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First Grade Bound

The Life-Changing Magic of Big-Ass Laundry Piles

So we are maybe starting to hypothetically think about moving. Again. Deep down, I know how this will end: We spend a few months purging and cleaning and powering through the house repair/improvement to-do list, completely exhausting ourselves, then tour a couple houses that cost a bajillion more dollars than we can afford that also need like, a roof and floors and kitchen cabinets and ERMAHGERD THERE'S UGLY WALLPAPER EVERYWHERE, and then we look at each other and decide you know what? Let's just stay put for a little while longer. 

But now Jason's on a new long-term project at work that has rendered our super-convenient/central location irrelevant, because he's driving for hours every day. We have new neighbors in the rental next door who are sloooooowly driving us insane in a myriad of first-world-problem ways. We still have all the same old complaints about space/privacy/townhouse living as ever, plus over the past year we've sort of fallen in love with an area further out from the city with excellent schools, lots of stuff to do, and housing prices that are not nearly so bonkerpants. 

So I don't know. It still all sounds entirely too ambitious/drastic for us, to actually Deal With All Of The Things and move, but Jason is unusually motivated (a terrible commute will do that to you), and has been assigning me a specific House Project to tackle each day once I'm done with my half-day-ish amount of work. 

Yesterday's project: Deal With That Weird Pile Of Crap By The Fridge In The Basement. The pile started out as a laundry pile -- mostly dry-clean-only items that just weren't important enough to take to an actual dry cleaner, outgrown winter coats, spare blankets, that fucking Gymboree parachute, etc. -- but while excavating it yesterday I found a million other random items have made their way into this pile, and not a single item in this pile was worth keeping. Crumbled holiday gift bags! Dishrags! One bedroom slipper! A size 18 month hoodie with a broken zipper! 

So now there is no more pile. There are two giant contractor-sized trash bags instead, which I filled up with much glee before realizing they are now entirely too heavy for me to drag out and up the stairs. So I'll have to make Jason do that, which...hahahaha THIS IS HOW WE END UP WITH SPARE TIRES ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE.

Useful things I DID find yesterday, however, include a Lego in the dryer lint trap and my sunglasses in the toy kitchen's microwave. Because okay, sure. 

Today's project is my office, which isn't so much of an "office" anymore. It's more like a room-sized equivalent of the kitchen junk drawer. (I am typing this entry from my unmade bed, while Ike plays Bionicles next to me, surely leaving a good half-dozen small pointy pieces in the sheets so I will wake up all weirdly indented tomorrow morning.) It'll probably be more of a multi-day project. And in keeping with tradition, I'll start with the random pile of clothing that no longer fits me but I've yet to donate because...I don't know! That feels like tempting/taunting the diet/exercise gods. Plus we've been entertaining quite a bit and I made gourgeres/cheese puffs two days in a row this weekend for our company ("for"..."our company") and probably ate several dozen of them all by my damn self. 

But according to Facebook and Instagram, my hair looked good so that's all that matters. 



Just roll me up into the moving truck with the furniture; these are totally worth it. 



We thought we wanted to move back to Montgomery County after a long absence at other job sites, but we looked at the prices since we left and had to be revived. We settled on Crofton!


I am terrified of townhouse living, but we found a really nice one in the MoCo that is actually in our budget AND renovated. Just waiting to close. Good luck on the house hunting!!!


Moving is the absolute worst. We bought a house last spring, after eight years renting the same condo, and I never want to move again. Good luck with the purging and cleaning though! That awful sounding Konmari (KonMari?) book is EVERYWHERE, so there are no shortage of bossy tips.


I just went down the rabbit hole via that innocent looking "gourgeres/cheese puffs" link and now I feel all sorts of inferior. Ended up at a Jacques Pepin recipe page with words like choux, which is an instant recipe disqualifier for me. Sigh.

Annandale Adjacent

Yes! We are also hypothetically, maybe, contemplating moving from our townhouse to somewhere bigger/cheaper/with better schools?? After we just finished a multi-year, top-to-bottom renovation of our townhouse (why did we think living in a construction zone was a good idea?) that's now perfect in so many ways, except we hate the neighbors and it's in a terrible school district and that child we never thought we would have is already walking and talking?! Except my husband is the one who isn't on board with even thinking about moving - he'd just prefer to complain about all of the above...


We are in the process of moving over a month now


Do you have Marie's book? I think its adorable. Very Japanese. I bought it after moving. It was just enough kick in the ass to get some stuff out the door and out of my life. She lost me at the sock drawer, though. Go get it if you don't have it. And my anecdote regarding my recent move--I moved from an enormous house in a very low cost of living area to a teeny tiny one in a very expensive place to live. Lost 2/3 of our square footage, but am now in a great location with great schools. I love it. Location is so important. Let that be your guide.


High five on the mysterious pile o' stuff. I have (at least) one of those.


Ooh, I just moved my butt out to Clarksburg just (all the way) up 270. It's less in the middle of nowhere than I thought! Turns out everything in Rockville is just repeated in Germantown. Your 'good schools' comment makes me think you're looking at Poolesville. Best of luck with it!


we moved to Rockville a few years ago from downtown DC, and every day I am amazed at how much I love it here. So much to do with kids, great restaurants, and we found a wonderful neighborhood full of kids within walking distance to all three very good schools. Good luck with your decision!


@Jackie "choux" is totally just a fancy French word for "dough with a bunch of eggs in it." Don't be scared of choux! (Just maybe a little of the calories/fat/cholesterol though.)

Leigh Ann

I used the methods in that book to clean out 6 trash bags full of clothes - just mine and my husband's. They've been sitting in my living room for 3 weeks because I'm supposed to get to the kids' clothes any day now? IDK.


The only thing worse than the Gymboree parachute is the damn Gymboree play tunnel. I HATE that thing. It took me YEARS to pry it out of my chirren's fingers.


If you want to chat Poolesville (#1 high school in maryland, least insane home prices in montgomery county), shoot me an email.


I'm super impressed when anyone gets a project done with kids around. It feels like trudging through quicksand around our house. My daughter asked for a hamster for six months, but the only spot is taken by her toy vintage red kitchen, which will then need to be moved to the (clutter of doom) storage closet, etc. Maybe we'll be done with that goal by the time school starts up again. Anyone else tried making Brazillian cheese puffs? I'm drooling over the gougeres pictures.


I'd recommend saving all the too big clothes (at least the ones you loved, get rid of any crappy clothes obvs) because sometimes health issues kick you in the ass (my friend pulled her back out and then had to have non-related surgery and gained ten pounds) and that's the worst time to got clothes shopping. Just put them in a box so you don't have to keep seeing them.


Oooh I hope you're talking about the Rockville Town Center area. The schools are indeed fab and always so many things to do that are geared towards families and wine o'clock with friends alike. There are lots of great options on the market right now - I hope everything works out for you.


1. buy the house next to me (Oak Hill) - if you're willing to cross the river. I will babysit for free.
2. I am an organizer, and happy to come help (and will cart away the crap for you).
3. Does this comment make my ass look like a stalker?


Coming from someone who lived in a townhouse and shared walls and had no space for the kids to RUN... MOVE. You will be so happy.

Sharing walls gets so old. First world problems (drunken bean bag tossing in our driveway until midnight!) and all.

No space for kids to run/kick balls far/etc., gets so old. Our big backyard is a God Send.

And I'm saying this as someone who is still underwater on the townhome and has to RENT IT. That's also a PITA, but every day as I sit in our big back yard or in the room we have that's Just For Toys, I thank my lucky stars we moved.

Moving sucks. Looking for houses sucks. Paying for a house sucks. Selling/renting a house sucks. But you'll get out on the other side and be so happy.


We just moved with 3 kids and 2 dogs.... *SIGH*. It sucked a lot, but not as bad as my super positive (SNORT) self was expecting. The worst part was the 2 months it took to sell the old house (showings, open houses, etc). BARF. But! It's over!
And your hair looks FANTASTIC. I also go red, and it's so hard for me to keep it vibrant.

Lauren B

Good luck with the move!! Any chance you're planning to cross the river? I lived in MoCo for a while, Ffx is way more chill from what I've found, plus, cheaper houses! Great schools!


Your hair does look really nice :)


Is the nice hair due to the not washing? Or had you washed it by this point and it was due to not washing for so many days then washing? Inquiring minds want to know.


Is the nice hair due to the not washing? Or had you washed it by this point and it was due to not washing for so many days then washing? Inquiring minds want to know.


We just moved five hours away from a 2200 square foot house to a 1100 square foot house. That has little storage. And no room. Gah.

Seriously, though, have you read the LifeChanging Magic book? I am too cheap to buy it so I got a sample from Amazon and then read the reviews. It helped me go through all the crap in my bedroom and bathroom and seriously downsize. I probably got rid of about 75% of my clothes. It was freeing. I highly recommend it.

And also, if anyone is an organizing ninja who can tell me how to fit all the crap we still have into this small house, I'm all ears..


I am seriously going to look for at LEAST two opportunities to use the word 'bonkerpants' in a sentence today.

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