Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Project UnPack

Getting Inspired

Sometimes, inspiration strikes. In my endless quest to unpack my house, I have felt like such a failure. One thing that has helped is having ongoing project to organize everything. Organize is a happier term for more than unpack. Don’t ask me why, it is what it is.

The main failures are the unpacked boxes and the the unused storage containers.

This brings me to mine eureka moment. After we organized all our living room shelves, we have no more need for our bookcases. Yet in our apartment they still sit. I’ve decided to move the bookcases to our weekend bedroom and use them to store the billion extra blankets and materials currently scattered around that room.

The desk that is currently taking up real estate com be moved to where the bookcases are now and then the husband will have access to it because he only ever used the computer in the living room anyway.

If you could see our apartment, you would totally see the genius of this plan. Perhaps a more clear example of my revelation will help. In or bedroom, we have a tower. This is no ordinary tower. This tower is made of towels. It’s actually twin towers.

These Twin Towel Towers exist because the one thing both the husband and I bought in abundance to our marriage (besides love, trust, and communication of course) is towels. Lots and lots of towels. And when they are all clean and piled up high, the card are at risk of being buried alive in a fluffy avalanche.

I have finally tackled this big ass problem. I’m going to use the husband’s Rubbermaid bins to good them. The way those bins are shaped means we can store those towels under the bed. I’m looking forward to less towels-and-weird-shaped-bin-and-unpacked-boxes clutter.

On another note, work was so awesome tonight cause I got pulled in on a secret. The significant other of one of my co-workers is planning a huge awesome surprise for her. What he has planned for her have me a hear idea for the husband. But he reads this blog, so I’m not giving anything away yet.

Enough of my inspirations. What inspires you?

Getting My [insert noun here] In Shape

Summer, my body, parties, my apartment, hobbies. Fill in the blank with almost anything I wish I were doing more of.

I should be getting my ass in shape. I’m working on it. But just not as wholeheartedly as I’d like. I love bike riding, and I love yoga. Finding the time and motivation is a losing battle. At least I’m eating better. More grains and fruit, less over-processed and fried foods.

Summer is shaping up. I’ve been trying to spend more time outside, and more time with my friends. I’ve been quite unsuccessful at both. It took so long to get warm, and now that it is, I’ve got to get it together. I have a whole week off starting the 4th of July. I’m planning some great things for the husband’s birthday, and I should be able to squeeze a lot in that week.

We’re throwing a party for the husband’s birthday. We had one in June which was amazing. And we’ll have another in July. That should keep me feeling party-ful for the summer. I’m still in my 20s, so I shouldn’t be over clubs yet, should I? I am though, so I won’t be doing much partying-in-a-loud-ass-room-surrounded-by-strangers-I-have-no-interest-in.

My apartment is still terrible. It’s getting better, but I haven’t made any progress since we got those amazing shelves from The Container Store. My next plan is to buy another set of shelves and connect it to the first set. The expansion will make room for the TV and our books. That way we can get rid of the bookcases and really have some effective downsizing done ahead of the move to NYC.

And lastly hobbies. I thought I’d be doing more at church, more volunteering, more rock climbing. And I’ve done nothing. I don’t even draw in my sketchbook anymore.

You know what? I’m done complaining. If I spend all my free time doing nothing, I can’t feel bad that I’ve got nothing done. I’m going to focus on what I can get done.

I can stay on top of my TV shows.

I’m not kidding. I really do love television. And coming up this month and next are the summer premiers of some of my favorite shows. I love White Collar, Leverage, Franklin & Bash. I can watch those shows and feel a sense of accomplishment.

And then after that, I’ll get my butt up off the couch and go bike riding along the lake. And I’ll invite along one of my friends. And bring a snack of fresh fruit and water.

Boom, problem solved.

Project UnPack: Now This Is Living (Room)!

So far, we’ve done the bathroom, the kitchen, and the foyer. Don’t even ask about the bedrooms. I guess I’m saving those for last. Or avoiding them like the plague. Either way.

The husband and I had discussed going to The Container Store to get proper storage for all the stuff we need to keep in our living room space. Finally, we went in early May. Or maybe it was late April, I can’t remember. We walked into the store and every nesting urge I’ve ever had smiled inside me.

We found a very helpful salesman who I gave an elaborate backstory to in my head. I decided he was gay and living with his partner and that one weekend we’d run into them at brunch at one of my favorite spots in Chicago for brunch. Then we’d go antiquing. Then rock climbing. They also own a poodle and an iguana. But back to his helpfulness in real life.

He pointed us toward the right shelving for our needs and managed to keep us from spending too much over budget. We saved money by agreeing to put it together ourselves. And bonus! The shelving dissembles easily and takes up hardly no space, so it will be travelling with us to NYC. I may buy the connector set and make that a bookcase/TV stand so all we’ll need for our entire living room storage is 8-10 feet of open wall.

The husband and I never seem to gel on these projects where things have to be put together. Eventually we called it a night, and when he left for work in the morning, I got back to work. It’s really a two-person job, but I managed. I got so energized from seeing the shelves come together that I spread my efforts to the rest of the living room area. I was so excited for the husband to see it when he got home.

I’ll have to dig a “before” picture out from somewhere so you can see how far it’s come.

I had to take down the birthday banner to accommodate the shelving. It looks slightly cluttered, but it looked way worse on closer inspection. now everything has somewhere to go.

Now our entire common area is complete and it’s amazing. Well, the bookcases could be better, but I will fix that with another set of shelves. And then it will be perfect!

Our living room space looks so cozy now!

This is our shelving with space for all our instruments, Wii add-ons, and my beloved record player.

We have streamlined our TV stand and found room for extra Wii accessories on the wall.

Here’s a better view of the whole room. You can see we still have the orange banner up from my birthday last year. I love orange.

In case you’re wondering, we used the adjustable shelving by Elfa. They are amazing and indispensable if you’ve got a couple hundred dollars to spare. I can see my future with Elfa shelving in my closet, my pantry, my garage, my office, hell even my bathroom. Home ownership will reflect my love for Caboodles as a child.

How do you get your home organized and streamlined?

Resolutions, Week 9

I know I basically took a month off on the resolutions, but it was so I could gain weight and have a hilarious series of photos for my wedding with the hook and eye bursting as my maid of honor strapped me in my dress.

But I’m back now and trying to make good on my resolutions. Back to cooking my husband dinner, back to Project UnPack. Speaking of Project UnPack, that’s mostly just me trying to de-wedding my apartment. The husband has been a huge help with that.

So here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the husband at least once a week.   

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.   

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.   

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.   

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.   

6) Get another cat.   

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Here’s how I did:

1) I meant to cook dinner, I really did. but neither of us wanted to go to the grocery store. And then I spent a whole evening putting together a fantastic liquor cabinet our bridesmaids bought it. It fits everything: punch bowl, shot glasses, wine, wine glasses, etc. So we admired that while we ate take out barbeque.

2) I went to see Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds with my mom on Thursday. I find myself enjoying his movies more and more as they start to feel more like real rom-coms and less like new age church-y minstrel shows.

3) Yeah, I’m almost back up to the highest weight I’ve ever been. Thank God for stretchy jegging pants because my jeans do not fit.

4) I may have had french fries like 3 times this week. Sigh.

5) Well, I finally put up all our wedding gifts that are already at our house. That’s the first step in our effort to de-wedding our apt.

6) Working on it.

7) I’m wearing one of the gifts right now. Or at least I was when I got home from work. Wink.