Enormous post about the weekend and our adventures with cleaning carpets

Saturday turned out to be a pretty busy day. We got up, met Julie for breakfast at IHOP, wandered around Home Goods looking for a good use of my gift cards (new water bottle, new Huggable-type hangers, and a cast iron skillet!), and then went to donate blood. Justin doesn’t donate because blood rushes out of him so quickly that his body cannot handle the loss. Julie was told that it wasn’t a good day for her iron levels. And they almost didn’t let me go either because my temperature was a little high and my blood pressure was also high. But they let me do some breathing exercises for a few minutes to see if I could adjust my BP and when they checked again, I was good enough. (I’m O-Neg – I think they really didn’t want to see me walk out of there without donating.) So I did that while the other two sat and chatted, being moral support.

And then Julie had to run home for a bit, and Justin and I went to Lowe’s to look at ways to add an additional hanging rack to his closet (we determined that we need to do more research), Michael’s for more embroidery floss bobbins, the thrift store to drop off clothes, and the recycle center to drop off glass. We were going to hit Dairy Queen with Julie on the way home, but they were inexplicably closed (with the sign saying so taped to the door facing IN). So we all went back to our house to hang out and eventually have ice cream there.

I took a nap because I was getting kind of loopy. Julie sat watching Justin play a game until she fell asleep and took a nap on the couch. When we woke up, we worked on getting dinner put together and trying to figure out how to season a cast iron skillet. Julie had to run to feed a coworker’s pets, and then she and I sat and watched the last two episodes of Sherlock. (WONDERFUL! Can’t wait for the next season!!!) Dinner turned out AMAZING and we’ll definitely be doing that one again, but with the cast iron skillet the next time, once we’ve got it seasoned. The crust will turn out much more crispy that way compared to making it in pie pans.

Sunday we accidentally slept in late, and then spent most of the day working on getting room cleared out for Jessi to sleep when she arrives tomorrow.

A couple weeks ago, we finally got around to washing the carpets. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do for a while, but kept putting off because really, we have a ton of stuff and who wants to move all of that? But after all our visitors in May and June had been and gone, we decided that it was definitely time to do that.

Empty living room

So we cleared everything except for the TV armoire from the living room (because have you seen that thing? It’s HUGE!) and piled it all up in the dining room. And then we rented a Rug Doctor from the grocery store. When we got it home, we checked to see how clean it was and DANG. That thing was dirty. So we spent a good hour cleaning the whole thing up, partially so it wouldn’t make our carpets smell funny and partially because it was definitely going to be able to clean better with the black gunk and hair cleared out from the brushes.

It mostly all fit into the dining room

And then we washed the living room. Twice. And it was astonishing how dirty that water was when it came out of the machine. It was nasty. And the carpets looked really fantastic when we were done. So we looked around, looked at the time, and decided, what the heck? We’ve got the thing for 24 hours. Let’s do upstairs, too!

So gross!

So we went up and cleared out everything from the bedroom into the spare room upstairs (sometimes called my office or the guest room or the storage room) and the bathroom. And then we pulled out as much as we could from Justin’s office, leaving his desk and the bookshelves because HEAVY and also, where would we put them?

Empty bedroom

And then we cleaned the carpets in the bedroom and the hallway and as much of the floor in Justin’s office as we possibly could hit.

And for several days we lived in a mess of house, waiting for the carpets to dry, climbing over things to get to the bed and to the sinks in the bathroom, without anywhere to sit anywhere in the house other than Justin’s desk chair and the bed and the floor. And while we waited for the carpet to dry, we thought about how we could change things around when we went to put everything back into place again.

There is actually a bed underneath all that

We decided that the living room is really pretty stuck the way that it is because we can’t easily move the TV armoire and the sofa is just too enormous to have any other way. But we decided to splurge a little bit (really a little bit) and get a new DVD shelf – instead of using three different shelves for the DVDs, we’d get them all consolidated into one cabinet.

The upstairs, though, went under a complete transformation. (And I don’t have any pictures of that yet, but I will soon.)

The room at the front of the house, that used to be the master bedroom, has now become Justin’s office. The spare room/my office is now the bedroom. And Justin’s old office became the library.

Justin’s office used to be the smallest room of the house. And it’s dark – the window in that room didn’t get much light at any time of the day and the walls are painted this mottled brown color that’s supposed to look like leather (it doesn’t). There was room for his desk, 3 bookshelves, and a chair for me to sit in. It was very cramped.

Now, Justin gets to spend his days in the room with the greatest amount of space and light. It’s helped his productivity and creativity and he’s much happier in that room. My clothes stayed in the closet and the dresser in that room, so in the morning, when I stumble out of bed at 5:10, I can turn on music in the office, turn on the lights, and get dressed in there without waking up Justin.

Moving the bedroom in the other smaller room turned out to be a surprisingly comforting space to sleep. There’s less light now that there’s only one window and it’s facing the woods instead of the street. It’s also more quiet, being away from the front of the house. There’s only room enough for the bed and the two night stands and my trunk. Justin’s clothes and a dresser with his clothes fit into the closet – sort of. We do need to figure out how to make that space work better. Also, the TV is sitting on the dresser in the closet but we haven’t managed to figure a way to elegantly plug it in. So it’s small, but it’s really all the space we needed for a bedroom.

And the last room left is going to become a library. We found directions to build sturdy, inexpensive bookshelves and once we figure out how exactly we’re going to put the room together so it can also function as a guest room, we’ll work on getting those put up. For now, we’ve got the shelves that were in my office and the boxes of Justin’s books all piled up along the walls. We’ve had to clear space in there for Jessi to live for a little while, until she can get a job and an apartment. So, of all the work we’ve done on the rearrangement of the upstairs, this room is the least finished. But it’s also the room that’s going to have the most transformation in the end, so we’ve been taking care of the parts that are easier (and less expensive) before we start on that.

All of the rooms still need work – the pictures on the walls need to get reorganized to fit the spaces better and other odds and ends need to get resolved. But I think we’re going to be much happier with this arrangement of the house than we were. It’s taking a lot of work. There are things that we’re finding that we haven’t seen since we moved into this house almost 5 years ago. We found a box that might not have been opened since Justin moved to Savannah in 2006!

And all because, on a whim, we decided that we’d clean the carpets upstairs while we had the Rug Doctor rented for the day. (Though, to be fair, I’d been talking about doing this for a while before that.)

Pictures soon, I promise! Jessi arrives in town tomorrow and we’ve got to figure out what’s going on with getting her settled. Wendy might be coming into town to help Jessi — we’re not sure about her travel plans yet. So things might be a little crazy for a little while, but once things are settled and I can get the house tidy enough, I’ll take some photos.