Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 39 of 365: Consolidating (or "90/10, 10/90")

We've hit an interesting turn in our unpacking. Rooms are set up and functional. Some are even cleaned up. The number of boxes collapsed and in a pile now greatly outnumber the number of boxes still awaiting unpacking. We no longer have boxes in every room, their contents practically spilling out as we unpack maniacally. We're even seeing a light at the end of our micro-renovations (that is, until we finish the basement, remodel the laundry room, expand our back patio, redo the kitchen...owning a home is a full-time hobby, as my father-in-law says).

Our focus now is on finalizing as many rooms as possible. This usually entails completely clearing out the room of any boxes, trash, and remaining items -- even if those things just get moved to the room over. Many call it "guy cleaning". I call it "consolidating". It seems like a lot of work just to rearrange things, but the payoff is worth it.

It's hard to really visualize how much work you've put into the house until you can look at a room without cardboard boxes and unorganized messes and really see the room. For me, the best example of how hard we've been working is our library. Just last week, the room was a catch-all for everything that hadn't already been brought to the house. You couldn't get from one side of the room to the other without twisting an ankle or bumping your knee. Now, after what feels like hundreds of man hours, the boxes have been unpacked or allocated, the books have been alphabetized, and the carpet has had one more vacuuming. Of all the rooms in our house, our library is probably the most "done".

Right now, half of our rooms are finalized. Our library, our dining room, our guest room, and the laundry room. The kitchen/kitchenette is technically finalized, but it quickly gets filled with whatever in the course of daily events. And suddenly, unpacking seems to grind to a halt.

It's the idea of 90/10, 10/90, where you get the first 90% of the unpacking done in 10% of the time, and the last 10% of the unpacking in the remaining 90% of the time. The fact that I've started consolidating boxes and returning the "junk" to the basement doesn't exactly help.

The party is only days away, which means we're probably 24 hours out from taking whatever remains on the first two floors and shoving it into the basement for now. And who knows what happens then. Eventually we have to do something with it, if we want to finish the basement. Hopefully I'll go down the altruistic route and donate a good portion of that stuff to charity.

Or maybe I'll just shift around the boxes and remark on how much finalized space I made in the basement.

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