Hard times

I’m PMSing and possibly also depressed and yet the spring weather has sort of invigorated me and I am determined to try to dig myself out of the pile of clutter my apartment has become. I am once again at a point where every step I take, I’m slipping or tripping or having shit fall on me and it’s making me all weird and flinchy. I can’t get the idea out of my head that the apartment is playing mean pranks on me, moving shit juuuust slightly as I try to step around it so that I stub my toe anyway. I can’t with this. I can’t. I have to do something.

It’s hard, though. Words really can’t describe how bad the place has gotten, and the apartment is so small that there’s almost no way to even make a clear space in which to sort things so I can put them away.

One issue I’ve been meaning to tackle for months now is that the front of one of my Ikea dresser drawers has come loose on one side, making me loath to use that drawer (since I can’t pull it out) or the one underneath it (since the loose drawer-front hangs down and interferes with it). If I could fix that drawer – the reasoning went – I could use those drawers again. Maybe I could even stuff them full of the clothes on my floor that were blocking the bottom drawer from opening.

Ikea dresser drawers go together with pegs and holes and then there’s a screw-thing you have to tighten. I just had my screwdriver with the bazillion interchangeable tips in my grasp an hour or so ago to do another minor chore, but I couldn’t fucking find it just now. It’s okay, though – I have several different screwdrivers! So I looked under the kitchen sink where I keep my tools and all the fucking screwdrivers I could find were the cross-head kind when I needed the slot-head kind. No idea where my other interchangeable-tip screwdriver is. It felt like a nightmare, literally, reaching for one screwdriver after another only to find that each one was the wrong kind.

Finally I managed to find a clean butter knife to use instead and went back into the bedroom to do battle with the drawer.

I pulled the drawer out and laid it face-down on the bed to try to push the pegs back into the holes. I had to push really hard and it still wasn’t working and then my glasses (whose hinges have been slowly loosening over the past few months) fell off my face and I couldn’t fucking find them for five minutes because I’m blind without them and then I decided I needed to lay the drawer on an unyielding surface – the floor – so I could lean my weight down on it to force the front back on but there wasn’t a big enough clear space on the floor.

And yes, I’ll admit that I’ve been lax in my tidying for the past, oh, year or so because depression. I know a lot of this is my own fault. I know, okay?

But on the other hand the useable floor space in my bedroom is about 3’x3′. If I sit on the floor with my back to the night table, my feet will be pressed against the dresser, okay? I’m using one of my dresser drawers to house my dirty laundry because there is no space here to put a hamper except maybe the middle of the living room where a coffee table would usually go. How can anyone but an actual diagnosed-OCD neat freak live under these conditions without things getting cluttered? Two pairs of pants and a book would pretty much cover the entire bedroom floor.

This apartment is really just too fucking small for a grownup with two cats and ten years’ worth of accumulated belongs, but I can’t afford anything else so I guess I’m just fucked.

I understand what the person who coined the phrase “money can’t buy happiness” was going for, and I agree, money can’t buy happiness. But it can damn sure buy contentment. As much as I love my job and like myself and have great partners in my life and everything, there’s still the constant pressure in the back of my mind of “how am I going to pay my rent through the summer months?” There’s the constant pressure of “My apartment looks like something from Hoarders but I really don’t think there’s that much I can get rid of and there’s also no way for me to move out.”

An unexpected wad of money would in fact go a long-ass way toward making me happy right now.


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4 responses to “Hard times

  1. Pseudonymful

    When I lived in small shitty apartments, as opposed to a far smaller travel trailer, I resolved or at least ameliorated this issue by building upwards. Shelving around the perimeter of all rooms. Didn’t want to dick around with patching holes in the walls after, so I just used lumber for legs to keep it all self-supporting.

    Not terribly easy to implement unless you have an obliging friend with a vehicle, access to a drill, and a hardware store that will cut the wood for you at time of purchase… but it made an enormous difference, especially for seldom used stuff that still seemed worth keeping.

    The other major storage space was under the beds; I built a rude but very robust bedframe with a drawer system to use every inch of space underneath, but you could get much of the same result by just elevating a regular bed enough to slide plastic bins or even cardboard boxes under it, if you don’t have storage under there already..

    • I have an assload of shelves covering most walls already. Plus storage bins under the bed and couch.

      I think the problem is a combo of having too much stuff to fit the apartment still, and that even a minor mess on the floor leaves no room for me to pull the bins out when I want to put something back in there, so things snowball. 😛

  2. Christina

    Get rid of the stuff. We have two adults and four cats living in in about 650sf…down from a three bedroom house with a basement and garage full of things. We got rid of 98% of what we owned and miss none of it.

    For example, if you know where to find it when you need it, you don’t need more than one screwdriver. Two tops.

    • Hey man, I don’t have a bunch of screwdrivers because I kept losing them in the mess and buying new ones!

      I have a bunch of tweezers and nail clippers because I kept losing them in the mess and buying new ones. 😛

      I’m trying to get rid of stuff. It’s really hard not to be a pack rat with clothes, though. Anything I don’t wear anymore could technically become part of a costume I could use for work. And I’m both poor and gigantic so it’s not like I can just pop out and buy myself a particular item of clothing any time something is required for a gig.

      So with clothes I’m maybe cutting myself a bit of slack. But everything else shall hopefully get a purge. Sometime. When I have time.

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