Unpacking is certainly no party for me. Ever. Such a first-world problem I know, but it is still overwhelming each time, probably because life goes on while I’m trying to unpack a house that just travelled across the world (ie, it’s been well packed) which means I still make sure breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks happen, along with all the mess that entails, and we are still wearing, washing, drying, folding, and putting away clothes each day. Add to that all the junk that arrived with us in the van (more clothes – in suitcases – and toys, oh the toys….and books, and random things needed in our first few months here), and sometimes I feel like the house is falling down around my ears. Today and yesterday I have been tackling the “toy room” which looked like this Monday afternoon:
That purple blanket was there because it was a fort, meaning every inch of the floor which wasn’t covered in a box or piece of [hidden] furniture was instead filled up knee-deep with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and random tiny bits of toys and things. Reasons I have NOT to be complaining. 1) I even have a toy room. Sure this means there’s not “office” or “craft room” or other such things, but when would I even have the time to sit alone in an office anyway? John certainly doesn’t need an office to sit in either, so toy room it is. In the last house we had a space about this size for a toy room, but it had no doors to close it off (which this one does, hallelujah!) and it also had the big computer desk, a built in cupboard hiding the circuit breakers and such, and a wardrobe taking up the space. In the house in Hawaii (where we were for three years), there was no room downstairs except the living room, so we tried to turn the garage into a toy area, and things ended up a wreck all the time – plus it was so hot out there!! So this room really is a blessing to us because it will help us find a place for all the toys to live so they won’t litter the rest of the house. Bedrooms are out for toys because so many kids sleep in each one. 2)I have 6 healthy children, one of whom is a 2 year-old prolific (in other words, she never stops talking) who likes to get in to anything that is somewhere I am not, and one who is a 4 month old and is either eating, sleeping, being held on the potty, or fussing with the occasional 15-30 minutes of bliss in which he is chilling out on the floor or in a bouncy seat (of course, I could always wear him or hold him to avoid the fussing, but I’m not into that), and 4 of whom will just proceed from room to room “playing” with things and thereby making more messes. Yes I am thankful for each and every one of them, regardless of the fact that they are slowing down this unpacking process just a wee bit. 3) I don’t work outside the home. How could I do that and unpack the house and keep life going? Man, that would be tough.
So yes, I realize I have it pretty good. But I still want to complain a tiny bit and say – moving is tough, tougher on the mom of the family than on anyone else because no one else really seems to care that it’s all still in boxes, and I’ll be glad when we stop doing it. Don’t get me wrong – every time we move, I love the adventure of it, and I always feel ready to move on when it’s time – but sometimes I catch myself thinking that I am just too old for this moving every 6 months-3 years. (We were in Hawaii 3 years, and that seemed like an eternity!! It took the whole first year really to unpack, but then I had a good 18 months without major organization projects. This time is three years as well, so I just keep telling myself – ‘this too shall pass!’) Here’s how the toy room looks right now at 11:46pm (There were, of course, several “breaks” since I wrote this earlier, including a run out to a Christmas party with four children and then to Lowe’s and Home Depot for a few things):
We are definitely getting there! Tomorrow some help is arriving in the afternoon – new babysitting girl (s) – so surely we can finish up this operation and perhaps even get the bedrooms picked up and fresh sheets on the bed, since now any toys lounging around the house will be whipped into shape and placed in the proper receptacles!
Last week we worked on the bedroom off and on and finally got to where it is mostly finished. I still have a few piles to put away here and there, socks and tights to organize, and a huge box of “this doesn’t go in here” items, but those can wait. At least now I can see all my clothes and know where to go for the things that currently fit. I love having all my “sizes” easily accessible, from maternity, size 14 jeans and large t-shirts down to the medium shirts and size 8 jeans (with everything in between) because then I am always motivated to get back into my smaller clothes for at least a few months before I am pregnant again, and also, when I’m newly pregnant I will have stuff to wear that makes me feel good about myself rather than continuing to try to squeeze into things that just don’t work because I’m too lazy to break out the maternity boxes. Friday night John and I went out to the Christmas dinner/party for his work people where I was able to meet his CO, XO, and the guy directly above him, along with spouses and such. We also enjoyed catching up with sailors form his last submarine who are stationed here as well. It was an awesome spread and was held at the Charleston Aquarium which is a really neat place at night. Here are a few poses:
John’s kilt was QUITE THE HIT (funny, it didn’t seem to get quite as many comments whenever he wore it in England?) as was my Victorian pin-striped bustle skirt. I had a dickens of a time finding anything remotely suitable to wear because none of it was hanging in my closet except the shirt. Good thing our babysitter had an emergency meaning we called in a backup at the last minute who couldn’t arrive for another hour – because I was diving through boxes for that entire hour. Ten boxes later, I found this skirt, and while I continued to look for a particular dress came upon some black tights to wear as well. (I did eventually find the dress – today – in the toy room all squished in to a box the shape of a cube labeled “toys.” Guess that will need to be dry-cleaned…)
On Saturday, Liesl’s ballet class from the Homeschool Co-op danced at a local nursing home, and they were much loved. 🙂 After a few pictures from that event, I’ll sign off, and hopefully will be back on to blog again tomorrow. Hard to say, though, as I am rarely sitting still these days…
How do you handle moving and unpacking? Any tips?
Do you prefer to keep all your sizes of clothes out, or tdo you box them up and put them away when you’re not wearing them?