Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Organizing Every Inch of Our House

Yesterday was a bit rough. I dragged Matt and a tired Henry to the doctor with me for my RhoGAM shot. It's hard going to a new doctor in a state you don't live in, especially for such a sensitive issue. Fortunately, Matt's mom helped us find a good place. I had to bring Matt with me because I was afraid I might break down and not be able to speak. 

I was able to make it through my standard speech with the intake nurse: "I would be at 13 weeks right now. The baby stopped developing around five or six weeks; we don't know exactly when. I've already had an ultrasound. I've already had my pregnancy hormones tested. I started bleeding Sunday morning. I'm A-negative; I need a shot of RhoGAM."

I made it through that part okay. Then they sent me to the lab to get my blood drawn. They wanted to make sure I was A-negative (which I still don't understand, since they gave me the shot right after I had my blood drawn, even though they won't get the results of my blood type until tomorrow). 

While getting my blood drawn with Henry and Matt in the room (we wanted Henry to see that he's not the only one in our family who gets poked with needles), the woman asked with a smile, "So, are you pregnant with your second?" 

Why, yes I was. Up until last week I was pregnant with our sweet little January baby. We were counting our lucky stars that we got pregnant on our first try (for the second time in a row), and I was counting down the days until I entered the second trimester. It was right around the corner! But then we didn't hear the heartbeat. We even have that part on video. Even then, I was optimistic that everything was okay. I was going to come back in a week and we were going to listen for the heartbeat again. But we decided to test my hormones and they came back not so great. And then, after more waiting, the ultrasound confirmed it. Now I'm just waiting to give birth to death.

Instead of saying all that, I said, "No, I'm having a miscarriage." I was able to state those five words and hold back the tears (until we got to the parking lot). 

But this isn't a post about miscarriage. We've had quite a few of those lately. I'll continue to share my thoughts about miscarriage as I need to, but this post is about home organization. 

[insert segue here]

While on vacation, I read an old Martha Stewart magazine that featured Martha's cleaning supply room (yes, she has a whole separate building dedicated to her cleaning supplies and tools and things). It is a model of impeccable organization. Every single thing has a logical, labeled spot, and it was easy to access. That's exactly what I want for our new house. I only want us to have things in our home that we use/need/want, and I want everything to have a place. I want our home to feel like our little bungalow did when we had it on the market (for sale by owner)--completely decluttered, orderly, organized, and calm. 

That's not to say I want to live in a museum. I want our home to be comfortable and family-friendly. But I want us to be conscious of what we buy and where we put it. I put a library hold on Martha Stewart's book about organizing for inspiration. 

In the meantime, I found this way to conveniently organize spices on the inside a cabinet door. Honestly, I can't believe we ever lived without it. Right now, our spices take up an entire cabinet shelf. When we want one, we have to lift up every single container and turn it so we can see the label. If it's toward the back, it's highly likely that we will knock something else over while trying to excavate it. 

Why do we live that way? I'm serious! Why do we live with unnecessary stresses that threaten to accumulate over a lifetime? The fix is such an easy an inexpensive one! 

The second organizational strategy I want to implement is a better system for trash and recycling. As I mentioned above, I'm the kind of person who wants to declutter and minimize the number of things sitting out (on the counter, on the floor, etc.). We do not space for a trash can on the ground (especially with bulky things like the Learning Tower taking up a lot of space), so instead we keep two paper Whole Foods bags under the sink: one for trash and one for recycling. I won't even go into all the reasons I don't really like this system. Instead, I will say that I'm going to talk to the architect about trading out two of our drawers so that we can install one of those sliding trash and recycling systems.

Is it strange that I get immense joy from figuring out ways to be more organized? It is what it is, I suppose.

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Anthropolochic said...

I get an insane amount of joy coming up with organizational systems too. Decluttering and new organization systems are the major highlight of any move. I once moved 11 times in 4 years (many times across borders, so all of my belongings had to be listed, and all of my boxes labelled with a list of belongings inside) - most organized time of my life.

I'm sorry that the nurse treating you for miscarriage was so insensitive or just plain spacey - not what anyone should have to hear while going through such an experience.

V. Wetlaufer said...

My parents have one of the trash drawers, and it is awesome! That's something I hate post about this apartment; no space anywhere for my trash except in the middle of the wall. ugh.

Anonymous said...

Container Store has an even bigger wire rack - we have it inside our pantry door and love it! It's slightly deeper too so we can fit things like baking powder and bigger spice jars.

Lene said...

Sweet Sara,

My heart breaks when I read your description of the miscarrige as giving birth to death. It brings me images of something dark and evil and at the same time I realise that that is what it must feel like. I hope you take care of you in all this in the best possible way and send you healing thoughts.

Warm hugs

Kelsey said...

I'm still keeping you in my thoughts everyday Sara.

I get SO much satisfaction from organization. It's weird but I feel happier and I think I even sleep better when things are clean and organized. It gives me space to do what I actually want with my time and space to be creative I think. Our spice situation is exactly what you described and I hate it!! I'm not sure the on the door solution will work for us b/c of the cabinet shelves. But I'm desperately trying to find the right thing. It might be something on the counter, which I don't like, but if it was organized it would be better than a shelf crammed full. Ugh!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Kelsey, I love reading your posts about home organization. And, P.S., there's a single row version of the spice rack that might be easier to fit between shelves. Just a thought!

Kelsey said...

Ooo, I will look into that. Thanks!

Angela Mae said...

Focusing on renewed organization makes perfect sense! I know the feeling; whenever I feel like I just can't focus or just feel unsatisfied or wonky I take a some time to completely re-arrange my desk at work. Cleaning out all the drawers, establishing new systems of filing and project tracking, and wiping everything down with windex makes me SO much more productive, focused and happy.
It's not a distraction, it's a method of processing. And a really healthy and nourishing one at that!

Courtney said...

I've been following your blog for a while now and wanted to say that I am so, so sorry for your loss. I also wanted to share a book that might be helpful as you continue to process the miscarriage. It is What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage (http://www.amazon.com/What-Was-Lost-Christian-Miscarriage/dp/0664235204). I think the book is really helpful, no matter your faith background and wanted to share.

Onnie said...

Clearing space will give you room & time to think. I don't know why organizing works like that, but thank goodness it does! It sounds like just what you need right now.

About the lab drawing your blood (since it led to such an emotionally-fraught encounter, oy): as a nurse, I'm guessing that was probably an insurance requirement. RhoGAM shouldn't be dangerous if your blood type is Rh+ (A+, B+, AB+ or O+), so the docs can give you the shot right away, but the insurer will want to know the necessity of giving the shot (especially since you're a new patient at that clinic) so they know how much to bill everybody. (Why? Because they're bureaucrats. When in doubt, blame the man.) Hope that helps if you're confused.

Allyson Mulcahy said...

It made my heart ache to hear what the nurse said to you when you went in for your RhoGAM shot. I can't help but think about the time that a nurse from my OB-GYN called me to schedule "birthing classes" about a month after I had my daughter, who was born at 24-weeks gestation and weighed just under a lb. My daughter, Avalea, ended up being in the NICU for 4 months- I was hurt and angry that doctors seemed to overlook this in my file- after all, it could have been much worse than it was. I'm glad you're giving yourself time to grieve and feel the things that are important in helping you heal.

Sending our love..

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