Thursday, November 5, 2009

Creating Home: update

fall_wreath

In August I wrote about creating a new home as part of a transition in Home is not just where you hang your hat. With the holidays coming up, home and a sense of being at home is more important that ever. So it seemed a good time to do an update on my own home creation in conjunction with writing about getting ready for the holidays.

First let me be clear that I am not finished settling in. My original plan was to allow a full year for getting through all the cartons and becoming truly settled in. Since this is more like a marathon than a dash my pacing feels about right overall. There are occasional sprints for position like finding a conversation space in the living room or the space to have my granddaughter spend the night; but overall I am rather methodically going from project to project.

A lot has been accomplished since my last post. When I wrote that post I was wedged among stacks of furniture, cartons and storage tubs. The dining room was box city and unusable. There was a single path from the front door through the length of my apartment. I was in the door but not really living.

Since then I have unpacked and tossed half the cartons as well as sorted and downsized about half the tubs. I can entertain guests and eat at my dining table. I have living, work and resting space. The best part is that my bedroom is starting to feel like a real retreat space.

But some of this progress came at a price. Some things I had to give up. Some things were easier than others things to give up. Five cartons of used books had to go. I still have plenty of books, never fear. I also had to choose between the dining table and the buffet since there wasn’t room for both. There will probably be more things to be given up as time goes by, but I’ll cross those bridges when they come.

I made a couple of acquisitions too. You may wonder where I had room for anything else but trust me these earn their keep. When the buffet went I knew I would eventually need a small serving cart. Well a free one showed up across the street. It’s very compact but can be unfolded to make a longer serving space. The other piece I picked up was a headboard for my bed. I found a lovely one at a charity fundraiser for $15.

One of the things I have started doing is getting out my decorative pieces and hanging things on the walls. My fall things have been out since Labor Day and will stay up through Thanksgiving. I’m not expecting to host anybody’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner but I have plans to do some small-scale entertaining and that means I need to take care of some unfinished tasks. Anticipating the holidays and the indoor living of the winter months takes some fore-thought for a new or temporary home.

The biggest consideration is space. In the warmer months when most activities took place outdoors a few unpacked or out of season items probably weren’t that noticeable. Planning for at-home dinners, game nights, or watching movies requires some open space for guests to feel comfortable and not cramped. This also means that the scale of holiday decorations needs to be adjusted; not only for space considerations but for how much time is practical to invest in decorating.

Between now and Thanksgiving week I will be finding a place to store my warm season gear I am not getting rid of. At the same time I have some cartons and tubs to sort through and consolidate in order to find more space. Finally I will redo how my home office sits in the corner of the living room so the conversation area is roomier. The goal is to have the rooms set for Christmas decorating before the seasonal change over begins.

How are you getting ready for the change of seasons?

1 comment:

chelle said...

Downsizing must be so hard!
I think you are doing amazing.