Well, I think the nesting instinct has already kicked in because I have had a strong urge to purge, clean and get our home in order. The beauty of this sabbatical is that it’s not just an opportunity to refocus my career ambitions; it’s also a time when I can finally dedicate more energy to other things in my life that I have neglected in the past. And our apartment is definitely one of those things.
A couple of years ago, Ryan and I did a big purge of all of our stuff. And it was long overdue. At that point, it had been over five years since we moved in together, and there were still boxes that hadn’t been opened.
And while we successfully liberated ourselves from a lot of unnecessary junk, there was still much that we held onto. But this time around, I will be ruthless.
We will only keep things that we know we’re going to use, and will bid adieu to the “what if” items, as I like to call them. You know — the things you keep for some hypothetical, yet unlikely, reason or some event that would only happen once a year, if that!
I’m sure this ironfisted determination is partly fostered by the urgency of needing to make room for another human in the household. And part of it is bolstered by binging Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. But I would say a big part of it has to do with this new mindset I’ve gained during my sabbatical — being able to identify what is really important, prioritizing those things, and letting go of the rest.
Our “apartment revamp”, as I’m calling it, will happen in four stages:
- Purge: Give away, throw away, or sell all unnecessary items.
- Deep clean: Getting in all those nooks and crannies that usually go unnoticed. Yes, that even means tasks like pulling out the stove to clean under there.
- Fix/repair: We’re in an old apartment, and from peeling paint to loose door knobs, there are just some things that could use a handyman’s touch (read: Ryan)
- Rearrange/new furniture/build storage: This is the fun part, where I get to use some of my new interior design skills. We’ll be rearranging the living room and a little bit in the kitchen; replacing some of our hand-me-down furniture with pieces that actually fit the space; and building out some custom storage solutions.
And here is a sneak peek of the spreadsheet that will help keep us organized during all of this:
Ok, maybe “rules” is a bit strong. But here are some guidelines I’ve set for this project:
- Be Ambitious: For example, we’ve set a pretty aggressive timeline for the first phase — the purge — which will keep our schedule pretty packed for the next month.
- But Be Flexible: Plans are roadmaps, but you never know when you’re going to run into a speed bump. And we’ve already encountered this. Our first big purge task was to clean out our closets, for which I had scheduled an entire weekend. But there was more stuff in these closets than I remembered, and we needed more time. With a little rearranging of the schedule, we were able to get it all finished and still get back on track.
- Be Ok With Throwing the Plan Out the Window: So, a lot of this plan is focused on us staying in our current apartment. But if certain things fall into place, there is a real possibility that we may move to a bigger place. But that’s why we’re starting with the purge phase — whether we stay or move, it’s still good to get rid of unnecessary stuff.
We started this project a couple of weeks ago, and it feels good to already see significant progress. The great thing about clearing out the apartment is that it also just clears up head space and allows me to better focus on my career exploration.
I’ll be sure to write on update on our progress!