The One With The Secret Sunroom

Are you (or were you) a fan of Friends? That’s probably the most-watched sitcom in our home. I’m pretty sure that Matt and I have watched the entire series no fewer than 10 times, but probably more.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of Friends, you might remember the episode called “The One With The Secret Closet” where Chandler realizes that there’s a closet in Monica’s apartment that he’s never noticed or seen inside. He and Joey get the closet open only to realize that Monica, who’s known for being a very clean and tidy person to the extreme, has a dark secret — an incredibly messy closet stuffed from top to bottom with junk that’s piled in there as tight as it can fit. There’s no organization to it. It’s just an “open and shove” situation.

Well, I have a situation like that, except that mine is beyond just a closet. Mine is a room that measures just under 32 feet by 13 feet.

This room has gotten so bad that there are literally two trails through the room — one going to the right from the music room doors where I can get to my big toolbox, and one going to the left where I can get to the washer and dryer. Beyond those two trails, there’s nowhere to walk. And it’s gotten so bad that now, there’s nowhere else to store stuff.

I know I’ve said this before, but I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder. I don’t have any problem at all getting rid of stuff. I have no emotional attachment to things.

My problem is simply one of time. It’s so much easier (at least for a period of time) to open the door to the sunroom, shove something in there, and walk away, telling myself that I’ll find time to take care of it later. But then that later never comes. And the next thing I know, I’ve got a 400-square-foot storage room stuffed with junk and items that I’ll never use again, and with nothing but a tiny trail through it.

So why am I telling y’all this?

Because Matt has asked me to take the next few days, have a dumpster delivered, and take care of the sunroom, as well as all of the construction debris that has accumulated over the last year-and-a-half (basically since June of 2021, or since I started working on the bathroom) in the carport and in Cooper’s fenced-in yard.

When he asked me to do that this week, I said, “What? This week? Do you realize how close that bathroom is to being finished?” I mean, I basically have some trim to finish on one wall, accent tile to install around the wainscoting, and a door to paint. Then the whole thing just needs to be cleaned, and then accessorized to make it finished and pretty.

But he was unmoved by my plea to let me finish the bathroom first. When something has already taken over a year, he really doesn’t see that extending it another week is going to make a huge difference. But what he does see is that the current state of the sunroom and the carport is beginning to affect our daily lives and peace of mind.

The sunroom is where my tools are. And with the condition it’s in, I have a very hard time finding things I need to find. And while I’ve kept a path for Matt through the carport so he can get to the van, the pile of construction debris is starting to encroach on that path. Plus, just this past week, I piled a bunch of Amazon boxes by the back door thinking I would get them cut down this past weekend and taken to the recycle center, but then I forgot and got sidetracked working on the bathroom until late into the night. So he couldn’t get out the back door to the ramp for us to go to church yesterday morning because there’s a mountain of boxes there.

So he asked me to take the next few days and get things back to a livable state in these areas. And I’m totally fine with that. I’m disappointed, because I’m so anxious to finish that bathroom and it’s so unbelievably close!!! But I’m also a bit giddy about the idea of having a dumpster delivered and getting these other areas completely cleared out and organized.

Plus, I have another big pile of construction debris in Cooper’s fenced-in yard that has been accumulating for a year now, and y’all have seen the state of the home gym, which has been my workroom (i.e., where I have my saw and other tools) that I’ve used to build and cut things for the bathroom remodel right next to it. It’ll be nice to have the dumpster here so that all of that can get cleared out as well.

So how bad is the sunroom? I’ll show you. And it will be the most humiliating thing I’ve ever shown in my blog before…and that’s saying a lot.

But first, I feel the need to show you that the main areas of my house are relatively clean and tidy. I got up just this morning and took some snapshots of how things looked, and I didn’t take any time to clean and put away first. This is how things looked when I got up this morning.

The sitting room is relatively clean and tidy, but I do need to dust the shelves in there. They’re pretty dusty.

The kitchen is pretty clean, although I do have a few dishes in the sink and some crumbs on the countertop.

I also have two bags of trash sitting there that should have been taken out last night, but I forgot. Still, not too bad.

The living room looks pretty good, except for a box in the corner from a furniture and pet vacuum that I unboxed this weekend. I put the vacuum away, but forgot about the box.

The entryway has two boxes from packages that arrived this weekend, and one of them I’m still in the process of unboxing.

The hallway looks pretty good except for some things on the floor that the Eufy isn’t picking up, for some reason.

And the bathroom is pretty clean.

So please keep that in mind when I show you my most humiliating situation in the sunroom. The areas of the house where we actually live are fine. They’re not perfect, but they’re not terrible.

And here is where it all goes wrong. Here’s what lies behind those music room doors.

The most humiliating thing is that it’s so bad that you can’t even tell that there are trails through there. In the pictures, it looks like there’s nowhere to walk at all. There is, but it’s pretty tight.

It’s just stuff piled on stuff piled on stuff. And yes, even our old yellow piano is back there.

And if that weren’t bad enough, here’s the carport, with the construction stuff piling up.

And the boxes. We can’t forget about the boxes. Cardboard boxes are the bane of my existence. We order so much online, and the boxes take over so quickly, and before I know it, they’re totally out of control and taking over our house.

Anyway, I know that so many of you will be disappointed about the bathroom. I’m disappointed as well. But I’d rather disappoint y’all (and myself) than disappoint my husband. He’s been suggesting that I do this for quite a while now (as in, at least three months), and finally this weekend, he went from suggesting to insisting.

I mean, I hate to even say that, because someone reading about him for the first time in this post might get the impression that’s he’s a controlling person, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. He has graciously and patiently put up with me and my messes for 20 years now, and he’s the most easy-going person ever.

If he could do this himself, he would. If he were an able-bodied person, he’d spend his days cleaning up after me, and he’d just let me be as happy as I could be, creating, building, and making my messes all day long while he follows after and cleans up.

But he can’t. And I understand that that can be very frustrating for him. So I’m going to take the next few days, and I’m going to do this (which means that I might not be on the blog much in the next few days). It’ll give us both peace of mind, and then I can get back to my projects.

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