To organise is to paint

Last month, my Dad requested one “Big Project” for my summer holidays: Get the downstairs bedroom arranged/organised so that he had loads of floor space. Challenge: Accepted!

By loads of space, I mean enough so that one of Dad’s recumbent trikes could be moved in as a stationary bike for the winter. The room is quite large but so is the trike at 6 feet long and half as wide.

The downstairs bedroom is “my” bedroom* and has been used as a catch-all storage room for many years – including storage of some of my belongings from when I said goodbye to my American house for my return to Scotland. It was also where things were put in between use or when there was nowhere else for them to go or when “easy access” was wanted.

And so, like the spare rooms in many houses, it became a little cluttered. Indeed, with my two large suitcases, my carry-on suitcase, and my work bag taking up space, it was even more cluttered. But it was also really easy to see how to un-clutter it by getting rid of unneeded and unwanted things (including some of the things that I’ve been storing) and moving furniture around. Bookcases and a filing cabinet would need to be moved from one wall to another and my stored boxes would have to be reshuffled to fit – and we still needed to maintain access to the closet, which takes up one full wall. (This is where I’m thankful we downsized from a double to a twin-sized bed recently!)

One of the key tasks in making space was moving an old Zenith turntable and radio cabinet that was once my maternal grandfather’s. And that meant bringing it into the living room where it would take on a new life as a TV stand. And that meant that the existing TV entertainment unit was now redundant.

With the old TV unit redundant, I had to clear it out so that we could get rid of it. (It was a well-constructed solid wood unit, so a local second-hand shop was happy to take it off our hands.)

As you can see, making space in one room means doing work in other bits of the house. However, that’s a common theme with most projects in my experience.

And so, it will come as no surprise that, as we began moving the TV unit, Dad decided that it was time we paint that wall – several years after the first conversations about painting the living room had begun.

That meant shifting away from re-organising the bedroom and towards preparing to paint a wall in the living room. But just the one wall; the rest can wait.

And so, we painted the wall. Blue. Very blue.

It took three days, including the time spent getting the supplies and prepping the wall for primmer.

Once the one wall was blue, we decided to paint another wall red. Very red. And that meant moving a bookcase and several genealogy and recipe files.

In between painting walls, I worked on the bedroom and other chores. And on occasion, we talked about the other two walls. But in the end, we decided the other walls would wait… and would most likely be passed onto my youngest sister and her husband to paint. But the project only began 7-8 years ago, so there’s still time to get it done…

As for the downstairs bedroom: I still have some work to do on that chore. But I am confident that it will get done before I leave in a week’s time. After all, I have a plan. And as long as Daddy doesn’t decide to paint something else, I think I’ll have enough time to execute that plan.

* Growing up, it was a shared room with my sisters (6 daughters meant no one had their own room). But as I lived at home for far longer than the rest, being the last to get married at 31 years of age, the room became mine. And it has remained mine, even when I moved out because I am home visiting often and need a room. And since returning to Scotland, it’s been used as storage for some of my stuff, too. So… it’s my bedroom even though I sleep in my room in Scotland most days of the year.

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