It's the end of the week, and I have never felt so empty. That's because the living room is cleared of everything except the piano and sofa. The dining room, all but the table and corner cabinets.
The rugs were cleaned this week, and to get the job done right, I decided we should clear the rooms of all but the heaviest items.
Floor lamps? Gone. Ottoman? Missing. If people wonder what happened to the base of our coffee table, I'll tell them to look in the kitchen. Or did I stash it in the garage along with the little bench that goes near the fireplace?
I peer into these two rooms and see two clean slates. Two empty canvases. Yes, the artwork still hangs on the walls, but the frames have been dusted, the glass polished.
I feel like we're making a fresh start, and it's not even January.
Nothing will go back into these rooms that is not clean, dust-free and necessary, I decide (without having ?yet consulted family members on my latest domestic tear).
Words from William Morris inspire me: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
No, I do not intend to toss everything but the piano bench, but it is kind of a good feeling.
And a good time to take a deep look at the rooms, sans furniture. The walls, I decide, do not need a fresh coat of paint. (I think I just heard a sigh of relief coming from somewhere.)
I note that the glass in the front window needs a really good cleaning, and some of the decorative bowls and other accessories simply are not necessary. I may not have the time or energy to turn our entire house inside out and upside down, but I'm ready to shed some new light onto these rooms – if only I still had the lamps in them.
Speaking of light, I discovered that the floor lamp I had in the corner of the living room works much better in the family room.
And the silk greens I removed from the tops of the corner cabinets in the dining room are looking a little faded.
I've also never been too crazy about a side table that has been next to one of the armchairs for years. Why, I wondered as I carried it out, does it even have to be in there? I plan to find a new place for it – somewhere other than back in the living room.
Don't get me wrong. The rest of the first floor is all topsy-turvy. I have lost the portable phone at least a dozen times since last weekend. Dining room chairs are stacked in the kitchen. I keep bumping into a table temporarily pushed up against the dining room door. No one can get to the cereal bowls, cookbooks or wine glasses because I have stuff shoved against the tall cabinets in which they are stored. The pets are looking utterly confused.
Too bad, I say! When all is done, it will be worth it. But I'll wait to tackle another room until after the holidays.