Packing Procrastination

A few weeks ago, we were really gung ho about packing and purging the apartment. You know what we haven’t done much of? Packing and purging the apartment.

I don’t know if it’s because the whole thing feels overwhelming or what, but after we squared away the back bedroom and pulled some stuff off the walls in the living room, our evenings have reverted back to complete laziness and lack of any progress. There are no good excuses. We have plenty of boxes and storage tubs.

At some point, we actually have to go through those storage tubs and do some repacking. Maybe that’s part of our problem. That alone feels like a big task.

We also have several things to list for sale, and I’m not sure which route I want to go. I’m part of a local Buy/Trade/Sell Facebook group, but I haven’t been super active. I’ve had decent luck with Craigslist in the past, so I may try that first. We don’t have a lot to sell, but enough that we should get rolling if we don’t want to haul those things.

I also have the fear that we’re going to pack something we’ll need later. I also don’t think I’m ready for bare walls. The decor gives me that sense of comfort at the end of the day. I’m worried that the lack of “stuff” will be unsettling. Then again, I think I need to decide which is more important: bare walls, or running around at the last minute trying to get things done.

We haven’t completely gone off track. We have several boxes packed and we’ve “staged” the back room to make the process easier. I’ve been through one of the totes to see if there’s anything to purge. That brought about a whole new question: do I throw away my old journals or not? I have a ton of them and they’re heavy. That’s probably a subject in itself.

In my head, I have the perfect scene of how this move will go. Everything will be packed and ready. We’ll have enough people to assemble a moving line and enough trucks to haul everything in one trip. We’ll finish clearing the apartment in record time, and we’ll use the same amount of time to take everything into the new apartment. We’ll celebrate with pizza, then we’ll dance under a shower of glitter and rainbows.

I’m sure none of that is actually going to happen. Except the pizza. We’re definitely thanking our helpers with pizza (hint hint, MHK friends…).

Question: What tips do you have for a smooth, drama-free move?

Bonus question: How do you counter procrastination?


Apartment Evolution

I failed at getting back to blogging every night, but things have been busy and I’ve been tired. I had a doctor’s appointment a couple days ago. My lab results came back, and even though most things checked out okay, it seems as if I’m “fairly anemic.” I knew I had low iron due to the fact that I’m usually turned away from giving blood, but I thought I was on the low end of okay for general health purposes. Apparently that’s not the case, so I’m going to be popping iron for awhile to get back up to par. If the drop in iron is a recent thing, that would account for the constant tiredness. Hopefully the pills will help.

Besides the doctor, there’s been other excitement. We signed the lease for a new apartment! This venture wasn’t without its stresses, and for a quick second, we didn’t think we were going to get it. But things fell into place and everything is working out.

I love the apartment. It’s a one-bedroom in one of the newest apartment buildings in town. We have friends who live there, so we knew a long time ago that if we stayed in the area, that’s where we wanted to live. It’s centrally located. Jon can walk to work. We can walk to the store and several restaurants. It has a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and a garbage disposal. There’s an onsite fitness room, lots of closet and cabinet space, and it’s the kind of place where the doors lock after a certain time and guests have to be buzzed in.

All of the places I’ve lived in since college have been chosen based on what was cheap. Sure, I’ve still lived in places I’ve loved. My two bedroom in the Soo was a great place to live. Unfortunately, I lived there at a less than great time in my life. The apartment I had after the ex and I called it quits was super tiny, but I loved that one too, possibly even more than the bigger one because it represented freedom, independence, and a new start. There’s been some okay places and some really bad places, but since moving to Kansas, I’ve never been in a position to get a nicer, newer apartment.

So for me, this is pretty exciting.

We move in July, which gives us a few months to pack and save some money for some new furniture and appliances. We’ll be selling some things, donating some other things, and trying to find a storage solution for our totes and Christmas items.

Waiting is going to be tough, but it will also be beneficial. We have plenty of time to organize and make this move as easy as possible. Of course, we’re also great at procrastinating, so let’s hope we stick to the plan and not wait until the week before we move to start the ball rolling.

Other excitement: I got Employee of the Month at work, Jon starts his new job on Monday, and there’s a good chance I’m actually going to walk a 5k in April.

That’s all I got for tonight. Time for sleep.


Long Monday, Hot Apartment

Tonight is the first night in a week that we’re back in our apartment. It feels good to be in our own place again, even though I enjoyed the good air conditioning and cable at my friend’s house.  As expected, our place was hot when we got here since we turned the AC off for a week to save some energy.  Now it’s going to take a few hours for things to cool down again, but I’m okay with that. I just wish the fall weather would hurry up and get here. I want a nice cool apartment, and I want to start walking outside again.

Today felt like a pretty intense work day. I accomplished a lot, but it seemed like the work flow was never ending. This is good, because it makes the day go by fast. But by the end of it, my brain was tired.  I still managed to get some con stuff done after work, though. Jon had a test tonight. This will be a regular Monday occurrence until the end of the semester. While waiting for him, I went to Hastings to “work.” It’s become a game to see what I’m going to want that Hastings does not have.  Tonight, it was both cream cheese and butter, so I ate a plain wheat bagel since my lunch didn’t stick with me and I was starving. I also ordered an iced mocha and forgot to give the size I wanted, so they defaulted to the largest one they have.  I drank it, but at least there was no question why I felt nauseous before going to the gym.

Jon got done much earlier than I expected, and the gym was our next stop. He played the role of motivator tonight, because I would have found an excuse just to go home. But we went, and I’m glad we did. I felt much better for having gone, and I finished Eternal Sunshine. I also started Brick, which is already not what I was expecting.

After the gym, we walked to K-Mart to grab lunches for the rest of the week, then came home. The air is on and the fans are going, so hopefully it’ll cool down before too long. It wasn’t as unbearable as I expected, but it’s still not as comfortable as I would have liked.  It’s already late, and I did nothing in the way of cleaning or putting away stuff, but I’m not too worried about it. It’ll get done. Truthfully, I’m just trying to get through this week so I can survive TengaiCon.  Then I’ll be ready to survive the Being an Outdoors Woman weekend.  Maybe around that time I’ll be ready to institute normalcy at home.

For now, I’m off to peroxide my grass splinter, do some editing on a friend’s novel, shower, and get some sleep.



Blogspiration and Summer Heat 2013

I haven’t been feeling bloggy lately, but I started reading “Just a Geek” by Wil Wheaton tonight and it stoked my need to kick out a post. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not comparing myself to Wheaton. Dude has a huge following with thousands of people who read his blog. I’m not interesting and only have about five readers. However, that doesn’t really matter, as sometimes it’s just nice to get some words down. Even if they are boring to most everyone in the blogosphere (yay, buzzwords).

Side note: the book is really good. I may do a Goodreads review on it and post it here.

Summer 2013 is a hot one, made worse by the fact that our second story apartment has no air conditioning. I suppose that’s not entirely true. We have A/C. It’s in the form of one unit located in the back bedroom. Turning it on makes the back room and about half the hallway fairly cool. That chilled air barely reaches our living room and never touches our bedroom.

There was a moment of hope when the landlord cleaned the air filter, but it was short lived. The air just doesn’t move that far. We’ve tried fans to push the air further, but that doesn’t even work. There was one day where I sat back there with the AC on, but it still didn’t keep me cool, maybe due to the sun coming in all the windows? Or maybe I should have shut the door? I don’t know.

The upside is that by not running it, we’re saving forty to sixty dollars per month on our electric bill this summer, and that’s kind of nice for some extra spending/travel/bill money. Yes…yes I did put “bill” money last in that sequence. I’m a responsible adult, but I don’t want to go too far. The downside is that we sit in hot, sticky, sweaty grossness any time we’re home. We have two fans: one is a tower fan that’s semi-effective. The other is a small mini fan that usually sits on Jon’s desk to blow air in his face. Again, semi-effective. Half the time, they’re just blowing hot air.

Cold showers have become a daily occurrence. Ice packs have been useful, as well as chilled drinking water. You know what the best solution has been, though? Avoiding the apartment. Or at least trying to. Today, for example, we went and sat at the library for two hours, just reading in the super quiet reading room (one of my new favorite places). Then we took a walk in the park, because being outside in the heat is still better than being in the heated apartment. Bonus on that walk, we got to commune with nature and see baby birds and a frog. It was pretty awesome.

Moving isn’t currently an option since we don’t want to get into another lease until we know what we’re doing at the end of this year after Jon graduates. We could get a new AC unit for one of the other windows, but again with the higher electric bill. I don’t know. At this point, I think we’re destined to just “survive” the heat and make the most out of the situation. Someday we’ll remember this summer fondly….or we’ll be extra grateful of the ac/central air/igloo situation where in at that time.

On a good note, this coming weekend we’re doing some housesitting for some friends…friends who’s house has AC. I’m looking forward to two comfortable evenings on a ground floor.


Fixing My Habitat

I’ve never been one to keep things neat and tidy, preferring to procrastinate cleaning anything until it gets out of hand. But this tendency to let things go resulted in a lot of stress for J. Felbs and I when we moved out of our previous place, and I’m determined to never have to go through that again. 

I’ve been making an extra effort to keep things clean and organized in our current apartment. It’s hard to distinguish where my mental process comes from that says that throwing stuff away is too difficult when the trash can is just a few feet away from me, or that makes the task of simply putting away something I just used almost impossible.

Because I don’t have a problem with just the big tasks (I hate laundry and dishes and am lucky to have a husband who helps me do both)…I also seem to invite clutter in bits and pieces.

Then I found the magic Tumblr Unf*** Your Habitat. It has become a key motivator for me to keep things in order around my house.  It’s also helped me curb many of my procrastinating tendencies. It hasn’t healed them completely, but if I can stick to a nightly routine, wash my dishes, and pick up after myself 5 nights out of 7, I think I’m doing well.

A friend and fellow blogger has mentioned the site a few times in her blog which is what led me to the site. I’ll be honest, my first thought was “No way is a blog about cleaning going to motivate me to clean.” I’d read other cleaning blogs and none of them seem relevant to me, nor could I relate to them easily.

UfyH works for me, and I think it’s because it comes from a different mindset. The idea is to break up overwhelming tasks into smaller ones using 20/10s or 45/15s, where the first number is the time you spend “working” and the second number is the break between work sessions. It highlights the fact that you can accomplish something in 20 minutes, and that even if you only work for 5 minutes, something is now done that wasn’t done before.

The blog offers challenges of things to do and acknowledges those who have mobility limitations as well as depression. There are also tips on how to clean specific things. Largely, it’s a great support for motivating and helping people know they’re not alone in their messy tendencies. This support comes not only from the blog but from the readers as well in the form of encouraging posts and before and after pics.

To date, I haven’t submitted any of my own pics or done a Tumblr post or a question, but I follow the blog regularly and use the challenges to get things done that I might not have thought to get done previously. Because of the UfyH motivation factor, the following has happened:

– Laundry has been put away the same day it comes home from the laundromat 98% of the time (compared to about 62% previously).

– Dishes are done, counter is wiped down, and stovetop is given a wipe down before I go to bed 99% of the time (compared to 3% previously).

– My purse and keys go in their home space right after I get home 100% of the time (74% previously)

– I’ve considered my apartment to be “neat” and/or “clean” 97% of the time (0-10% in the previous place).

Also, old food doesn’t stick around in the fridge long, trash goes out regularly from the kitchen and bathroom, the bed gets made semi-regularly, and I can usually find where things are when I need them. The sinks and toilet get wiped down every few days, and I’ve even dusted the furniture more to keep the dust from getting out of hand.

There’s still some room for improvement. I need to vaccuum, sweep, and mop more, and I need to get J. Felbs to work on his desk area. But overall, my sanity over cleaning and my environment is stable and I feel like I’ve accomplished something as well as added another mark to my “how to be an adult” to-do list.

If you need some motivation or just like to read blogs about cleaning and can handle some swearing, check the blog out. It’s magic!

Apartment Update

Things have finally settled down for the most part, which means that they’ve also become really boring. I still have stuff to do, but I have no exciting blog topics. Which hasn’t stopped me before, so that’s no excuse for avoiding it.  While I have no pictures at press time, I thought I should give an update on the new apartment.

The Commute – While I made an issue about the commute being a huge adjustment, it really hasn’t been that bad. In hindsight, it’s about the same as it was in OKC but with less traffic. Though neither J. Felbs nor I are a huge fan of getting up early, we’ve managed to make it part of our routine and I manage to get to work on time.*  

The Finances – The new place has brought about some new expenses. After three years of having utilities be part of the rent, we now have to pay them separately. Because of the commute, we’re also spending more in gas, and my car insurance went up a little bit (though we went ahead and paid for the full six months, so that’s saving us some in the long run). Our internet is also more expensive, and this is probably the thing that irritates me the most because it’s not very good. We were paying less in MHK for faster and more reliable internet. But gripe as I may, I knew there was that possibility. It was, in fact, one of the things we thought about before the move. So while we reserve our right to complain, I wholeheartedy realize that we did make the choice and knew what we were getting into. 

We’re saving money in other areas, so it seems to be working out. We’re cooking at home most nights of the week and taking our lunches most days. I’ve been meal planning and grocery listing again, and we’re getting our money’s worth out of our shopping trips, especially with Aldi and the Sara Lee bread outlet as our main grocery stores. We’re also not required to have renter’s insurance in this place, and while it’s something we’re going to look at for the future, right now it’s not an expense we have to worry about.

The Not-So-Great Stuff – Beside the internet, there are a few other things that are a little harder to get used to. Being social has been a little challenging because it’s harder to wait around in town for things to start. Likewise, J likes to game a couple nights a week, and since it’s not fair for him to give up the things he likes to do, I’ve had to be creative in what I do with my free time. This really isn’t all that bad. It gives me the chance to get in an extra gym session or some reading time at Hastings. But it does take extra planning and we often don’t get home until late on these “social” nights.

As far as things in the apartment, one of my biggest personal challenges is the shower. The first time I used the shower in the new place I thought I was going to need medical attention. The water went hot and I almost slipped in the super slick bottom of the tub. We’ve since bought bath mats and I’ve learned how to handle the water changes, but it’s still annoying when the shower randomly goes scalding hot or ice cold. I also haven’t been able to set the water at a comfortable temperature, so most of my showers end up being kind of cool, which is good in the summer, but when winter hits I’m going to have to make a deal with the warm water spirits or something.

Finally, the Good Stuff – All the negatives and challenges don’t counter the fact that I really do love our new place. It’s quiet and comfortable. I like being on the second floor and being able to actually see the sun or the rain or the thunderstorms. I have a real kitchen and a real bathroom (one in which the toilet is not stuffed into a cubby hole). I have space to move around. Putting things on the walls and making it “homey” probably helped too. It also makes me think of my grandparents’ vacation home in Michigan where I’d spend time during the summer when I was a little girl. I couldn’t tell you what that house looked like, but this apartment makes me feel like I’m there again.

While I condensed the good stuff to one paragraph and stretched the other stuff into three, I still think the good stuff outweighs the bad, and I’m happy with our decision to move.

*There was one instance where my alarm didn’t go off, but that may have happened no matter what my proximity to work is. In fact, it has. Several times.