I get seriously annoyed by the cliche of the pregnant woman “nesting”. I tend to think this is another way to belittle women and our silly obsession with cleaning–men of course, have none of these feminine urges, or so the story goes. I know this isn’t true, and that there are men out there who are very tidy. Sadly, for me, I have somehow managed to attract men into my life who don’t see filth. They have so many better things to do! Not little me though, I just *love* spending my time scrubbing, right?! Wanh. Then again, I do absolutely feel a pointed urge to clean and organize at the end of my pregnancies, so maybe the nesting thing isn’t all myth. I’ll concede a little.
And indeed a week or so ago, I got a real bee in my bonnet about the state of things. This is entirely usual, although the scope of my ambition in regards to this project, not so much. Some of you might remember a couple of natural or semi-natural disasters that befell me and my family in the previous years–so, not that several years later there is much excuse for this, but we still have areas of storage that had ben filled up as a result of evacuating after those calamitous events, and I decided, just a week ago, with the birth of this baby imminent, that I absolutely *had* to tackle those seemingly insurmountable areas. We’re talking, um, entire barns full of boxes and crap. Chief among the items that I have a particular talent for collecting, is clothing. I shudder to recall my teens and twenties, during which I would prowl the second-hand and vintage stores of Vancouver, hungry for the thrill of of the hunt–velvet, silk, brocade, the more outlandish and dramatic the better (True Value vintage, Burcu’s Angels anyone? And of course, the Sally Ann and value village) coming home with massive garbage bags full of treasure that I couldn’t live without.
I still love clothes, but I’ve settled into a bit of a comfortable uniform–lots of black of course (best camouflage for self-inflicted and kid-related messes) punctuated by the quirky and colourful. I admit, it was kind of fun, pulling out box after box after bag after bag of clothes that I had loved but thought I’d lost. I also have silly quantities of kids clothes, which makes a little more sense. I don’t really want to get rid of anything that will be reused by the next small person, as I’m increasingly frugal, and hesitant to spend money, especially on garments that will quickly be outgrown, or stained.
Nonetheless, I culled and culled and culled again, and at one point our entire driveway was piled high with several mountains of clothes I had slated to be donated to the Sally Ann and the food bank. The rest I organized according to age, and gender (which annoyed me as I was doing it, although I happily dress my boy babies in pink and flowers and my girl babies in boats and blue, so yes, this is my political statement, there you go). I probably got rid of 2/3 of what I have, which felt good, and now our back storage area is piled high with rubbermaid bins which, although formidable, at least contain clothes that are folded and labeled and searchable and somewhat orderly.
Then it was time to move a mattress into our somewhat less cluttered studio space, which will eventually be reclaimed (after crack-filling and painting, as you can see) as it was originally intended: my Pilates practice and teaching space, my office, as well as a space for guests, apprentices and/or volunteers who might want to wood-fire with us. Airbnb here we come! It was a very hot day for moving mattresses, and I was in my underwear, so of course a kid found my phone for this hilarious photo op. I kind of especially love the last photo which is clearly me, telling said kid to knock it off.
But we did it! And now I just need to, well, clean and organize everything else. The photos, above, are the “before”. Will there be an after? I sure hope so.