We recently moved into a new home—still employee housing, but a major step up—and in the weeks leading up to the move I was filled with grand notions of the elegant, admirable person I'd surely become, someone truly worthy of the plentiful windows, hardwood floors, and freshly painted walls. Some of my aspirations are totally doable, while others...? I don't know if a new house—even a fabulous new house—can undo 36 years of being me.
In my new house, I will...
Never leave the dinner pans and dishes out overnight. Rather than falling asleep on the couch drinking wine, watching Hart of Dixie, and reading The Toast, I will virtuously rise from the couch after dinner, put away all the leftovers, scrub the pots, wash the dishes, and wipe down the counters. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do tonight instead of having fun?
Always dry dishes immediately instead of having a permanently filled dish rack. Speaking of washing dishes, I will be inspired by my new open-plan floor plan to dry and put away all dishes immediately after washing, so they don't mar the view of the kitchen. Granted, the super-dated cabinets aren't especially scenic, but a constant pile of dishes certainly doesn't help.
Always keep a carafe of water on my bedside table to drink every morning. I even bought this IKEA carafe and this Black+Blum charcoal stick (to improve the taste of our well water), but they have yet to make it upstairs.
Never keep piles of stuff that goes upstairs (or downstairs) at the bottom (or top) of the stairs. This was a bad habit I started when I fractured my foot two summers ago, and I can't seem to shake it. But going up and down the stairs is such great exercise! Surely that—and the new staircase that's a major improvement over our plastic wood-paneled one—will motivate me to run up and down the stairs whenever something, no matter how tiny, needs to be put away.
Always work at my desk sitting on a balance ball instead of slouched on the couch/floor. This one is not going great. I have a proper office, which is a crazy luxury, and had grand dreams of perfect posture and activating my core. However, I'm typing this slouched on the floor next to my desk, overwhelmed by the selection of balance balls on Amazon, trying to save money, and unsure how to incorporate one into the office's cream carpet and hardwood built-in decor.
Always keep my phone charger in the same place instead of anywhere/everywhere. This one is actually going fairly well! I keep one charger in the office—I listen to podcasts while I work so that sucks a lot of juice—and one on my side of the bed because I can't fall asleep unless my phone is tucked under my pillow, playing something soothing on Netflix.
Never fall asleep with my phone tucked under my pillow playing something soothing on Netflix. I have always been terrible at sleeping and have been relying on the comforting sounds of Parks & Recreation, Gilmore Girls, and 30 Rock to lull me to sleep for the last six years. In my new home, I will go to bed at a reasonable hour after performing all of the pre-bed activities that everyone recommends (avoiding the ones that are supposed to be avoided), close my eyes, and drift off to sweet sleep.
Always pick my clothes up from my side of the bed. Here's the problem: when I get into bed at night, I take off all my clothes and throw them on the floor. When I wake up in the morning, I go to the bathroom, head down to breakfast, and get on with my day. Since my side of the bed is away from the bedroom door and basically invisible, I don't notice the strewn clothes until it's time to get into bed again at night, at which time I am shocked to discover the pile of clothes... which I then add more clothes to. Fortunately, I do laundry every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday, so the piles never get out of control, but I'd like to keep my lovely new bedroom pristine at all moments.
Always Be Culling. We've lived in three different houses in the past three years, so we've had three major occasions to get rid of stuff. This has resulted in lots of donations to the nearest domestic abuse shelter/thrift store, as well as less clutter for us. Though I try to stay on top of getting rid of stuff—I always have a To Be Donated box going—I'm nervous that we'll start hanging onto outgrown clothes and unwanted gifts if a move doesn't force us to cull. Constant vigilance!
Always wear fabulous loungewear. Prepare to hate me: my new bedroom has a freaking balcony. Balconies require swanning about in silk robes and sensational caftans, preferably with a mimosa in hand. My five-year-old flannel Target jammies just won't cut it, but there's not necessarily money in the budget for silk robes. Watch out, local rural thrift stores! I'm coming for your finest secondhand caftans.