Saturday, July 17, 2021

Stuffing My Place

Closing in on my first 24 hours alone in my new place.  Above are a few of the new things I acquired in the weeks since I learned I was next in line for placement.  I broke them out to celebrate my first night with a relaxing herbal tea--Ginger Peach Turmeric.  

The little electric tea kettle is made of silicon and has accordion pleats that allow it to collapse flat.  The little cup on the left came with it and also collapses flat inside it's lid.  The water boils faster than a teakettle on the stove and uses less electricity.

Against the wall hiding the outlet and ugly cords from the kettle and computer is a mini dish drainer which I've still not used as I haven't moved in my cleaning essentials collected from Ed's apartment last October.  I can't clean up anything that needs more than water and paper towels so I'm trying hard not to make any serious messes.

My goal for this first day has been to create several of these  little oasis of peace and functionality amid the chaos so that I can establish some healthy routines even before everything is moved in and put away because to wait for that would risk making bad habits in the several weeks it is going to take me to reach a minimal order--bad habits that would likely carry forward or at least be hard to un-make.

Some of these oasis and/or functional routines with estimate of completion are:
  • 100% Keeping that counter space pictured above where I make things to eat and drink clean, cleared of clutter, functional and whenever possible also pleasing to look at.
  • 90% Put all food items in the fridge and cupboard for ease of access so food and drink prep does not always entail more of the same bending, lifting, searching, and sorting of the unpacking process.
  • 10% Locate, organize and place in temp homes all food supplements and over the counter meds.  I learned the hard way why this is important when a spasming back kept me awake past dawn this morning and I realized that all my pain relief stuff was buried under  piles of stuff stacked against the bed alcove wall shared by my neighbor's mirror image apartment. 
  • 100% Create a space or two for unpacking or unboxing and sorting stuff.
  • 100% Provide the bathroom with the minimal necessities for daily showers because if the last several days are to be typical I'll be sweating upwards of six hours a day for weeks.
  • 70% Create a space for sleeping.  This might include creating a routine for laying down the mattress and making it up with bedding for sleeping and then getting it all up off the floor before the day's work begins. I tried leaving it all on the floor this morning and it became clear it was a trip hazard as well as just being in the way when I needed to access the pile on the wall behind it.
  • 100% Create a space for sitting to relax, to write, to eat, to rest briefly when my back is screaming.  This is a challenge today as I have no chairs yet.  In fact there is nothing here yet that can be called furniture other than a plastic dresser for crafts and several as yet unboxed Amazon orders that include a folding desk, a beanbag chair and several shelving units that add up to over approximately 100 shelves around 12 to 14 inches wide.  All of which need assembling which is my first big task after I've established these oasis and routines as they are the linchpin of my organizing plan.
  • 100% Stack all the boxes and bags against the walls nearest to the spots they will find their homes once all my storage solutions are in place.
  • 100% Create a USB charging station for all my electronic devices--tablets, lamps, personal fan, rechargeable batteries, light boxes etc.  This may have to migrate or split into more than one.
  • 80% Establish a safe zone for important papers and for the essentials for leaving the house on errands
  • 30% Locate and organize the essentials for prepping self to leave the house.
  • 100% Create a standing desk for laptop for ease of communicating via message aps for routine messages as well as potential emergency as do not yet have the phone that comes with my Xfinity service.

The Bed alcove.

Can you believe all this stuff needs to find homes in this space and the closets in the hallway and still leave room for my bed which is currently a folding mattress but eventually I hope will be a daybed or futon couch?  

And it's not yet all here.  

I have four more 22 gallon bags of yarn and probably a dozen middling sized boxes of craft supplies to move over as well as several bushels of clothing, accessories and bedding.

From left to mid back wall is all clothes.  The mid spot is winter coats and bedding, in front of which I tried to create a place to sit on my folded mattress placed in front of the coats and bedding for back rest.  But it was too low to the floor and the mattress was still a trip hazard.  So I tried putting the mattress atop the pile of coats and bedding and sitting with my back against the wall but I kept falling off.  I finally repacked the two bags of coats and bedding into one 22 gallon Ziploc zipper bag as a more level foundation.  Still the mattress slid off.  So I removed the mattress from the concept and put two 11 gallon Ziploc bags under the coats bag--one full of plastic bags the other full of bubble wrap and foam scraps.  That is working.  I'm sitting on it as I type and it's been over an hour and it still feels solid and comfy.

In order to make it work as a writing and eating station tho I had to unbox and assemble the folding table.  I will get pics of that for tomorrow's post.

To the right of the bedding at mid wall and wrapping around across the entire window wall is all fiber art projects and supplies.

The long wall in the living room.

On the left is the charging station and the wifi box.  On the right are all the Amazon orders to be unboxed.  I created a station for the unboxing and assembling by rearranging the boxes to create a high 'table' and keeping tools like box cutter and measuring tape and scissors on the window sill.  All that as well as unboxing the folding table and the tower fan was done after I took the picture. 

The front wall.

These boxes and bags were brought in and placed willy-nilly last night.  It is hard to place most of them according to the rule--stack near their final destination--because they were also packed willy-nilly with a mix of categories.  I've actually managed to unpack and find temp homes for the contents of several of those boxes since the pic was taken.

That wall is designated for the soon to be moved boxes of papers, books and office/writing misc.  Once all of that is unpacked and placed on the shelving going up on the long wall I will have my writing station on that wall with my desk in front of the window. 

Tho the desk will probably be the one I assembled today which is likely to migrate according to tasks.  For example when I want to work on fiber art I might want the table near the materials on the window wall of the bed alcove.  Or if I want to watch videos while sitting on the future couch/bed I would set up the device on this table.  I will likely be using it for meals as well.  And any of the above except video watching can also be done out on the front porch or front or back yard.

One item, multiple functions.  That is a necessity for small space living.

The cubby space between fridge and back door.

This was hip-high last night and spilled over to fill the space all the way to the stove one bag or box deep but most of that spillover was food which got put away in the first hour I was here.  I got the back door unblocked before I went to bed and spent part of today bringing this pile down to knee-high.  One of my shelving units is destined for this spot and much of what's left here needs to wait until that is assembled.

The tub showing the shower curtain and water shoes

One of the tasks I had to do last night was find and hang the shower curtain.  Then I realized I don't have a bath mat so I wore my water shoes.  So far there is only two bags of stuff destined to have homes in this room.  There will be more when Ed's stuff is moved over and even more when the stuff I brought up here in 2013 at the time Ed got evicted down in Oregon gets brought out of the garage and basement at Mom's.

Not everything that was mine or Ed's before and during my 8.5 year stay at Mom's will find permanent homes in this apartment.  Purging will be a theme of the unpack, sort, and organize tasks.  I've been reading about and watching videos on the minimalist and tiny home living themes.  I tend to be a hoarder and I'm trying to learn to let go.  It is a slow process but I've already made significant progress in the last two years--especially on the emotional drivers of the condition.

The breakfast bar as standing desk for the laptop

One of the goals stated at top completed last night and functioning well all day.

A view from my front porch.

Looking down the sidewalk toward the lane.  One of the things I am grateful for about my new place is how much like a village this looks and feels.  It has the ambience of community instead of a parking-garage for people.

Earlier while I was still struggling with creating the faux easy chair in the bed alcove I had a blood sugar meltdown and needed to fix and eat food.  I was too tired and sore to stand at the kitchen counter to eat but I still had no place to sit except the throne which works for brief respites but not when food is involved.  So I fixed my meal of cold cereal with blueberries, nuts, dried cranberries and peach yogurt smoothie instead of milk.  Then I put on a visor and sunglasses, grabbed my cane and ventured down that front walk to the bench where I took my time, eating slow and soaking up the ambience of my new neighborhood.

That took big courage.  It was out of character for me even before vision loss made me a shut-in several years ago--unable to venture more than a few steps out the door at Mom's without an escort because of so many trip hazards.  The idea would not have crossed my mind if I had not just been studying the photo I'd taken shortly before the hunger attacked and my back and feet screamed NO to standing for a meal.

Well, it's officially been over 24 hours since I began living alone for the first time in my life.

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