The Great Clean

January 15, 2009 at 9:28 am (Julia) (, )

Tom and I have embarked on an epic plan to reorganise and clean our house, to make it functional and efficient. There are several reasons for this:

  • We’re tired of wading through junk
  • We want to be able to entertain again in our house (part of the 2009 adulthood quest)
  • My cousin Steeni will be staying with us a lot over the next two year for school
  • I was scared of becoming a hoarder.

When we first moved in, we were poverty-stricken students, and there was very much this emphasis on keeping stuff, because you’d never know when you’d need it again, and we couldn’t really afford to just buy a new thing. It’s similar to the behaviour exhibited by elderly relatives who lived through the Great Depression and WWII – scarcity became the norm, and they can’t throw things away. However, these days we’ve got a bit more cash, and so throwing out stuff we’ve not used in years is less likely to cause problems.

Part of the Great Clean is also a huge reorganisation of our flat. One of the two bedrooms will be our bedroom, with our computers and wardrobes. The other will be Steeni’s room, and a spare room when she’s not there, with our futon, and several bookshelves in it. The largest room will be a lounge/dining room. I’ve done a major reorganisation at the last two flats, too – when I move into a place, I set the furniture up in a way that seems like it will work, but some time into living there I realise that there’s a superior configuration.

Step One: Remove Crap

The first step of the Great Clean has been to hire a storage space and literally pile the boxes of crap which were filling up our spare room into it. Seems lazy, yes, but until the rest of the house looks good, I have no energy or motivation to sift through those boxes to find out what’s worth keeping. This step is pretty much finished – at some point, when the house is good, we’ll go over and sort the boxes out but honestly, I think a lot of this stuff will get chucked. I’m also in the process of throwing out tonnes of clothes that we just don’t wear anymore. Certain items, like my year 12 graduation ball dress, will obviously stay, but for non-worn clothes to stay with us they’re going to have to have pretty high sentimental value.

Step Two: Move Furniture

This step is also going to involve a bit of throwing out. We’ve got four couches, and none of them get used. One is a futon, which is going into Steeni’s room to be her bed. One is a quite comfortable sofa bed, which is sadly bunged up inside. It’s currently in Steeni’s room, but needs to go into the main room. This is going to be the hardest thing to shift, since it weighs a tonne. One is an ugly, cat-scratched hand-me-down from friends, which is one of the most comfy couches I’ve ever encountered. The last is this white thing we found on the street during a council clean-up. The cushions shift on it, and it’s quite uncomfortable, meaning that it becomes a flat surface to store things on, which is the fate of all uncomfortable couches. So it’s going. Various useless endtables and the like are going as well, (often also picked up during council clean-ups). If we don’t use it, it’s gone. We’re moving our dining table and this awesome big wooden bar which was a hand-me-down from my parents’ friends when they moved into the main room, as part of the living/dining room set up. The bar is great because it holds all the really nice pieces of china etc that we got for our engagement and wedding, and can be used to hold plates during dinner parties. Dinner parties are key.

Step Three: Swedish Consumerism

Despite the enormous throw-out, we do actually need better storage spaces, and so Tom and I will be conducting a little trip to Ikea very shortly. I love Ikea, it’s cheap, the furniture’s well-made and long-lasting, and they have bright colours. One of the things we’ll be getting are the parts to construct a bookshelf-type thing to sit on top of my desk, with space for my computer and printer, as well as game boxes, etc. I’ve measured up my desk, and I’m going to use the buyable spare parts of the GORM system to build this. It won’t be the most beautiful thing in the world, but it will be durable and sturdy, and that’s what I’m after. Apart from that, our Ikea plans mostly involve lots and lots of hanging organiser, in bright colours. I’m particularly enamoured of the FANGST organisers, they come in lots of colours and we can kind of shove our clothes in them and not worry. Success! We’re going to hang these off a couple of clothes rails and I think the whole effect will be kind of awesome.

As well as those big items, we’re also planning to get a lot of little storage boxes – ones to go under the bed, etc. And most importantly, we’re buying extra shelves for our bookshelves – books are the hardest thing to throw out, and there’s a lot of wasted space in our bookshelves, so a few extra shelves will sort things out nicely. We’re also going to get some new bed linen and all sorts of exciting things like that.

Step Four: Victory

Once the furniture’s been moved, and the new things have been assembled, and everything’s in its final resting place, I’m going to throw a party. This will be one of my rewards for cleaning the house (other rewards are: IKEA shopping and, you know, having a clean house). I’m also going to have dinner parties – I like cooking for people, and part of the 2009 adulthood quest is all about doing grown-up things that I enjoy, and it also means we can entertain our family at our house, if we choose.

My plan for the rest of today, if the weather’s not too hot, is to continue chucking a bunch of clothes, and make space for stage two to begin. And possibly, in the evening, go to Ikea. If I’m very lucky.



  1. andrewcrisp said,

    I can’t wait until it’s ready! OMG I am so jealous of you guys and your soon-to-be-Swedish geekpad!

    Will the dining room also have the TV and games and stuff?

  2. juliadactyl said,

    It certainly will! it’s big enough for all those things, so we can have AP5 dinner parties where we play Wii afterwards.

    We went to Ikea this evening. It’s incentive to clean, because I want to unpack all our lovely new things.

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