23 November 2012

The Kijiji files

I don't know if it is because Craig's List took so long to take off in the smaller Canadian markets, or if there's some sort of crazy Kool-Aid we've all partaken of in the north, but where I live, if you want something to sell, it goes on kijiji. I don't know what kijiji means, but kijiji.ca has been a god-send this past year.

One of the things we've been working on (with very very moderate success) is lessening the 'things' in our house. Clearing space. Making our home more tidy. To make our home more tidy, we need to do 2 things: reduce the amount of crap coming in, and reduce the amount of crap that is already there.

I will tackle our consumerism once the house is in order, but this has been a year long project for us, and one that has only recently shown actual marked change. I place the credit on this change squarely on Manthing's broad-ish shoulders. If he hadn't been transferred home, I think I would still be floundering. He's recently caught quite a bug about the kitchen and dining room being clean, and I am not going to fuss about the fact that he ignores the bathroom completely if he's on fire about the kitchen. I can totally take the bathroom bullet.

When he first got home, I made him pull everything out from under the stairs. We went through the mountain of stuff, and put a bunch of it off to one side. I industriously snapped photos on my iPhone, and quickly posted the things on kijiji. Almost everything sold within 24 hours. I think I probably underprice.The big hold out was the moving boxes. But even they eventually sold (and because we broke them into chunks, for more than we'd initially asked). So then there was just a pile of stuff there that needed to be stored again. But instead of just tossing it all back under the stairs, I started to root through it. Did I really need all my cassettes from childhood? Probably not. The babygate? Nope. Etcetera.

So we loaded up the minivan and headed off to charity with a full up cargo hold. Seriously.

Between Kijiji and charity donations, we've cleared a ton of space in our rather-small house. It disturbs me to think of how much was actually in the house at this time last year. We've sold: 2 desks, a dresser, a bookshelf, boxes, baby stuff, a bar, a hutch... I can't actually remember everything we've listed in the last year, it's been that much.

It makes me really stop and realize the effect that rampant consumerism has on our society. We're always looking for something better, something more, something else. And that really needs to stop, on a global scale, but I can't make that change globally. I can, however, make it in my own home. When I am bored and lonely, I go shopping. I need to figure out something I enjoy equally much to do so I am not bringing things we don't need into our home. And I need to continue culling the things that are already taking up precious space inside.

So the cull will continue, and Kijiji will remain one of my best friends for the foreseeable future.

Domestic Diva... ish.

Since Manthing has come home, our house has been SO much cleaner. I like to think it's because I finally have time to putter about and tidy, but the truth is, Manthing has been the driving force behind the transformation. We had some heated debates the last few times he'd been home because living alone in camps had made him a less-than-optimal housekeeper, and I'm no traditionalist - household chores are both pink AND blue. Particularly the ones I hate, like laundry.

Anyhow, when he first came home, I saw that it was going to be the same shenanigans with regards to pick up, maintenance and cleaning in the house. And while I am not proud to say it, I lost my temper, and reminded him that a home is managed by everyone in it when we all have jobs. I was quite content to have the bulk of the housekeeping left to me when I was staying at home, but in the years I've been back in the workforce, I've found it increasingly disrespectful that a lot of people still seem to think that housekeeping is exclusively under the 'ladychore' department. I work just as hard, for just as long, in just as stressful situations, and I deserve to not have to come home and immediately set to working on chores. This was the gist of my tantrum, and I guess the words finally hit home. Manthing has become completely obsessed with the kitchen. He's been powering through clearing the dross from the fridge (you know the stuff I'm talking about - the expired salad dressings, condiments etc that we all have hiding and taking up precious fridge space), and yesterday he inventoried the pantry cupboard. And then built an excel spreadsheet.

This has freed me up for more important tasks, like <strike>playing computer games and taking naps</strike> cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming, which are both tasks that I'm assuming Manthing hates, as he has always sighed and rolled his eyes about vacuuming and suddenly becomes deaf if I ask him to do anything to clean the bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming are a pretty good trade off for an organized kitchen.

One thing I find quite amusing though is that for all his obsessive tidying and organizing in the kitchen, he never seems to notice if the stovetop is grotesque, and the same goes with the sink. So I pick up those tasks as well - small thing when he's taken on the task of keeping the kitchen otherwise clean.

He also is much better than I am at laundry. I hate doing laundry. With a burny burny passion. Both Manthing and Girlchild are horrible offenders in the 'it wasn't actually dirty but I put it in the laundry anyhow' department, and coupled with a generalized distaste for laundry to begin with, and I suddenly get why my mom and dad lost their bits when they found paired socks in the laundry that was fresh out of the dryer.

Our house is still miles from acceptable, but it's getting better, and every time the manthing grumps about doing chores, I feel obligated to also grump about doing chores, and I think we're getting there. Once we're organized, it will be much easier to be clean and tidy.

So I'm not a diva. Who really is anymore? But I am part of a domestic superteam. And lately I've just been the sidekick. Which is nice for a change.