There are a lot (no really? A LOT!) of things I love about the new house. I love the layout, and the location. And the light — oh my sweet lord, the morning light pouring in to the kitchen and then the setting sun bathing the whole front of the house in a rich, warm, yellow, delicious light… it’s truly gorgeous, even moreso than I expected.
I love the extra space in the kitchen, although it’s a new challenge to have to actually walk 10 steps across the kitchen to get something, as opposed to my tiny galley kitchen where everything was literally within arm’s reach. I’m happy to trade the extra space we lost in the master bedroom for the space we gained in the main living space, and even though I’m still a tiny bit anxious about having the big boys down in the basement, they are not in the least bit concerned about it and in fact love their giant-sized and not-shared bedrooms.
We’ve made good progress in getting stuff out of boxes and organized, although there is still a frightful amount of work to be done. We’ve probably got about 65 per cent of the boxes unpacked, and I have a pretty good idea of which box holds what of the boxes that remain. Unfortunately, of those boxes that remain, a large number of them are full of stuff that never really had a proper home in the last house, either. Those are the boxes that you keep shuffling off into the corner, saying, “Oh, I can’t deal with this one now. I’ll get to it later.” I figure we should be fully unpacked some time in, oh, say November. Of 2011.
One of the most challenging issues to date has been mapping our old daily routines onto a new house. It’s taking me forever to get ready for work in the mornings because I am if nothing else a creature of habit, and my habits don’t work in the new layout. I’ll finish one task, like brushing my teeth, and find myself in full-stop mode, standing rather perplexedly in the middle of the bathroom, flummoxed as to what to do next. Muscle memory would have previously carried me through to the next task in the routine, but with nothing where it is ‘supposed’ to be, I have to actually stop and think about what I have to do next and, more importantly, where the stuff is that I need to accomplish that task. Like, my socks. Getting dressed in the old house never taxed any of my pre-coffee brain cells!
And the thing that is most vexing about mapping my old routines onto the new house? There aren’t enough hooks. In fact, there aren’t any hooks at all.
We are, in general, lazy people. We seek to exert the shortest possible amount of effort on activities that involve housekeeping. Hanging a jacket up on a hanger takes four seconds of effort, but draping one over a hook takes less than two. If there are no nearby hooks, any nearby structure will do — chairs, railings, whatever. I’m sure we’d drape things over the dog if it weren’t for the infernal shedding.
The old house was filled with strategically placed hooks — by the front door, in the bathrooms, in the bedrooms. Anywhere one might want to divest one’s self of the contents of one’s hands (jacket, backpack, purse, towel, scarf, just about anything hookable!) there was a hook to prevent the unceremonious dumping of said contents onto the floor.
The problem is that the new house also doesn’t lend itself to the strategic placement of hooks in the same way the old house did. The entryway, while charming with its double door, allows space for neither coat hooks nor even a natural spot for a purse-resting key table or even a set of key hooks. I’m still puzzling over how to make that work.
The bathrooms are another area that cry out for hooks. While I have not yet managed to acquire new waste bins for them (attractive plastic Farm Boy bags currently fill that role, dangling from available knobs) I did set out on the very first day to acquire some bathroom-suitable hooks. We’re minus one shower in the new house, and the main and downstairs bathrooms simply don’t have enough towel bar space to accommodate five bath towels and bathrobes on a regular and rotating basis.
In my new favourite store, the Manotick Home Hardware, I carefully contemplated our needs and decided on a lovely set of over-the-door hooks that would give us a place to hang the here-to-fore homeless bathrobes and wet towels. And imagine my consternation when I arrived home, tore open the package, and stood in slack-jawed dismay at the door to the main bathroom. The 1960s bungalow special feature: a pocket door.
Speaking of hooks, I think I’ll end this rambly and vaguely incoherent post here with this poor excuse for a conclusion, before the big hook comes up to yank me off the stage. (This is the kind of post you get when I have hours upon hours of time to think about blog posts while doing menial labour but not enough time to actually execute the ideas into coherence!!) 🙂