Chana and I are working hard to merge households...a challenge for two people who have been single--think of all the acquired habits of daily living--for a combined total of 45 years.
As Chana began to move--a few boxes at a time--into the B&B we share on three-day weekends, she insisted on becoming a part of her new residence by cleaning. That means cleaning virtually everything: rooms, closets, cupboards, the basement. Her theory is simple: the more she's physically in touch with her new home, the better the transition. And it's working.
She's done an amazing job of getting in touch...dusting, sweeping, washing and vacuuming.
Example: With 2,000+ sq. ft. of space--much of it unused, or poorly-used--the basement had great potential for her re-organizing touch. One area, home to firewood and tools for 15 years, has been given a great start toward becoming more usable. We've also added new doors to create easier access to two 14 x 40 foot spaces, one of which has been filled mainly with "stuff", the other completely vacant. They'll become storage and kids' play areas respectively.
Other projects have given the great room a new look by adding art pieces important to her, removed a surplus of my family photos from a stairway and "encouraged" me to take steps to convert my single-guy space upstairs to shared space.
The really remarkable transition has been the kitchen. It pitted the irresistable force of a skilled cook and veteran kitchen person ( with a major inventory of glasses, cups, bowls, platters and other kitchen equipment ) against the immovable object of a guy who's run a B&B for 15 years, and organized the kitchen precisely to suit his convenience.
The irresistable force is winning. The kitchen now has a new look, including: a much improved setup for coffee storage and preparation...the shift of plates, bowls and glasses used for B&B breakfasts to a much better spot...the simple move of a large bread box drawer one level higher, making it so much more convenient...and ditto for a gadget drawer.
Then there's the baking drawer. It holds mixing bowls, a sifter, a shredder, baking dishes and--importantly--flour. One day the flour was elsewhere... in a spot that made sense to both of us. The next morning I began to prepare breakfast featuring a favorite dish that requires flour. I looked in the previous location, then in every other cupboard and drawer in the kitchen. It was nowhere to be seen.
With apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary--I approached Chana and sang "Where Has All My Flour Gone?" She led me to the baking drawer. Which now contains one more important item.
Thanks, Chana. Your re-organization is very much appreciated.