BYI-related in some way.

Ugh.

The word simplify seems to be dogging me. Simplification is not my strong suit, but complication? CALL ME. I’ve finally reached my breaking point, though. This spring, for whatever reason, I’m starting to deal with the guilt and stress I associate with all this physical crap. You know, the guilt of having it and not being grateful for it. The paralysis that accompanies not knowing what to do with it all. The extra guilt of throwing things away. The extra EXTRA guilt that goes with getting rid of anything your kid(s) ever drew, wore, used as an art supply, or – let’s be honest – touched. I’m figuring out that we don’t have to move house in order to make this kind of room. I’m dealing with it now. I think it’s the yoga, honestly.

[More about the yoga another time]

So, yeah. That’s starting to happen this weekend, as we await the weather that’s supposedly coming.

[I’m skeptical.]

Speaking of weather, we’ll be shooting BYI2 late next week, weather permitting. We’ll be shooting BYI3 a few weeks after that. We are on what normal people doing this kind of work would call… a Schedule.

See ya on the other side of this next Polar Vortex.