Thursday, March 04, 2021

Home work

This business of getting a new house set up can be difficult for anyone, but doing it under the weight of grief can make it drudgery—even torture. It also goes much more slowly than under ideal conditions. Those are all things I know very, very well.

My garage is still mostly boxes, as I’ve mentioned several times, and will be for some time to come. The rest of the house is coming together, slowly. Last month, when I talked about working on the house, I said about the lounge/kitchen/dining, “I’m now putting it as I’ll have it long term”. That took a big leap the end of January when I gave away our old lounge suite, something that I’d planned on doing for a year.

In January of last year, I wrote about my plans for the new house, and noted, “I have furniture for a larger house,” and so, it wouldn’t fit. I also added:
…for a couple years (at least) I was telling Nigel that I wanted to sell our sofas and matching chair for something smaller, but he seemed less interested in that than I was. It definitely will be too much for the new house.
Nigel and I bought the two sofas and chair when we lived in Paeroa, sometime in 2005, I think. They were chocolate brown and in a kind of retro, almost Deco style, and were made in New Zealand by a company that no longer makes furniture (they import furniture made overseas). They were also large (though comfy) pieces of furniture. The 3-seater sofa was long enough for an adult to lie down, which meant it was guest bed a few times (and I even slept on it one night when Sunny was unwell and needed to go outside frequently).

The fact the furniture was too big for my new place made my desire to replace it more urgent for me: I was tired of living in such a crowded space. As it happens, a family member needed a lounge suite, so I gave it to them “as is”: If I’d attempted to sell them I’d have cleaned them or had them cleaned first (we had them more than 15 years, after all).

So, I gave them away and the house was quite empty. The next day, I went sofa shopping with my brother- and sister-in-law, and found one in the third place we looked. I bought a three seater (but one that’s a bit shorter than the old one), and one that was made in Auckland. I wanted a NZ-made sofa not only because I like to help keep Kiwis in work, but also because getting stuff from overseas is still difficult due to Covid, and I didn’t want to wait months for my new sofa to get here.

The new sofa (photo up top) was delivered this past Saturday, and, all things considered, went better than the delivery that was supposed to happen Tuesday. I wasn’t given a specific delivery time, but the delivery company texted me at 10:29am to tell me that the delivery would be between 3pm and 6pm (and they also asked me to confirm my address). The new sofa actually arrived around 5pm.

The sofa was all wrapped in plastic, which the deliverers left on. That surprised me at first because companies used to take that sort of thing away, however, that was probably when companies did their own deliveries, rather than contracting it out to a separate company. As it happens, though, I was glad it was wrapped up: I was headed out to dinner with family, and I didn’t have time to spray on the fabric protector, so the plastic would keep the dogs off of it.

The next day, I took off the plastic and sprayed the fabric protector on the whole thing (it carries a 7 year guarantee against stains). It was a bit of a mission with four cushions to spray, along with the sofa carcass, and to keep curious dogs away from the sofa while it was drying (the plastic mounded up on the floor in front of it did the trick).

That part of the house is now basically done, apart maybe from some tables and possibly another, small scale chair (so I can accommodate more guests). The only other room in the house that’s completely done is the guest bedroom (technically they’re not counted as rooms, but the toilet, bathroom, and en suite are all done, so, I guess there’s that…).

The biggest job of all (aside from that garage of no return) is my office and bedroom, which I mentioned briefly last month. Quite some time ago, I followed what’s considered sound advice for organising a room: Take everything out, and then put it back where it belongs/where you want it. So, I moved stuff out of my office and into my bedroom, which is now still full of boxes of stuff from my office. The advice may have been sound, but the execution wasn’t because it didn’t take my “state of nothingness” into account—nor the fact that the whole reason I had trouble getting my office organised is that I had nowhere to put things, and that hasn’t changed.

I have a new plan, one I’ll talk about more when/if it works. But sorting out my office (and so, my bedroom) is now my sole major project inside the house (aside from that garage of no return), so I hope that means I can give it the attention I haven’t managed up until now. Still, at least I have a nice, clear desk now—that’s something, I guess.

At any rate, this business of getting a new house set up can be drudgery—even torture—and can go much more slowly than under ideal conditions. Those are all things I know very, very well.

The photo montage on the left side of this post shows the old sofa, the empty space that was there from January until this past Saturday, and the bottom photo is of the plastic-wrapped new sofa.


Roger Owen Green said...

I wonder if they kept the plastic on in case their customers are worried about COVID.

Arthur Schenck said...

I wouldn't have thought so. At the time, the entire country was at Alert Level 1. I think most people are far too complacent for that to even briefly cross their minds.