Friday, October 9, 2015

Home improvement

I gotta say, it's amazing what a couple of screws and some white paint can do for a space.

We--or rather, Karel--has been on a bit of a home improvement kick recently.  It started with the little things, like (FINALLY) sectioning off the loose cords that we have running through the place, confining them with little runners and basically making the place safe for humanity and toddlers with giant heads. Then he mounted the TV to one of our walls, making it safe and freeing up a ton of extra space in our living room again.  I have a place to hang the drying racks on the (rare) occasions when they're not being used. We replaced out closet with the Algot system from IKEA. The ugly hole under our water heater (we have a tankless water heater) got plastered over, the gap in the concrete floor got filled, and a bookshelf--with a space for our stand mixer--got put up.  Karel built a custom drawer system in the space where our dishwasher had been, and now, over the past few days, he single-handedly emptied the pantry (except for the washer), painted the space, and put up a ton of new shelves. It's not quite finished yet--we'll be picking up a second Raskog cart from IKEA soon--but it's already a ton better than it was before. Still on the list of things to do is to build kidlet a lofted bed, build him a new bookshelf/desk system for his room, patch up the hole in the wall of kidlet's room, and install a bunch of new Algot shelves/baskets in our room to make better use of the space we have.  That, and painting EVERYTHING.

The goal is, ostensibly, to make the place sell-able.  Nijmegen is a lovely city but it's far away from Deventer and should Karel luck into finding a job elsewhere, we'll probably have to move, and the place will be much, much easier to sell if it looks neat.

But more than that, well--I think of all of these changes as being reflective of the state of things in our minds and marriage.  Before that--things were okay. We hung in there.  It wasn't great, but it was okay and it was what we were used to, and we didn't really make any plans to change it. It wasn't that we didn't have any plans (I had lots of  plans), it was just that all of the plans required at least a few days of concentrated effort and Karel, until recently, had always been an all-or-nothing kind of guy.

I won't go into what sparked this sudden transformation, but suffice it to say that home improvement isn't really just about home improvement as it is about life improvement.  Encoded in the now-brilliantly-efficient kitchen and our vastly more relaxed space is a lifestyle that's more effective, and therefore, more relaxed.  Neatness is built-in, rather than constantly-striven-for.  And we are truly happier than we've been with where we live for a long, long time.  

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