A Perfect Vacuum, and the Weekly Photo Challenge – Transient

It’s hard to be a nomad when you have to clean house every day. Why so clean? Here’s why —Home for SaleI’ve been downsizing for a long time now, but the last several weeks have put frantic full-time-focus on getting ready to sell. Finally getting a chance to get back to the blogging world is a good sign. I’m hoping my state of transience comes soon.

Staging is the rage for real estate marketing. Now, every morning I get up and set about obliterating all traces of my habitation. I polish the tub, shower, and sinks, sweep the hardwood floors, tidy up my workstation and put away all papers I had out the night before. Did I drink some coffee? Wash that cup! (or hide it in the dishwasher) Then, the very last thing — I vacuum the upstairs carpet. It’s new carpet, just installed June 5.

Here’s the thing — it tracks. I was so focused on getting a good neutral color that I didn’t even think about tracking. Now I see everywhere I’ve been. At first I cursed myself for not spending a bit more time to come up with a firmer weave carpet that wouldn’t show tracks. Then I realized, this could be an advantage.  When someone looks at the house, I can see where they’ve been!  Were they interested enough to look in the closets? Did they check the view out the window? Now I’m vacuum-obsessed.

Footprints in the carpeting

Bigfoot was here…(that’s me)

My staging-advisor asked what I was reading. “Get out an interesting book or two, put them on your nightstand,” she said, “make it look more home-like.” Mind you, this is after we’d de-cluttered like mad and (under duress) I’d sold, donated, or stored away most of the books. But, I’d hidden a secret stash in my car, so I took a quick look and came up with this —

Bedside Table: Vignette with Stanislaw Lem

Can you see the title on the bottom book?

Here it is in close-up —

How’s this for inspiration as I do my morning vacuum and step-erasure?

Wish me luck?

P.S. The top book is Chasing the Nightbird, by friend Krista Russell

 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient

 

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Packing Up, Living Without Books, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

I didn’t realize how lonely I’d be without books. Here’s my living room, with the once-messy shelves of books all packed away to keep or stacked to donate (except the Amazon-sale ones stashed away upstairs). I had to pack up for remodeling, so to keep from packing twice, the keepers will stay boxed up until time comes to move.

Living Room with empty book shelves and no paintings

Living room all packed up, with no books & no paintings

My “library” room — Sam calls it the MCM room since it’s more Mid-Century than the rest of the house — is bookless now too. Here it is in a state of packing up…

Packing up the books

What to keep and what to go?…

And here are some of the keeper boxes … what will I do while they are inaccessible?

Books to keep, all packed up

Some books to keep, ready to be packed away until I can move.

I’m accustomed to walking in any time and pulling out something to reference. It’s time to say ‘bye books, see you later. Just for now, I’ll have to cope with the solitude of booklessness (and be even more thankful for the Public Library).

Have you ever been bookless?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

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A Way Forward, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

I’m not sure if this is a path or a dry creek bed (is that symbolic or what?).  Whichever it is, I see that the way forward is somewhat obscured and, like my own way forward, could use some decluttering.

Path or Dry Creek?

Path or Dry Creek? It’s tough going forward when you’re not even sure of the path.

Here’s the path over the path – a covered footbridge from yesterday’s walk. In this view, the library is behind me. I hope that’s not symbolic…

In this view, the library is behind me, I hope that's not symbolic

Here’s a quote I got through the Unclutterer, referring to a post on Declutter 101 about establishing “Clutter Preserves” — I love it!

“Accept reality by establishing dedicated clutter preserves. Like wildlife preserves, these are limited areas where clutter may live freely, so long as it stays within boundaries. In a bedroom, one chair becomes the clutter preserve. Clothing may be thrown with abandon, so long as it’s thrown on the chair.”            … from Declutter 101

And yes, my clutter preserves definitely need to shrink. But now I have a name for them. It’s surprising how much that helps. Once recognized, I can more easily establish boundaries, and with current clutter contained I can spend more energy on unpacking boxes and dispersing the archived clutter that’s been roaming freely throughout the basement for years now.

One problem with letting clutter roam free is that it’s then able to go forth and multiply. Here’s to birth control for clutter. Mine definitely needs it, does yours?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

Cabin Fever, Cabinet Fever, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

My fortune cookie said “Now is the time for peace in your life” but I can’t relax while I still have so many messy spots in the house. There’s still a long way to go from here to Hoarder Came Clean, but staying in on rainy days has been a big help. I’ll take every little victory I can.

My kitchen pantry cabinet went from piled up to somewhat organized… (in what universe do I need 3 boxes of cornstarch when I can’t remember the last time I used any?)

Kitchen Pantry Cabinet

Edited somewhat by the time I took this photo… and edited a bit more afterward.

Some pretty old stuff had migrated to the back — and why it was in the food cupboard is anyone’s guess. Here, for example, are the contents of a chocolate tin full of matches. My favorites here are like a story of my life.

Vintage matchbooks

Vintage matchbooks and boxes, and yeah, I’m pretty sure a matchbox won’t hold all my clothes.

Every place used to have matches to give away and apparently I liked to have them as souvenirs. Now I remember my onetime favorite Kansas City restaurants, long closed — The Souper, The Prospect of Westport; and restaurants from the UK, Athens, Amsterdam, New York City.  There’s Asti (NYC), where the waiters were opera singers and everyone waved white handkerchiefs and sang “arrivederchi Roma” when leaving. It might even still be there… ah, sadly, no, I just looked. It closed in 2000.

There are even matches from the Milgram’s grocery store chain, stores long since acquired. All this reminds me that I probably have a bigger collection of matchbooks somewhere. I presume they’ll show up in their own good time. As for now, I found a “lazy susan” in the basement and organized the cabinet so I can get to everything. I’m not sure what to do with all the matches. (Bonfire of the vanities?)

Here are my reorganized cabinets, upper and lower … oops, now I see I neglected to clear out the drawer between them. It’ll keep me entertained on the next rainy day.

Upper kitchen pantry-cabinet "after"They’re still too full. I’ll have to remember to cook from the pantry first, not from the grocery store. It’s past time to whittle down supplies. Meanwhile, I can relax a little, with one more corner at least semi-organized.

Lower pantry kitchen cabinet - "after"

Do you have any cabinets left to clean out? And can you relax until you do?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

And for opera lovers, more on Asti

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Light from the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016, and catching up with past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

I always have to “go toward the light” when I see a gorgeous fixture —

Following the light fixture

Following the light fixture,  Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (Oct 22, 2016)

Following the light fixture

Here it is from beneath…

But meanwhile, that balcony view led to something shiny too – the roof in the distance. I’m not a sports fan, so had to ask–  it’s the new Atlanta Falcons’ Stadium. Here it is from the terrace off the top floor (and how about that fountain?).

Stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Shiny roof — stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Sam has sharper eyes than I do, he’s the one who said, “Look at the workers on the roof!”  I had to use my telephoto to see them. Zooming in…

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Of course, after enjoying the tour I had to come home to my own mess.  Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? while sorting and consolidating piles and boxes of stuff displaced by bath remodeling.

Here’s a quote —

Your home shouldn’t overwhelm you. It should give you shelter from the storm, and it should be more than a roof over your head. It’s up to you to make your home support you in your quest for happiness.

Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?  – Peter Walsh

–I missed the photo challenge Shine, but I see the next is Chaos — is that right up my alley or what? (And you know I can’t help but wonder, does this clutter make my butt look fat?)

 

More on the past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

2016’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour, Coming Up Oct 22 (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local)

Atlanta locals, take note. It’s almost time for this year’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. Meanwhile, just for inspiration, here’s a mini-photo-tour from last year…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - dining area

I love the rhyming lines in the stair railing and the chair backs.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

In the same home, with Sam checking out a window of the laundry room.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

A great idea for displaying a collection of vinyl…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Can you tell the owner here also runs an art gallery?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - mannequin and art

Another view — art? mannequin? hat-rack?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Welcome now to more signs of my obsession with stairways…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - art and stairwell

Down one more stairway and out — back soon for this year’s tour.

Revisiting last year’s tour is wake-up call for me; I see that yet another year has passed and I still haven’t finished downsizing. If I’m going to get out of my house and find a new home in a condo, apartment, or loft by this time next year I’m going to have to focus. Meanwhile, on Saturday I’ll get another look at Castleberry Hill — an historic intown neighborhood,  interior brick walls, stairway angles, tall ceilings and gallery walls — all very appealing.

What do you think? Doesn’t a loft look like a great alternative?

More on the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

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Seeing the Light Fixtures, Remodeling Can be Fun, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Remodeling projects are a quest for beauty, practicality, and OK, resale value. But here’s what I hadn’t realized —  they can also be a quest for fun. Before I settle down and get practical, I’ll share these favorites among the lights I’ve seen while shopping and touring.

Who knew there were light fixtures for plane and train fans (and small boys)… these were a happy surprise when I was shopping.

Airplane light fixture

Airplane light

Train car light fixture - "Choo Choo"

It’s “Choo Choo”, the train car light. I loved the airplane so much that I had to ask what else was available — this is from the catalog.

Hall light fixtures from Modern Atlanta Homes Tour house

I love this starry minimalist light from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour – too bad I’ve neither the budget nor the expansive hallway to support one.

Sputnik light - Modern Atlanta Homes Tour

And lights can be fun — this one reminds me of the Sputnik era. And I love how they echoed the shape with the plant below.

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

Going retro with telephone pole insulator shades

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

And for the nostalgic, a closer look

And for those who prefer a quest for fire, I’ll include these, also from past Modern Atlanta Homes Tours…

Fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016

If I were that tree I might be a little nervous (fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016)

Fireplace from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013

One more modern quest for fire (Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013)

What will it be, fire or light?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

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