Over the past two weeks or so, Mr. Chili and I have managed to have the upstairs carpet replaced, paint our old bedroom (no, not REpaint our old bedroom – it was never finished beyond primer in the first place), clean out the girls’ old room and move them upstairs. We’re one step closer to moving into our entire house!
The transition from downstairs to upstairs has been pretty smooth, actually; the hardest part was getting the girls to go through the almost literal mountains of crap they’ve managed to accumulate in their short lives. While Mr. Chili was upstairs painting to the songs of the 60s and 70s, I was downstairs slogging through every possession my daughters own, trying to encourage them to see their things with a critical eye.
I decided on a plan – I told them to imagine that the house was on fire. I told them that all the living animals and all of their treasured things – their blankets and bears, specifically – were already safely on the lawn and that they had time to run into their room and collect five things each that they’d want to save from the flames. Once the five things were “rescued,” they had to go back in and bring out four things that they’d let burn.
We went back and forth like this – each time, I chose a different number of rescue-able and burn-able things – until they had touched every single thing in their room.
Punkin’ Pie had a “keep” pile, Beanie had a “keep” pile, the joint “pitch” pile was put in the middle and, at the end of the afternoon, they were each allowed to rescue two things each from the “pitch” pile (because I know for sure that each girl put something of the other’s in that stack). From there, salvageable things were donated to GoodWill and the rest was thrown away.
Their new room is much bigger – big enough so that their bunk beds can be taken apart and used as twin beds, which I LOVE because it means that I can properly love both of my children before bed without having to climb a ladder (and risking bumping my head on the ceiling). I also love it because it makes making their beds much easier, which means THEY can do it themselves!! We’ve given them a bookshelf to hold their copious collections and, after Mr. Chili and I make that trip to IKEA to get our bedroom furniture, the girls will be given a dresser and two bedside tables so that we can get rid of the cheesy clothes storage set-ups we’ve got for them now.
We’ve still got quite a bit left to do. The siding on the old part of the house needs to be replaced and so, too, does the roof over the garage. We still need a back deck, and the porch at the front door is in desperate need of replacing. The new master bathroom isn’t hooked up at all – there’s a floor in there and the room’s been painted, but that’s it. Finally, the girls’ old room needs to have its carpet removed and a new wood floor put in, and the closets need to be reconfigured so we can use them for shoes and coats and finally clean out our little entry hall. For all we’ve left to do, though, I’m encouraged by how far we’ve come in the last few weeks.
I went back to verify the length of time that we’ve been working on this addition to our home. Ground-breaking took place on May 31, 2005. Between then and now, we’ve gone through a lot, learned a lot about what we can and cannot live with and, believe it or not, grown stronger and closer as a family. Still, though? I’m quite ready to be done, done, done!
Beanie, overseeing the excavation. May 31, 2005