Pack, Clean, Unpack, Repeat

With the Official Move Date slated for this Sunday, and my landlady showing my apartment Saturday, my evenings have been spent doing some combination of sorting, packing, cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and drinking. I know, I know; one of these things is not like the other, but cut me some slack — packing is the worst!

Though I’ve done a lot at my apartment, and it’s mostly ready for move out, what is more exciting to me is how I’ve unpacked and organized at The Mister’s our house. I was worried about finding space for my stuff, but it’s actually been going pretty well. Here’s just a few (terrible cellphone) snapshots of how I’m working my stuff in.

bird cage jewelry holder

We hung up my DIY jewelry organizer (when I made it I couldn’t find my hammer so I got creative and used the heel of my cowboy boot!). I still need to figure out what to do with my bracelets and post earrings, but I have a couple ideas.

shoe racksI also had enough room on my shoe racks (with part of my shoes in storage) to hold a good chunk of my shoes. You can’t see the rest of them stored on the bookshelf that will be doubling as my dresser for the time being, but all my shoes have a spot!

ikea shelvingAnd finally, I was worried that there wouldn’t be space for the fantastic amount of bathroom stuff I own (makeup, medicine cabinet, hair stuff, etc), but with The Mister being an IKEA addict, he just happened to have this empty cabinet space just outside the bathroom. The totes I keep my stuff in luckily happened to fit, and adds a nice pop of color to the laundry room area.

It doesn’t seem like a lot of progress, but between sorting through everything and packing and moving and unpacking and reorganizing, it’s exhausting! Even though the end is in site, I am ready for this move to be over.

Tonight is the last night in my apartment, so I guess I don’t have that long to wait!


Take a Trip in a Time Machine

Yesterday, the US National Archives released the 1940 census records. Verdict? There is a lot of interesting information available, and it is embarrassing how easily I got sucked into the old census records. While you can’t search by a person’s name, you can search by geographic area, so of course I looked up The Mister’s house.

I don’t know if I already explained this, but the New House is on the property next to The Mister’s current house – he bought both lots as part of the current house and split them into two addresses. Surprisingly, the current house’s address doesn’t show up on census records (despite being built in 1889), but the New House’s address does. Still with me?

I would have been more surprised by this discovery, but when they were excavating the foundation for the New House, they found “artifacts” that made it clear there used to be a house on the property. We tried to talk to some of the older members of the church across the street to see if they had records, pictures, or even memories of the house that was there, to no avail.

So, what did the census reveal?

1940 Census results

The former residents

Mike Ortega, age 38, used to rent the house for $10 a month. He lived with his sister Julia (age 29) and his adopted son, who I think is named Nestor (age 9). Both Mike and Julia were from New Mexico originally and had 5th grade educations. Julia stayed at home and kept house, while Mike was employed through an emergency public work program (a result of FDR’s New Deal) as a laborer at an air school, making $660 in 1939. He had lost his privately held job 52 weeks earlier and immediately entered an emergency public work position.

If you find this information as fascinating as I do, Gawker (surprisingly) has a pretty solid guide on how to use the US National Archives’s search tools to look through the census by address. I found the first search a tad bit complicated, but once I realized how the system worked it was much easier to continue to search.

Take some time to check it out – I fell down a census rabbit hole and found out that my current house was rented by a 29 year-old woman who worked as an evangelist. She paid $15 a month, or 1/50 of my monthly rent. I also found it impossible to look up my childhood house, since that area has changed and grown drastically since 1940. I knew my neighborhood didn’t exist until the 1980s, but I was interested to see the census records for the farmland. I just don’t know enough about Lexington County’s geography to give it a go, though maybe I’ll attempt it again later tonight.

These census records are like a time machine – what can you find out?

Busy Busy Busy!

Despite both of us having The Longest Cold In The History of Ever (alternate title: The Death Cold) for over a week each, The Mister and I were able to find time to start on our “Moving Katie In” checklist.

Somehow, we were able to muster the strength Sunday to rearrange his house to make room for my ridiculously over-sized clothing collection (my weakness, followed closely by red wine). My clothes were going where his office area was, the desk was going where the plants were, the plants were going where the kitchen table was, and the kitchen table was going into the New House to be stored.

The Mister's stuff

For someone who hates clutter, he has a lot of it.

After we both moved the kitchen table over, we tackled the bedroom. I was in charge of packing up the books and clutter, while The Mister (who has a decidedly greener thumb than I do) pruned and moved the plants. It took a lot longer than we anticipated (possibly because we were both still super sick and inhaling all sorts of dirt and dust), but six storage bins of books and stuff later, everything was rearranged. Instead of a dining nook, we now have a green house.

Plants in the living room

After all our hard work, I had caught a second wind and was ready to drive over to my apartment and start hauling things back, but The Mister wisely stopped that idea before it really even started. However, I have to pack and move my stuff at some point, and we decided we would do it bit by bit instead of all at once.

Have I mentioned that I hate packing? Almost as much as I hate moving? But, it has to be done, so my apartment is now a disaster zone of storage totes and piles of clothing and stuff.

Packing Totes

Multiply this by 4 and you have my life right now.

Since this first move is temporary(ish), and we are only living in The Mister’s house until we can finish the New House, I’m trying to only pack a limited amount of stuff to actually unpack; everything else will go into storage. It’s a lot of clothing to sort through and store, but it will be easier in the long run, and eventually will be like unpacking an entire new wardrobe.

I still have a long ways to go until my apartment is packed up, but I’m hoping to be most of the way moved in with The Mister in the next three weeks. I don’t know if this goal is super attainable, but it leaves an extra two weeks of breathing room to get everything else done. This is becoming even more real, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Well Isn’t That Pinteresting.

The house is slowly but (allegedly) surely coming close to completion. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed, we are hopefully a month away from a move-in date. Granted, that move-in date will most likely be pushed back again, but for now, we’re a month away from a move-in date. Which means finish work, which means mutual decision-making.

Until now, every decision made about the house has been The Mister’s decision. It is, after all, his ultimate art project. He poured his heart and soul into designing the house, and aside from an occasional suggestion here and there (no fluorescent lights in the bathroom, why cover up such gorgeous wood on the stairs, etc.), it is completely his vision. The finish work, however, will be a We thing, even if he isn’t yet fully aware of this.

Yesterday on the way to see The Secret Life of Arriety, The Mister suggested that we turn our lighting solution into an art installation – with not just table lamps hanging upside down from the ceiling, but an entire room’s worth of furniture. While that is certainly a creative way to combine our two exceptionally different design aesthetics, I told him under no circumstances were we going to live in The Twits. Roald Dahl may be a genius, but he wasn’t giving design advice in that story.

Combining our styles (pop art minimalist [him] meets kitschy cluttered study [me]) will be interesting for sure, which is why I’ve spent the past few months collecting ideas on Pinterest. Instead of being inspired by the Roly Poly bird, here are some ideas that actually could be incorporated into the house:

Handcrafted Mason Jar Pendant Chandelier

Handcrafted Mason Jar Pendant Chandelier

"Mercury" Glass

"Mercury" Glass

Bookshelf Couch

Bookshelf Couch

Pallet Wall

Pallet Wall (for the bedroom)

Stained Concrete Floor

Stained Concrete Floor

If anything, these few pictures are ideas to build on. I think we will ultimately figure out what our style is as a couple, but I want to infuse the industrial feel the house has naturally (I mean, it is a cement box) with warmth and life. I should start Pinteresting again with abandon, but at the same time I want our house to organically come together. There’s only so much decorating other people can do for your living space, and the rest you have to figure out for yourself.