As we unpack boxes and attempt to get some order into the chaos that is a house-that-you-have-just-moved-into, I have been thinking a lot about how the domino effect applies to unpacking.
You know, you line all the dominoes up on their ends, then tip the first one, and they all fall down in order, one by one. The domino effect, then, describes how starting one thing creates a chain reaction, in which one event leads to the next, and so forth. Basically, it is a linked sequence of events that flow on, one from another.
So why is unpacking into a new house like a domino effect?
Well, it doesn’t really apply at first. The first things you do after a move are about immediate priorities: you do the beds (sleep is usually at the top of the list after the exhaustion and stress of packing and moving); closely followed by the kitchen (so you can make yourself tea/coffee, and minimize your exposure to take-away). Some fresh clothes to wear would be handy, as would shoes, so you unpack them.
After that it gets more tricky. Sooner or later you hit the ‘before I unpack this/move/place this, I have to unpack/move/place that’ dilemma. Hence the domino analogy.
Take my studio for example: the one thing I have been hanging out for over the 11 months we were in beige palace limbo was to be able to set my studio up. One of the pluses about the new place is the garage, which will be a perfect studio for me. Eventually. At the moment it looks like this:
Now some of these boxes, etc, are full of stuff from my studio (tools, materials, and so on). But most of them aren’t. At first the garage was full of my studio stuff, and the kitchen boxes. Except, now I have done the kitchen, or at least got it to a functional state:
Doing the kitchen meant the garage was largely emptied of boxes. But then we decided that it would be great if the living area didn’t have any boxes in it, so we had one box free place:
So we moved the living room boxes into the garage. Here is what the main living area looks like without boxes in it:
It is very much a work in progress, even though we have the basic layout sorted, we still have the styling to do. Which is the fun part. A lot of those boxes we moved into the now-full-again garage contain artworks, sculptures and those things that make your place yours.
So, before I get to sort out and set up my studio, I have to finish the living area. Before I get to do that, though, I have to get the kid’s living room sorted out. Before they drive me completely nuts with their nagging to get their room organized, and their computers set up, and so we can also stop living on top of each other in one room. Here is what their living room looks like currently:
It is one of the things I liked about this house, the 2 separate living areas. Having your teenagers have their own space = increased parental sanity. Plus, I just don’t like the noises the WII makes, unless I am playing it myself, of course.
The reason the furniture is standing on its side, is mainly due to the numerous boxes full of books, and 9 bookshelves we own, which are also stacked in there. Because the main kitchen/dining/living area is relatively small, we decided we wouldn’t fill it to the brim with stuff, that we would try to keep it relatively open and empty. So we put all the bookshelves (and book boxes) downstairs in the kids living room. Except they wont all fit in there, so now we have to find somewhere else to put them.
One of the places that we will put some bookshelves are in Nat’s room, because he lucked in with the biggest bedroom in the house. But this is what his room looks like currently:
So before I can sort out the kid’s living room, Nat and I have to get his room done, so we can put some bookshelves in here, and clear space to maneuver in the kid’s living room.
Luckily the boxes in here are mostly his stuff. Mostly. So, to get to setting up my studio: first we have to do Nat’s room, followed by the kid’s living room, finish decorating the main living room, and then I can sort my studio.
See what I mean? The domino effect. Better go and get on with it.