Friday, April 11, 2008


There are two Ikea's near us that we have been to a couple of times. I think that it would be fair to say that Ikea furnishes most New York apartments with some of their furniture. Well, unless those New Yorkers are rich. I don't think rich New Yorkers shop there.

We have avoided Ikea. We have bought several functional things from them and all but one has fallen apart at some point. The one hold out is a large piece I use in my kitchen for extended counter space. Every New York baker would need one. Because counter space is rare and luxurious in this city.

Ikea stores often have little showrooms that showcase senarios like "5 person family living in 300 square feet!" and you walk through this mini-apartment that has all the needed elements for the family of 5. Bunk beds, tiny kitchen, tiny bathroom, all very fancy and modern looking, but tiny.

This morning when I woke up I felt like I was living in an Ikea showroom. Not because things are fancy and modern around here. But because right now everything just fits. Or feels like it just fits. Move one thing and you block light or a walking path or somehow infringe on your mental health.

The problem with Ikea showrooms is that they are missing something. The people. The showrooms look great if no one is in there. And would almost certainly be a disaster if someone was actually living in the 300 square feet for a family of 5.

My bedroom looks great. If everything is where it should go. If the bed is made and the curtains are just so and there is no laundry that needs to be folded. But it really looks best if no one is in there.

I am hoping that this is a transitional period and after a few days my brain will adjust to the new set up and allow for say, Dave to go in the bedroom without me feeling like we live in a shoebox. And not just any shoebox. The kind of shoebox that is messy with tissue paper, plastic sticks, cardboard bits and those little packages with a skull and crossbones on them to tell you not to eat the contents. I mean, if we are going to live in a shoebox, I'd go for a nice little, neat and clean fourth grade diorama.

But, best to be out of the shoebox altogether.

A note on today's project:
This is Andrew's Care Package. Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter had directions for this very simple backpack. So I went through my fabric stash and found some fabric I could use to make one for Andrew. The idea is that CareGiver will have something quiet and engaging to do with Andrew. Also, I am picturing this as a Go-To bag for him when Mommy is busy with Baby Brother and he needs something to do. I filled it with little, silly stuff. But the kind of little, silly stuff that everybody loves. Well, at least I do.


Susan said...

You probably already know this because I've been blogging about it a lot but if you get any more nesting urges before Sprout comes, take a look at decluttering. I'm not saying you have a cluttered apartment but it has been amazing to me over, and over, how just getting rid of a few things opens up a spot that then allows me to fix something else and I get a whole chain reaction of small improvements that have made our living space much nicer for all of us. I wish I could come over and help you think through what might help but, as we've seen, getting our families together doesn't help much in the clutter area :)

Robyn said...

Actually I have been thinking a lot about your decluttering project...especially with kids clothes. Today I am washing all of my 0-3, 3-6 month stuff and am making a box of things for the Salvation Army. I don't need 100 onesies. And I have been telling myself, Susan did it...It's okay... Don't feel bad. I have so much stuff that Andrew never wore because I didn't particularly like it (Mom, stuff from my students and people I don't know well...don't you worry!) and I have kept it neat and clean and stored and labeled for 3 years awaiting the next baby. So silly. I have so many baby clothes. So many. So, the decluttering is beginning there.

Wait. Are you saying I need more projects? Maybe I should show you my to-do list. ;)

Susan said...

I have never known you to be bored, Robyn! The clothes things has been great. I just did Margaret's summer clothes shopping today. I'm going to post about it more at length later but I got her a pair of sandals and five dresses. That's it. Amazing. Girls are easier for clothes in some ways.

My point in the first comment was more to encourage you to think small. It might seem like you'll need to do something drastic to help: like get rid of your bed. But you might just need to purge a few books to free up a shelf so you can move a few toys there and free up a corner to put a chair in, etc, etc.