the time in your life when you’re allowed to organize compulsively and you’re called pregnant instead of crazy

IMG_4603i have been a compulsively minimalist person for as long as i can remember. the idea of “stuff” just hanging around, tucked away in tight corners and not either looking pretty or being used makes me itchy. i disliked hallowe’en from a youngish age not because i’m a grinch (or the hallowe’en equivalent of a grinch… a ghoul?) — i’m into pumpkins and dried corn stalks and witches and candy — but because costumes usually necessitated the buying of dollar store items that would then get stored somewhere, never to be worn or used again. for this reason, i was a black cat nearly every year. i kept my ears and tail in my jewelry box and wore tights and a black dance leotard, which i also wore every monday to dance class. i’m weird, mmmkay?

so recently my friend sarah texted me to ask if i’d ever read marie kondo’s the life changing magic of tidying up. i actually hadn’t — shocker — so she sent me the audio files. i was into the first third of the book, but then kondo gets all weird, writing about how socks should never be balled up in drawers because they need to “relax.” i spent most of the book thinking three things:

  1. this woman has inhaled way too many cleaning supply fumes over the years
  2. i can’t believe there are so many people out there that don’t mind decades-old stuff hanging around in their closets, attics, and basements that she’s become rich and famous. like, how hard is it to throw an old report card away?
  3. i wish i had a closet to purge!

i mean, obviously i know that there are people (most people) who can ignore the fact that their home is filled to the brim with things they don’t like, want, or use and go out for brunch like it’s no big deal. but i am not, have never been, one of those people. now, let’s introduce my brain to pregnancy. in pregnancy, there’s this phenomenon called nesting. everyone describes it as a sudden, compulsive need to “make room for the baby” by emptying your kitchen cupboards, cleaning your kick plates, setting up your nursery, and organizing your tax files. since babies require a bit of stuff, i’ve been in nesting mode (really just my regular self, but with an excuse) since april. our small house, while clean and well-organized, was closer to full than empty. and bébé was somehow going to get his/her own bedroom?

my pregnancy bible has been the mindful mom to be, which introduces nesting alongside this idea of creating a sanctuary in your home in chapter (month) eight. the bedroom is the natural place for a sanctuary in most women’s homes, but that’s because most people have master bedrooms where they can move freely around their bed. our master bedroom, unfortunately, has never felt like a sanctuary. maybe it’s because our mattress sits atop a sawed-off bed frame and some plastic pylons, the only way we could fit a queen-sized mattress and all our clothes (via underbed storage drawers) into our room.

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the inspiration for a good purge combined with my nesting instincts and this idea of a master bedroom sanctuary plus a good dose of envy that our bébé was getting a bedroom with more functionality than ours, and i kind of exploded on the master bedroom the other day.

the explosion started with a good clean — under the bed, baseboards, window — and then i started thinking about rearranging furniture. now, there are not too many options in a room that’s only seven feet wide, but the little chair we had in the bedroom was pretty useless. basically a dumping ground for clothing that was not quite dirty, not quite clean. so i moved that downstairs to my sewing table and exposed a nice patch of floor.

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which i filled quickly with our three-drawer dresser, previously tucked inside the closet. now i had the full closet width for clothes, whereas the dresser took up most of the closet space before. i had an extra closet pole and socket set downstairs, leftover from when we set the closet up four years ago. i set the sockets up and pierre cut the pole to size when he got home from work… actually, when he got home from the bar after watching the jays win game five. it’s always good to ask your husband to do you favours like this when he’s had six beers and an antipasti plate and is in a pretty good mood.

originally, i was thinking we might have enough room in the closet to lose the underbed storage drawers, meaning we would be able to lose the black pylons, maybe make an attractive platform bed before bébé arrives. in truth, we probably could fit everything we own on these two rods, but a lot of what we own — jeans, tees, exercise clothes, etc. — doesn’t lend itself well to being hung in a closet. i suppose we could get a taller dresser, but i’m quite attached to this one and look! — shaker panel sides to match the door.

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moving the dresser out of the closet and allowing the clothes to occupy all the closet space also meant getting rid of the gold mirror that hung above the dresser. it was big, heavy, and circular, so meant to be hung on a wall and not rest precariously atop a dresser. i really wanted a bamboo mirror for the new setup and — such is the power of the internet — it only took me about a week to find one at the prop room, a photography/film prop rental warehouse in leaside that also has some stock for sale. this mirror was perfect, albeit a little expensive for my tastes, but the owner is an older antiques dealer who has difficulty letting “real antiques” go to thirtysomethings who want to pay flea market prices. pierre thinks it’s the ugliest mirror of all time, but i’m pretty in love with it.

and because i follow kondo’s edict and a bout of pregnancy has inspired cleaning in unassuming places (like the shed), this new mirror in has meant a number of things have been posted to (and sold on) kijiji this week. in fact, someone came over yesterday and paid me $40 for a box of miscellaneous door hardware. excess was acquired during my mission to restore all the doors in my house and i was hanging onto plates and knobs just because they’re a little hard to find — but my house isn’t growing any new door frames, so i really didn’t need them.

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so just a little pregnancy-related shake-up of the bedroom with which i’m pretty satisfied. bébé’s bedroom still might be my favourite room in the house, but, seeing as i’ll be spending a lot of time in there in just 12 short weeks (!!!), i guess it’s okay if that room feels like a sanctuary, too.

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