Move Some Stuff Around

We live in an old house. It is not an old house like the ones you see on This Old House, either. It is a house that started out as two rooms, built by poor people out of whatever they could lay their hands on. This is not to say it does not have the charm old houses develop, it does. You know upon crossing the threshold that this has been home to lots of people and that there has been happiness and sadness within these walls.

But. It also has issues, and plenty of them. It is barely off the ground, the ceiling is low, about 6 foot 5 so all of our tall friends are constantly breaking our lightbulbs and the rooms all run into each other, the doorways are narrow and in odd places, the windows in the living room do not open, and this list could go on and on.

Something as simple as deciding where to put the furniture is a huge challenge. Here are the obstacles that must be surmounted in the living room:

  • It was originally two rooms, so is long and very narrow.
  • There is a doorway from the kitchen on the extreme right-hand side of one of the short walls, and another doorway to the bathroom and a bedroom on the extreme left-hand side of the other short wall.
  • The only window in the entire house that will accommodate a window air-conditioning unit is on a long wall.
  • There is a short maybe 2 foot wall sticking out in the middle of the room. This is where there used to be a doorway and a wall separating two rooms. We are afraid the ceiling will collapse if we take this remaining piece down.
  • There are two non-opening windows on either side of a non-functioning fireplace. The mantel and hearth are made of mountain stone that has been plastered over.
  • There is a closet (one of only three in the house) sticking out on one long wall.
  • There are only 2 electrical outlets and one of them is located literally halfway up a wall maybe 4 feet up. My theory is that this is so everyone could see it and know the family that installed electricity had it.
  • All three windows are on the same long wall as the fireplace and the other long wall has two doorways and a closet on it.

No matter what we do, we end up feeling as if we are sitting in two rows that face each other. The couch will fit in exactly two places, and the positions of the TV and computer are limited due to outlets and cable boxes.

We have lived here for about 4 and a half years, so we have done a bit of experimenting, which is to say we have tried every configuration we could think of. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention our TV. It is one of the big, old console kinds. The thing is just massive. I am seriously considering selling most of our possessions on craigslist so that we can buy one of those swanky-hang-on- the-wall-new-fangled TVs.

When I got laid off in April and started working on SmilingTree Writing with a little more, ummm, let us say urgency, our computer was sitting on an antique school desk. A flat, wooden one with a pencil holder, with a standard-sized desk chair, scooted up as close as it could get. The computer desk was pushed up close to the couch, in fact, you could turn the monitor and sit on the couch (very uncomfortably) and operate the computer. This meant that when both kids were home the conditions around the computer were less than ideal for working.

About 3 weeks ago, I started thinking about how we could change things so that I have a little workspace. Since my computer is actuallyour computer, it had to stay in the living room where we all can use it easily. We tossed ideas back and forth amongst ourselves.

Finally, I decided where I wanted my desk to be. Then I decided the kitchen table would be a perfect desk. My talented husband offered to build a new kitchen table, and he did. It is gorgeous and easily the most beautiful item I own.

If anything though, moving into the kitchen has made me realize that we have a leaky tap. I had never noticed it before, but now I spend so much time in the kitchen I constantly hear it dripping. To be honest, I think we are going to have to call out a plumber to take a look at it. A friend of mine told me that you can find plumbers in your area online really easily these days using websites like so I think I am going to have to do some research. I just hope the plumber that we hire can get to the bottom of our leaky tap!

Anyway, it is hard to describe how much rearranging the furniture motivates and inspires me. Maybe it is a learned behavior. My mom used to move stuff all the time, and it was stuff like clocks and trash cans. I guess she was keeping us on our toes. I do not know why or what, but something about planning, thinking, moving, cleaning and the whole process makes me happy. It makes me feel refreshed. Especially when I am able to get the furniture to look as good as new again. It is a feeling I cannot explain. My friend told me that if I want to make the cleaning feel worthwhile, then I should think about getting an upholstery steam cleaner. And that is exactly what I did. Now I actually look forward to starting the cleaning. It may be time for you to look for one as well, so if you want to find the best upholstery steam cleaner for you and your home, then look no further then these detailed reviews so you do not feel that you are wasting your money on the wrong product. Once you have got one, make sure that you make the most of it when deciding to clean your furniture on a regular basis. For a full cleaning routine, check out the Bissell guide to deep clean your home. This is something that all this furniture rearranging has really made me motivated to do.

There are still small annoyances, of course. The bird cages are sort of pushed together and the room is still shaped like a hallway, but somehow, it seems much better. It always does.

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