Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Mess Zone

From 7 to 11pm last night, we attempted steps 3-6 of home baby preparation. The result? We now have an office (close to) up and running in our bedroom, and the beautifully-painted baby room is now a temporary storage unit for everything we don't know what to do with.

This process feels a lot like moving into to a new house. We like to use the "No Mess Zone" strategy for projects like this. Pick a small area in the house. Take anything that doesn't belong in that area get it out of the way - not put away, just out of the way. Arrange any big furniture pieces in that area and start filling in with the essentials. Think in terms of high priority items and needs for accessibility.

Once that's done, the area becomes a "No Mess Zone". You aren't allowed to put boxes, junk, or stuff you don't know what to do with in that area. If you have something you know you want to put there, then you have to give it a place.

Piece by piece, the whole house becomes a No Mess Zone. In the meantime, when I feel stressed out by moving, I can retreat with a piece of chocolate into a No Mess Zone to regroup. I've found that, depending on how well the organizing goes, No Mess Zones actually have a shelf-life of about 6-18 months. After that, it's usually time to do a little de-junking. And sometimes life circumstances (e.g. new human being in the household) can require major No Mess Zone renovations.

Now, from the safety of my office No Mess Zone, I can finally post the remaining photos of our trip to Italy back in April/May. These photos are all from Venice. By the time we got to Venice, we'd been traveling with the whole family for 2 weeks. Everyone was tired. The pace was slow. And we didn't talk much or really do much other than walk around the streets and canals.

So a few thoughts on Venice, and then I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Venice is now a beautiful and sinking tourist town. Abe's mom described it as "Consumerism built on Decadence built on Decay." Abe described it as, "If you went to an extravagant, Venice-themed amusement park, it would feel a lot like Venice." The buildings were beautiful, but falling apart. We heard more English spoken here than anywhere else. The shop keepers were often Chinese, selling Venetian masks and glass made in China.

Still, there was a surreal and ghostly quality to the city that made it an unforgettable experience.


Dawn said...

Especially ghostly at night. We liked Venice best at night too, as the tourists from the big cruise ships had left. Were the bands still playing in St. Mark's square when you were there? There were about 3 of them, and they each played a few pieces, then the next one down the square would play, then the third one, then it all started again. Lovely in the evening sharing an overpriced desert so that we could sit down! :)

Janssen said...

Beautiful pictures - looks like an amazing trip.

Maren Hansen said...

Beautiful pics--what was the last place with the flooded floor? It was hauntingly beautiful.

I love the part about "retreating with chocolate"... :)

Erin said...

The flooded floor is the piazza at San Marco Square. The square is next to the Grand Canal, and it floods many evenings - the water actually comes up from underneath the square. It's very haunting.