Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Space

Flash has decided that he will officially move in with me and Melissa. Since he practically lives there anyway the most significant change will be the permanent addition of his stuff to our small two bedroom apartment. I have been trying to get rid of everything humanly possible to make room for him. Luckily for me I have very little sentimental attachment to stuff; I have no problem making cut throat decisions about clothes and as for organization well, it’s kind of my thing.

I have added a dresser to my room and have cut the number of hanging clothes in half. HALF! I dragged Melissa boxes and suitcases out of our little in-suite storage room, pointed to them and said ‘Do it, do it’. It turns out Melissa keeps a colorful assortment of the most random shit stored inside all of her suitcases. Three garbage bags later and voila more room.

For me making space is not the biggest challenge, it’s the maintaining a level of cleanliness once Flash and all of his stuff are added. Flash is a bit messy. The concept of not throwing his clothes on the floor, putting dishes in the dishwasher right away and throwing trash in the garbage immediately are challenges. Since his clothes will be all over my floor I’ll either have to live with it or pick them up myself. I do not plan on doing either.

I love a clean surface. Whether that is a made bed, a clear kitchen counter, a bare table, coffee table or bedroom floor. It suggests possibility, so much space for activities!  Clutter is an uncomfortable itch that I must scratch.

I have accepted that living with someone can be a tricky thing. I’ve had pretty good luck with roommates, but invariably you hit a few snags. In instances where the apartment was messier than I was comfortable with I accepted that if I wanted a clean apartment I would have to do it myself. Luckily, Melissa is a very clean roommate. She respects and appreciates my neurotic need keep things clean and tidy by doing her best to help keep the apartment neat.

Flash, however, is a work in progress. He can not relate to my love of clean surfaces. If you leave your dishes lying on the counters, stove and sink for a week and then spend an hour on Sunday doing them, the result is living in a dirty house for 6.5 days of the week. Tidying as you go, cleaning the kitchen up after dinner, putting clothes away or in the hamper. These all make such a big difference, especially in a small living space.

I’m not sure if this is unreasonable to most people but I think it is pretty standard, especially when living with roommates. I’m not asking anyone to wash floors or scrub toilets, periodically go through the fridge and throw out expired food. I’m not even expecting anyone to vacuum. I am happy to do all of that myself. What I’m not happy to do is pick up after Flash. I think anything that makes me feel like his mother is to be avoided.

So I have been trying to problem solve. I’m making as much space as possible so that things are not lying around because there’s no where to put them. A place for everything, that’s been my goal. I’ve also been pointing out some of these messy behaviors to Flash. He would say I’ve been huge nag. Flash has made big improvements as far as clothes go. He tries to hang things on the hooks in my room; he no longer throws towels on the floor. I can see him becoming more aware of where things go.

I know that Flash is not the only one that needs to change. I’m going to have to relax, be less of a control freak, and get used to the apartment not always being the way I want it to be.

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