Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Project UnPack

Project UnPack: Down The Hall, The Door On The Right

Depending on where you are in my apartment, this title post will lead you to the bathroom. Given in another spot, it will lead you to our shoe closet. We love our shoe closet. Both the fiancé and I have a love with shoes. But I’m getting off topic. This post is not about our love affair with footwear, it’s about finally directing people to our bathroom without worrying they’ll meet their demise under and avalanche of [insert beauty product here].

I have a love affair with grooming. I have a lot of nail polis, Mary Kay products, combs and brushes (and I have locs…), smell good stuff, etc. Add in towels and the fact that we never unpacked our apartment, and you’ve got quite the mess. Let me refresh your memory about what our bathroom used to look like as recently as last week.

I’ve mended my evil ways, y’all. I have a bathroom that is organized and easily navigable. Even the fiancé can find what he needs there. All he has is cologne and lotion, but still.

I really felt like I had my shit together when a guest in my house asked for cotton balls. I told her, “top drawer on the right.” She found them in 2 seconds. 2 Seconds!! No one’s found anything in that bathroom in 2 seconds besides toilet paper since we moved in! Winning!

Okay, I’m done with the exclamation points and here with yet another numbered list to explain why having an organized bathroom rocks.

1) Even if your bathroom is actually clean, people believe you easier when it’s organized. Otherwise, you get the skeptical, “how-can-it-be-clean-did-you-move-that-pile-of-stuff-to-clean-under-it-and-put-it-right-back?” look. With an organized bathroom, they believe.

2) You can send others to do your bidding. “Bring me my [insert toiletry item here]” works a lot better when you can direct them straight to it.

3) It just makes you happy to see the organization. When I show you pictures, which I know you’re dying to see, you’ll see why my bathroom makes me happy.

4) No more dropping things on your feet. I dropped a surprisingly heavy bottle of nail polish or moisturizer on my foot at least once a week. Our bathroom isn’t large, or even medium, so space is important and making the most of it is too.<

And now, pictures!

See how organized the bins are now? The middle right drawer may have to go though. I have locs and he is bald. We don’t need an entire drawer for hair stuff…

Decorative towels. Perhaps too much, but I like it, so it stays.

This vase with faux flowers was borrowed from my front hall. But it really fills in that window. I didn’t want curtains in here and now I don’t need them!

The others are just of the rest of the bathroom. Organized and matching the decor. Go us! The fiancé did help a bit. He took out the garbage. I had a huge ass bag of garbage that had to go. Old lotions, creme, polishes, etc. I could have started a day-old bakery version of Bath & Body Works…

Project UnPack: A Kitchen I Want To Both Cook And Eat In


I have this project I’m working on. It’s called Project UnPack. The goal is to unpack (finally!) the apartment the fiancé and I moved into in June. Our lease is up July 1st of next year. I’ve got to say, at the rate we’re going, we’ll be unpacked and organized just in time to pack up again and move. Le sigh.

So far, the unpacking has been slow-moving, but effective. It started with outing myself for how terrible things really looked. Then, The fiancé and I hit a hiccup. Most recently, we began to welcome people to our apartment like normal folk.

In the time that has passed, we’ve been super busy. We’re always busy, which is why our apartment looks like crap. But in an effort to at least make the space that most of our guests spend most of their time look better, I got inspired one afternoon. I love cooking and I love our kitchen, but it really needed some polish and organization. So I got to work, and I’m pretty satisfied with the finished result.

I'm not taking those orange beads off the door. They're from my birthday party. But everything else is all kitchen purpose-y and well-organized.

That’s just the first half of the kitchen.

Organizing the counter so it only had neat and essential items was a big step. I even fixed the clock for Daylight Savings Time. You can see remnants of other birthday decorations, which I'm not taking down until we move.

We don’t have any real storage space, but I at least wanted to make the area we have neat.

We don't have a lot of storage space, but this is about as good as it's going to get for out cat stuff, vases, step stool,garbage can, and recycling. In our next place, there will be real storage in the kitchen area!

But you really have to see the view from over in the living room area.

We have a bar instead of a table, and that worked just fine for me. I'm pleased with our whole kitchen, even if the pendant lights are surrounded by crepe paper I'm never taking down.

I’d say it was a pretty successful afternoon. If you look again at that last picture, there is a cookie jar there that was a housewarming gift from one of the fiancé’s exes (don’t ask). I’m not a fan of her, but I love that cookie. That afternoon, I also baked fresh cookies to put in the jar. They were peanut butter chip and chocolate chip cookies. Soooo good.

One of these days, I’m going to stop talking about all the great things I have cooked/baked. Or at least put up an accompanying recipe.

Next up on the Project UnPack list: the bathroom! It’s definitely clean and useable, it’s just not organized or unpacked.

Project UnPack: A Welcoming Foyer

After that first hiccup, I was kind of afraid I’d lost my will to get it together. But then I saw that slideshow I put up. It was part shame, and part defiance, but I got a second wind.

I work nights, but when I have a couple days in a row off, I sleep at night with the fiancé. So I woke up with lots of daylight still to go. The fiancé wanted our bedroom unpacked first. He made a noticeable dent in the room himself on Tuesday. You can actually see the floor!

You can actually see the floor! Not much of it, but it's a start.

I need a bit more fortitude than I currently possess to attack that room myself, but I was feeling inspired, so I went after the foyer. I don’t know if you remember that section of the disaster from the slideshow, but I’ll remind you. You may want to view this through spread apart fingers.

All those unpacked boxes. And coats. And boxes. And purses. And boxes. Sigh.

But this is just one view; it’s what you see when walking down the hallway. It actually looks worse from when you see it when you first open the door.

This is what our guests saw when they walked into the apartment. We're so sorry!

I unpacked the boxes and hung up the decorations. Once I could actually get to the closet, I put up the Christmas decorations and finally hung all the coats. For about 2.5 hours of hard work, I fully unpacked our foyer. Would you like to see it now?

No more boxes!!! Just an unpacked and welcoming foyer!

I was very proud of myself for hanging that coat rack by myself. My last apartment had carpet for me to balance on the step stool on, and I don’t have great balance.

This is what you see now when you walk into our apartment. You're Welcome!

Now my mom won’t judge us when she comes over. Well, at least she won’t until she looks to her left and sees our bedroom. Wry smile.

Wall art hanging up finally... And still my birthday party decorations. Those will stay though. For now.

When the fiancé came home, he was so surprised. He stopped in the doorway and just looked around for quite a while. I think he was really pleased. Well, the big grin he had on his face stayed big even after he saw the huge pile of boxes he had to take down to the trash, so I know he was really pleased. You can see the silhouette of those boxes against the kitchen door if you look to the right in that photo. The stack was like 6.5 feet tall!

It made me happy to show him that I wasn’t just talking when I said I’d really get our apartment together. I get on him a lot about keeping his word even on small things. I want to be accountable too. We’re building a foundation for marriage here; we’ve got to be on best behavior in the hopes that it will magically become our permanent behavior.

He wants me to tackle our bedroom next. I’m making no promises… Maybe I’ll finally finish our kitchen.

Project UnPack: A Hiccup Out The Starting Gate

I realized that though I wrote a post about how the apartment unpacking didn’t get off to a good start, didn’t actually post it. So here it is.

The fiancé and I were in the middle of an argument. Neither of us were particularly angry at first, but it was an argument nonetheless.

We’re supposed to work well together according to our zodiac signs. But I guess if you factor in how we were raised and the things we learned along the way, things diverge.

The argument started because he never looks at the serving size on any package before he eats. What’s the big deal about that, right? I mean nobody looks at serving sizes.

Well, the big deal is that he agreed to do it. The fiancé has impulse control issues and he’s overweight. And he tends to eat whenever he’s stressed. Which is why he’s eating right now.

But enough of the impulse control. That’s a post for another time. This post is about us not getting off to a good start getting our house together.
The fiancé was under the impression that we would be cleaning up at the same time. I never said that. After years of doing big spring cleanings with my whole family, I know better than to put two people in one room and give them the same task. When I said we’d do it together, I meant that we’d each do our part. He thought something different. Hence, the argument.

Add to that our differing views on portion sizes, saying what you mean, and who’s caused the other more disappointment (he’s caused waaaaaaay more for the record), and you’ve got quite an argument on your hands.

It got worse before it got better. We made up and definitely had a pretty good Tuesday date to confirm that we were back on solid ground.

And the fiancé did help with the room. In fact he’s been doing more work than I have. All my time has been spent dress shopping for my mom’s dress for my wedding, and washing clothes.  In my next post, I’ll put up pictures of the progress so far.