Stuff, stuff, everywhere stuff…

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We’ve moved.   We started the process in April, when we first met with a real estate agent, and are now winding it up as we unpack.  We were planning to move…in 2 years or so.  Hubby moved that up really quick on me, so I was not ready.  Our real estate agent wanted our junk/clutter/personal stuff gone.  Little did he know that I did too, but more on that later.  Hubby and I approached this in 2 different ways, and unfortunately, his way won out.  I wanted to pretty much pick up each individual item and make a decision as to keep or not.  Hubby wanted to shove everything in boxes and deal with it later.  Based on the time crunch, things were flung in boxes.  A storage locker was filled.  Then a 2nd storage locker was filled.  Then the garage was filled…you get the picture.  We were left with a house that had some odd and end decor items in it, but no clutter.  It was clean, it was open, it was easy to manage, it was easy (dare I say inviting) to keep clean.  I liked it  I felt like I breathed better (from a weight being lifted, not from the lack of dust, which there was, because it was easy to stay on top of the dusting…).  Long story short…our house sold, we found one, we moved out, we moved in, and here we are.

I am still in the process of unpacking.  Doing a few boxes each day.  Not as fast I would like, but at the same time things are being put away and organised, not just crammed somewhere for the sake of getting it out of the way.

Then the dread fills me.  The one thing that I keep forgetting.  Oh dear… This is just the stuff we had for staging the house.  We still have 2 storage lockers full of stuff that has not yet been moved.

We. Have. Too.  Much.  Stuff.  There is no getting around it.  I don’t want that stuff back in my life.  Yes, I want my pots and pans back.  Yes, I want the red club chair back.  Yes, I want the ornaments from my grandma back.  There are a few choice items I want.  But I am ready to let the rest of it go.  It is freeing.  Things that I couldn’t possibly part with a few months ago, I don’t care if I ever see them again.  Books that I was keeping because…I don’t know why…company might be impressed by my 20 year old psych text books on the shelf?  Some co-worker who I worked with 20 years ago gave it to me for Christmas, but now I couldn’t tell you what their last name was, but their feelings might be hurt if they ever came to my house and saw that it wasn’t prominently displayed?    The irony is that we don’t have people over because there is no room!

So, the purging begins.  Letting go of things.  Having the will power (and remove the emotion) to make the decision of “do I need this in the house”.  There will be fights, I’m sure, with the hubby, but we will make it through.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Nah, we’ll be good.

Any tips? Suggestions?  Thoughts?  Have you ever really, truly, cleaned house?

Catch you later,

S.

Things need to change

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I’m actually tired of saying that.  I started this blog 2 years ago, I believe…with all of 3 posts it would be easy to go back and check.  And everything has stayed the same.  EV-ERY-THING.  Well, I guess not.  We lost 2 fur babies, we have 2 new fur babies, I have several new nieces and nephews.  Life has gone on, but I seem to have been stuck in the same quagmire.

Things ARE changing in a little over 2 weeks.  We are moving.  We are moving to a new (sort of, I will get to that) city.  I cannot wait.

It’s a small city in Southern Ontario.  It is where my dad was born.  It was where I visited my grandparents.  I have always had a great interest in family history, and my family  has been there for some time.  Last year we were having a family picnic.  Hubby’s father was visiting us from Montreal, and we had lunch with hubby’s brother, his wife and their daughter, plus my parents, my sisters, their husbands and their kids.  Despite my sisters and I all being born away from this city, they have both settled there.  My one sister moved into my grandmother’s house when my grandmother had to go to a nursing home, to take care of the house and I guess so grandma could think that moving home could still be a possibility.  My sister and her husband eventually bought the house, and it is where their 2 kids call home.  My grandparents had bought that house from my grandma’s mother, so it has been a family home since the 1930’s.  My dad visited his grandparents there, I visited my grandparents there, and now my parents visit their grandchildren there (let’s face it, once grandkids arrive, the actual children become obsolete 🙂 ).  My other sister married a guy from this city, and has moved there, and now have their 2 kids.  The really strange twist of fate is that my brother-in-law, a Montreal ex-pat, met a girl when he was living in Toronto.  Turns out SHE is from there as well, and about 2 years ago they moved back with their daughter.  At this picnic, my sister-in-law and one of my sisters both said, independently of each other, “Have you guys thought about moving here?”. We hadn’t, but we did that night.  And we decided we wanted to.  We thought it would be a 2 year plan, but in March our next door neighbour put his house up for sale.  We went to the open house on a whim.  Next thing I know we taking the real estate agent’s card, and bing bang boom, our move was on!

It has been the luckiest move in the history of moves, I think.  Everything has fallen right into place, like THIS was meant to be.  Our agent was getting frustrated at how slowly (to him) we were getting our house ready for sale.  I was dealing with a move that was sort of spung on me, a husband who travels A LOT for work, and was gone for the first 3 weeks after we decided to do this, more clutter than I will ever admit to, and  a host of home repairs that should have been done long before.  Our agent had hoped to have our house ready for May 11.  We listed June 18.  However, we live in a condo townhouse complex just outside of Toronto.  When we were scrambling to get the house ready there were 9 other units on the market, most of which had far more substantial upgrades than we had.  They were moving, but with so many units there wasn’t much urgency, as buyers had lots of options.  They day before we listed, the last of those units finalized their deal.  We would be the only unit on the market!  Because the upgrades we had done, and the sudden exclusivity of our unit, we were able to ask a price that was no where on the radar when we first started discussing this, and because we were the only one, we got over asking.  One catch, the buyer wanted in FAST.  He wanted August 1, we negotiated August 15.  Still. this didn’t finalize until July 1, and we needed our house to sell before we could go look for another house.

We went to look at houses.  The first week was a bust (one house was so gross – I got really sick for the next 4 days and while people say it was food poisoning, I still think the house gave me dysentery).  The next weekend we saw a house we really liked, put in an offer, but did not get the house (we put an offer in 20K over asking, the winning big was 15K beyond that…no contest).  We were disappointed, but not crushed, which led me to believe that somehow, inside, we knew THIS wasn’t our house.  We went the next weekend.  We found a house.  It was in our price range, and because it had been on the market for so long, it was due for a price decrease.  God bless the tenant who had been living there and refused to let the house be shown.  We got the house, and we got it for below what the price decrease was going to be.  AND because the tenant had vacated the house, we were able to get the house for the same closing date as our house.  We weren’t going to have to live in my niece’s tree house!  Actually, I had asked her and she had said no, but only because there was no stove.

So we are moving to a city that will be new to us as residents, but really resonates with me.  I feel like I am moving home.

We are getting a blank slate.  Much of our stuff went into storage when we were selling our house to make it clutter free.  I want to make sure that at least 50% of that does not make it back in the house.  It was really sad when I realized that with the exception of a few key pieces, I could probably walk away from most of the stuff in there and not bat an eye.  However, when it was in my house, on my shelves, in my drawers, it was too precious to part with.  It has been so easy to keep a clean house BECAUSE THERE IS NOT MUCH HERE TO MESS IT UP!  Funny how that works.  There is a place for everything.  I need that to continue.

Not having the clutter makes me want to do things – baking, crafting, etc is so much easier because there is space to do it…alas it is impossible as most of my stuff is packed up.    However, I am trying to document how amazing this feels, so I can remember why I want to have this feeling continue in the new house.

Cheers,

S.

 

 

Did you think I had disappeared?

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So you start a blog, make one or two posts, then disappear.  That shows real commitment.

I let life get in the way, which is ironic as the blog is about creating the life I want.  The last few months I feel like a monkey, swinging vine to vine.  Getting from point A to B, with that brief moment of panic in that nanosecond where you are airborne between the 2.  Getting through things, but just.  I haven’t been taking much pleasure in what has been getting done, more getting it done because it had to be done, not for the joy of it.

I need to find the joy in my hobbies again.  And it is coming.  I finished a few knitting projects, and feel good about that.  I made some cupcakes that were fun.  Glad I had that opportunity.  I will get myself organized in the next few days and share the outcomes here.

Just wanted to say I was still here, the quest is still there, and I’m still scrambling 🙂

Cheers,

Sarah

How many hours in a day?

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I may have seemed to have taken a break, but I was actually on vacation, and away from the computer.   It was a great vacation, and while I tried to unplug, it gave me time to think about what it was that I want to accomplish.

I was back last week, and it involved getting caught up at work.  But I tried to start living the way I want to at home.  I tried cooking at home (I’m sure the fast food joints noticed a dip in their takings). We went out to see Shakespeare in the park, we went to visit family, we celebrated my niece’s birthday…I can see that time management is going to be an issue.  Coming home, cooking, cleaning up, prepping for the next day certainly puts a cramp on the amount of time for reading, creating, and having a life in general.

I learned to knit…so obviously if I have down time, I want to make the needles fly.  Unfortunately, I have not figured out a way to knit and read at the same time.  I am going to have to come up with a schedule.  Also sort of glad that my book club has been moved back a week this month, because I need some time to catch up. 

I did have some kitchen creations, which I will report on in the next few days. 

This is about balance, so I am coming to learn, and that is not something I excel in. I obsess, I focus all my energy into a single project, I get bored or burnt out, and I drop it.  I need to pace myself.

How do you stay or create balance?

Cheers,

S.

So what am I doing here?

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Yeah.  I’m a great one for making great plans, but fail miserably at identifying the steps I need to make that happen.  So, something I need to work on.

I can see what I want -a life that is more together than what it is now.  I want to find enjoyment in the things I used to.

So, for me, a “more together life”?  I will warn you right now that these are all pretty superficial and ego-centric, but I think that I need to start with me, and then let that spill out into the rest of my life, like a ripple effect.  I’m going to run with this for now, and see where it leads. If you were looking for something or someone with all the answers to the big questions and the meaning of life (42, isn’t it?), you won’t find it here (I don’t think,  Maybe eventually, It’s early days yet…)

So here is my goal right now:

1) Read one book a week (I used to be able to do this…I will try my best)

2) One new culinary experiment a week – it could just be a new recipe or a new ingredient, but something new

3) One new creative project a week

4) One wild card – that will likely be either a home or “beauty” thing.

I am going to need a some time to come up with a master plan, but I think I have a map now.  Oh to have simply been born a domestic Goddess.

Til the next,

Cheers,

S.  

Greetings from a domestic Goddess in training

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living roomWelcome to my home.  Well, this isn’t my home, it is not currently welcome-worthy.  This is a picture of a home that I found online (if it’s yours, it’s beautiful, and can I come over?) but it is something that I aspire to.

To those of us not lucky enough to have been born to Mt. Olympus, I realized that to achieve Goddess status, it would mean climbing up by hand.  Ugh.  Physical exercise.  Not what I had in mind.  

I want to be the “It” girl.  I want to be the one who has her poop together.  I want to be Super Woman.  I want to be a Domestic Goddess – plate of home made baking in one hand, the perfect cocktail in the other, witty conversation flowing from my lipstick covered lips, in an inviting home, looking like I just stepped out of magazine (and not the “What were they thinking?” page.).

So, here I am sitting at the foot hills of Olympus.  My love for cooking and baking disappeared many moons ago, and I would dearly like to see that rekindled.  I used to be a voracious reader, and that has dwindled to maybe a book a month (and that is largely because I a part of a book club, so gotta get it done).   I am sort of crafty, primarily making my own greeting cards. My beauty routine is solidly founded in brushing my teeth at least once a day (sorry Mum), and making sure my hair is brushed before I leave the house.

So I thought that if I shared my ups,downs, and sideways shifts, it might help fuel my trek up the mountain.  I would love to have companions on the journey, and hope maybe you will tag along 

Cheers,

S.