Jessie: In New Hampshire where the leaves are gone and the birds are visiting the feeders.

Like pretty much everyone else I find myself spending more time at home more than ever. And like so many others, all the little things that are easy to put off or overlook when one spends time rocketing about in other locales become glaring upon daily inspection. This has led to a not unique flurry of home improvement and decorating projects.

In the spring my husband built a new overhang for our back door and ordered a new screen house canopy so we could enjoy the outdoors more easily. I reorganized the pantry. In September we booked the installantion of some long overdue fresh caprpeting and purchased living room furniture as a way to mark our youngest heading off to college. In October we tackled the last room in our home to be redecorated, my office. We peeled down wallpaper dating from the previous owner, painted the walls, changed the overhead lighting and jacked up the house so that the doors close. I pulled down the curtains and hung prisms in the windows and added a bunch of new houseplants.

We moved bookcases to the upstairs hallway, bottomed out the second floor linen closet and built an outdoor fireplace for the patio. I swamped out the sewing room/ studio. I purged my wardrobe. The spice drawers got a hard look and a bit of a buff up. I purged old paper files.

But all this brings me to the bits where there is less certainty. Or perhaps simply less enthusiasm. Every layer of that comes off, or each project that is completed seems to reveal another one beneath it like a never ending set of Russian dolls. The catch-all drawer in the kitchen now seems intolerable compaered to the realative calm exhibited by the spice drawer. My closet no longer contains things I don’t wear but the items reamining seem to be calling out for better organization. What does one do with scarves and purses?

The linen closet in my own bedroom could use an hour’s attention. What about the family photos I keep meaning to frame? The cabinet that holds leftovers storage containers and the one devoted to baking pans both whisper at me but I feel daunted and tell them to wait a bit longer. The dog toys need a bit of a going over and tough decisions need to be made. The bins of hats and mittens in the mudroom are surely not the best solution to that particular problem but I have not yet made myself seek out a better one.

I suppose the only thing for it is to look forward to the long winter months ahead and the days spent at home with no excuse not to pick away at the to do list. Maybe by the time we are all free to roam about the planet once more I will have reached that last little Russian doll in the center of the stack!

Readers, have you been finding yourself tackling jobs around the house over the pst few months? Any suggestions for what to do with scarves, handbags and food storage containers?

25 Thoughts

  1. Jessie, when clicking on the Comments button, I got an Error 404.  Something isn’t working right.  Maybe it’s closet needs to be cleaned out.

    1. Thanks, Ginny! I think something was glitchy in the WordPress universe when I was scheduling this yesterday. For a little while, it told me I wasn’t authorized to post on the blog!

  2. I envy your energy. I have NOT been doing all those things! But by December I will have written four books this year, so that has to count for something. ;^)

    I have a deep drawer for the containers. Every container lives with its lid on. When the drawer gets full, I recycle a few older plastic or cracked ones. It’s a perfect solution.

    1. Four books is a lot of something! I like your solution. Alas, I don’t have plastic containers. Mine are all glass or stainless steel and are pretty bulky for even my largest space. I like them but they are not so easy to manage!

  3. Because I’m still working, there haven’t been a lot of those projects. On the weekends, The Hubby has his outdoor things and I’ve done some indoor stuff. We cleaned and oiled the cabinet doors. We thought we were going to have to re-point the chimney, but the guy we called for an estimate said no, not unless we want to.

    The thing that’s been happening here is The Hubby keeps looking at houses and has announced that maybe next fall we’ll move – to a larger place on the water. I don’t want to move, and definitely not to a larger home. I wouldn’t mind having a place for a weekend, or even a week, getaway. The issue is he’s thinking of retiring and I have a few more years to go, so moving is just not in my vision for the immediate future.

  4. I did clean out all the closets so now I can see the floor. I was thinking of painting, but that passed.

  5. We moved from Florida to Maine in July. The ultimate project maker! Here in the St. John Valley we have an annual spring cleaning named grand menage. I’ve done three this year. The first in the spring. The second to prepare the house for sale, and the third when we arrived in Maine. Even my spices are in date! By spring, it will be a different story and I’ll be making new lists. Maybe I’ll finally get to that scrapbook.

    Edith, four books! WOW, that is quite an accomplishment.

  6. I feel like a slacker. I have done some weeding out of my closet, but nothing else. Well, actually our house was a constant mess of construction for a couple of months because of a leak. We didn’t do the work though.

    1. I think that having contractors often feels like more work than doing it yourself! Although, I suppose it depends on the contractor! And the work itself! I never think of you as a slacker!

  7. My daughter has her Christmas decorations up. She decided to start a month ahead of her usual schedule. I notice a number of people are doing that. I just finally got a burst of cleaning energy. It’s the fall cleaning that hasn’t happened in at least a couple of years. It used to be, when I was having children, that we moved every few years. For me, children and others now out, I have downsized twice. Great cleaning time. However, I haven’t done that now in ten years! I am trying to convince myself to do the windows! However, on a bright note, I know that my community contributed heavily to the recent electronics recycling event. People finally had the time to clean garages and basements- lots of projection televisions and the old large tube tv’s! We more than doubled the tonnage of previous years!

    1. I hear you about the windows! I never seem to put them on the top of the list! I finally bought a package of glass wipes to keep in my office to at least remove the doggy noseprints my officemate seems determined to leave around! And what encouraging news about the electronics recycling in your community!

  8. I, too, have been doing a lot of organizing. In truth it is the last remnants of our 2017 move, the final plastic bins of stuff that were shoved in closets, etc., exacerbated by the keepsakes that came to us with the passing of our parents. When I bogged down, I asked myself, “if not now, when?” If you can’t sort through that stuff when you aren’t traveling or having company (and therefore can spread it all over when you organize) when can you do it?

    I’m normally ruthless with my clothes. I get rid of anything I haven’t worn in a couple of years. But given that I haven’t put on a dress or dress shoes since March, this year I decided every item can stay until things are more normal.

    1. That’s just it, isn’t it! If not now, when? I would agree about making choices to weed based on what would be suitable for normal conditions. I sorted my closet on the basis of what was shabby or didn’t fit or never a good idea in the first place. I had been wearing some items in such frequent, home-bound rotation that they simply wore out! The worst thing is, I am having trouble replacing some basics. Stores don’t seem to be carrying the same variety of late!

  9. My year started with an out-of-state family member who is having memory problems and is being taken advantage of, sadly that is a still an on-going situation. Fortunately, we finally have a court date in January. I have had a few bursts of energy and tackled some redecorating in 2 bedrooms by replacing the beds and getting new, brighter linens. I also spent time going through memorabilia and enjoyed finding home-made Christmas cards from my nieces and nephews and re-reading some letters and cards from an old boyfriend from the 70’s that I didn’t realize I had kept. I also discovered I’d kept letters from a younger HS friend who was in Viet Nam in the early years of the War. We were just friends and worked together at the local A&W. He was severely wounded in the Tet offensive but fortunately survived and as far as I know is doing well. It made me think of the first time I visited him after he got to come home to Missouri after months of rehab in a VA Hospital/Rehab center. Quite a change from the young man I used to pick up (because he wasn’t old enough to drive) when we worked the same shifts at A&W. I have several unfinished projects and hope I will get my act together and finish them. I’d like to build another cabinet but unless I get rid of something I don’t have any place to put it .Lol

    1. It sounds like you have been busy with so many things, both lovely and not as nice! I hope you find room for another ​cabinet since it seems it would bring you joy to create!

  10. I’d love to say I’ve been tackling stuff like that. I could really use the time to organize and downsize my ornament collection, for example. I went overboard with Hallmark ornaments and need to weed. But that sounds specifically like work. And real work has been crazy, keeping me busy. Plus I’ve still got books to read for my blog. So I don’t have the time or desire to tackle project like that even though I should.

    1. We all have our ways of navigating this sort of weirdness, don’t we? Reading and staying busy with work seems like a great way to do it to me! I haven’t downsized any collectibles​ either since it feels like work!

  11. I’ve been too lazy to do any special projects. I figure I’ll take care of it either when it falls apart or I can’t stand it any longer!

  12. I have a list of things for me to organize or toss, but ‘something’ always distracts me. The bats in the attic, or the cars forgetting to work, or the washing machine that refuses to unlock, or… The list continues to sit there, neglected until the universe returns to a more reasonable level of manageability. Maybe 2021?

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