We have spent all week slowly making mess in order to make less mess. We are almost at the point where the less mess and the more mess are in some balance rather than wondering why on earth we bothered to do anything at all.
Some of you may know that we live in a small house with only 2 bedrooms. One is huge and one is very small so in the beginning, the boys had the small room and Mr G and I had the big room. Time passed and new people arrived in the family before we could manage to move house. First we made room for one small girl in a bedside cot where she slept til she was almost 4 when her sister arrived and eventually grew too squirmy to sleep squished in our bed. This meant that a new small bed was needed for Miss Amoo so that we could shove the baby over into the bedside cot to get some space.
Fast forward to now and we have a double bed, a single bed, a small bed, a filing cabinet, a chest of drawers, a G-Plan style sideboard, a wardrobe and a clothes rail in our room. It is warm in there of a night but it is also a teensy bit claustrophobic and not an oasis of calm.
I had this idea that bunk beds for the girls might help so I measured and surfed and noted sizes and measured some more until I realised that a bunk or a high sleeper really wasn’t going to really work in the space. I should have done all this in my head but foolishly I mentioned it to Miss Amoo who nagged me daily about whether I had foudna ny bunk beds yet and when we were going to sort it all out.
What is it with girls and nagging about new things? The boys hate changing anything but the girls are all “Ooh ooh let’s do this” or “Why don’t we that” and “When are we going to the other”. Their nagging and relentless questioning about future plans makes me want to scream.
However, having got a bee in my own bonnet about solving this ‘problem’ of space I couldn’t let it go so I decided to get rid of the wardrobe so that we could push Miss Amoo’s bed into deep alcove it occupied and create a 4ft by 3ft empty space under the window.
Mr G is never very excited about my plans for re-arranging as he knows
it makes I make a lot of mess in the short-to-medium term. See rearranging for past exploits.
This mammoth task was no different. On Monday we emptied the wardrobe of a few clothes that we rarely wear but need to keep for weddings and funerals, numerous folders of paperwork from my BA (unfinished), pens, bags of new baby and wedding greetings cards, a stash of year-review magazines dating back to before 2000, my belly cast, school photos, shoes and a lot of coat hangers. Outside the wardrobe was no better: I had no idea you could slide quite so many things down the side of a wardrobe and how many spiders would love to live in the gaps between those things.
Not all the stuff found new homes quickly despite the purchase of two large and sturdy Really Useful Boxes I spotted on sale in Staples.
The boxes were to be moved to the under stairs cupboard so we yanked all sort of stuff out of there to fit them in and found some bottles of champagne which we’ve had since we got married. That night the kitchen, living room, landing and bedroom were a mess. We slept in a cave of newly disturbed but ancient dust that night and sneezed a lot.
Tuesday dawned with Mr G saying “Why don’t we get rid of the filing cabinet too?” What? “OK” I say and hope he doesn’t really mean it because I knew how much stuff was in there.
We tried to get the wardrobe out and ended up having to dismantle it. I should have taken it to the dump that day but I didn’t so it stayed outside our front door for three days, not doubt causing much tutting from the neighbours.
We hoovered dust and cobwebs and more dust and more cobwebs until the alcove was clean enough to push Miss Amoo’s bed into. But what scandal was revealed by moving her bed! No wonder this child never has any clean socks or pants or t shirts… and I am such a crappy housewife who never hoovers under beds or wipes the skirting boards either. After more hoovering ensued and the services of a damp cloth, the dreamed of space appeared only to be filled with half the stuff that had been stored on her bed and our bed that day.
With the kids in bed, Mr G thought it might be safe to get all the stuff out of the filing cabinet. Three or four bulging hanging files later and he was wishing he had never mentioned it. TSB credit card statements from 1997, receipts for vinyl records, letters from pen pals, payslips form every company he has ever worked for and loads of property details for houses he liked back when he used to sell houses. In short, almost every piece of paper that had ever been sent since he first started work and had never looked at since but moved from his parents house, to this house, then from drawers needed for clothes into the filing cabinet when I moved in with him nearly ten years ago.
After drinking the best part of a bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Rose from flutes we had forgotten we had, we lost the will to do any more sorting of paper and the recycling bin was getting pretty overloaded so the filing cabinet is going nowhere after all.
On Wednesday we went out and didn’t think about the mess for most of the day. Mr G got some more boxes and we stashed some in the shed that evening then hoovered the bedroom some more. At least we could get into bed without having to move something off it!
Today, things are almost normal: the bag for the charity shop has been taken away, the mountain of previously undiscovered and unwashed clothes is now on the sofa waiting for further processing and I have run out of dark chocolate. Boo.