Fix up your place before you burn it down

mask + basket = masket

Walls Closing In Claustrophobic GIF - WallsClosingIn Claustrophobic ClosingIn GIFs

A witch posted on Facebook, “What home things have you done that have made you feel more sane in your space recently?” which elicited some good ideas at various budgets and inspired me to switch around some furniture in the living room, a controversial move at the time that I think has come to be welcomed. I shared the question on one of the subscriber threads too—here were some of my favorite tips.

“I bought a set of patio furniture that is actually kind of comfortable to sit on. I sit outside every morning under an umbrella and drink coffee and answer work emails, even when it’s disgustingly hot. It’s like I added a new and relatively spacious room to my small rowhouse.”

“I rearranged furniture, took down blinds, bought some curtains, bought a new rug, new throw pillows, got some new plants, bought some shit from the Pier One closeout sale. I just got rid of a couple old chairs and things which I leave it on the curb. Or I post it for free or cheap on Facebook. I'm a maniac.”

“Painted, moved lots of furniture around, and invested in some outdoor items like a basketball hoop. Little changes do make a big difference!”

“We repainted the master bathroom, new light fixture and mirror. I bought new bedsheets. We also cleaned out a bunch of stuff in the basement, painted the daughter’s bedroom, and I reframed our kid art.”

“We got wall AC units installed a few weeks ago because even three non-consecutive weeks per year stuck in 90+ degrees is too much. Never even would have considered it if not for COVID, but SO happy to have it now.”

“Small thing: We moved the coffee table out of the living room. It makes it small communal space feel bigger. I thought I would miss it, but I don't at all. It allows my kid to make bigger messes, but the room doesn't feel cluttered by them anymore.”

“Just getting rid of stuff I have been sitting on, waiting to sell, like kids’ outgrown clothes. I have given every other family member a plastic basket and put their crap into it as I find it laying around the house. Then I make them clean out their basket before bed. It has been life changing in terms of clutter reduction. I almost have my laundry room back!”

“The minute school ended I moved the spare, distance learning desk to the finished attic one flight up: that's Mom's office space now. No more using the regular, shared office on the main living floor where I am the one parent visible to the child down the hall due to desk placement... and where I am perpetually available ‘for a minute’ to my spouse. I was finally motivated enough to organize the attic space and unpack those lingering moving boxes of extra linens and pack them away in the attic built-in drawers I had been keeping on the back-burner. I now have a gigantic office space of my own where I can focus on work and listen to podcasts undisturbed.”

“Hanging pictures in my new house (moved in 2/29!) after 6 months of quarantining in it so it feels like we finally live here! And I have finally been making my bed, and I hate that literally EVERYONE was right about that.”

“I’m releasing myself from the burden of being the person who has to find The Place for everything in my house, who is expected to reunite orphaned beads with their necklaces, nonessential game pieces with their boxes and to take on the sentimentality that my daughter assigns to every inanimate object in our house. It may be *your* favorite acorn ever, but it’s not mine. Of course, I’m not so evolved that I do this within sight of my children. I may be relinquishing my role as Chief of Toy Reunification, but I’m still too tired to invite more tantrums into my home.”

“The only thing that will truly keep my 5 year old occupied ON HER OWN for more than 5 minutes is making a mess. The most important thing we now own is an enormous waterproof picnic blanket I bought for $22 from Amazon. I put it on the floor and she can play with kinetic sand, wash her babies in a giant bucket, paint ice, whatever, and I don't have to worry about it getting everywhere. The Mat is Everything. It's freedom. For me. Also we have one million baskets.”

“I have been dealing with the tiny things that annoy me but I never actually do anything about. Pile of stuff on top of the washing machine? Sorted. Random objects in garage that need to be donated? Donated. And I am endlessly amazed that these things take TWO MINUTES and I could have done them all months ago and saved all the energy I put into being annoyed by them this whole time. Le sigh.”

“Cubbies. We rearranged several rooms to house about a dozen cube shelving units with bins where we can throw random shit and keep the kids' school stuff. We call it CubbyVision and it's the only thing standing between me and oblivion. Oh and I do also have a big Basket o' Masks.”

“I have ordered a folding desk and a REAL desk chair to set up a workspace just for me, for I am leaving the state of denial re. going back to any other work space. We already have a desk in our spare bedroom but my spouse is working from there and I AM just OVER working from the kitchen table. My new desk is not that fancy but I ordered a fancy pink tray and new pens to go with it and it will be MINE, ALL MINE. It's in the living room but it doesn't really matter because nobody's coming over to judge it.”

“Bought a kid's coat rack and hung it by the door. All masks are hanging up now, rather than in a tangled pile in a bin.”

“Bought an outdoor heater in July. This week of sub 60 degree evenings has made me feel like a genius.”

“Throwing away Small Things. Miscellaneous beads from a crafting project? Toss. Single stamp from the stamp kit my in-laws got my daughter? Get out of here. Acorn and shiny rock treasures procured on a walk two weeks ago? Later, skater. Plastic princess doll leg? Byeeeeee (in Alaska from Drag Race voice). Perler bead trivet? Broken crayon? Sensory kit thingamajig? Random bouncy ball? Sculpey creations from the early creative days of the pandemic? Single Trivial Pursuit card stashed in a kitchen cabinet? Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.”

Fun Day GIF

End credits

Thanks for reading Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. If you're interested in possibly submitting or have any general questions just reply top this email. If you know someone who’d like this sort of thing in their inbox about once or twice a week, please spread the word. If you want to support this work and get some extra content and (*~new!~*) access to subscriber-only discussion threads, please become a paid subscriber, a mere $30 a year! We also do some all-access threads about pressing issues like chili. Come on and subscribe if you haven’t yet:

A quick note to say thank you to those who have supported my Evil Witches giving circle. We’ve raised over $10,000 to turn Michigan blue and we’re going to keep going. If you have any funds to support a key state flip in November I hope you consider chipping in my friend Maialisa’s witch circle to push her a little closer to her goal.

You can otherwise follow us via Instagram or Twitter where we talk about things like what our kids apparently think we want to hear:

One witchy thing

A flashback to school days before coronavirus:

Club Way GIF