Ok, so part of the reason that I’ve been away from blogging is because we have infestations in this flat, as in multiple ones. Currently, it’s spider season, though the weather has been kooky enough this year that there aren’t many of them. You may think that I might be happy about having fewer spiders, but I’m not, because the spiders eat the other little nasties. We’ve also gone a couple of rounds with mites (not book mites, thankfully, at least that I’ve found) and a few moths.
By far the biggest infestation we have is carpet beetles, which look like little brown or black lady bugs/birds. The irony of the entire situation is that we don’t have carpets, save the one polyester rug in Daughter’s room. These little bugs are in our parquets, and their larvae eat everything – cotton, wool, leather, dust, food particles, and so on. The larvae migrate too, so they get in between the mattress and the bed frame, behind the toilet, in the corners of kitchen cabinets, and anywhere else that is dark, dirty, and undisturbed (like under century-old parquets). The only way to deal with these little things is to clean, everywhere, regularly. Every drawer and cabinet has to be turned out and wiped down every six weeks, every bit of clothing and linen has to be shaken out and refolded, and even every book taken down and dusted behind. Yes, it is a mighty load of work, and it keeps me busy.
However, this on-going war against migrating nasties has had some positive effects, beyond the clean flat. After about six months, I started to get tired of turning out suits that Husband never wore, refolding the extra set of sheets and towels that never get used, and emptying out over-stuffed kitchen cabinets containing duplicate cooking wares. So, I started to purge, and purge we did. We didn’t have an exceptionally large amount of stuff to begin with, but it had begun to accumulate. Those extra sheets are gone, as are the suits, my sweaters, shoes we wore less than once a year, table clothes that were never used, and quite a lot of the stuff from our kitchen. We’re still purging, and I am going to start pulling everything out again and re-evaluating in the long winter months, but we seem to be getting a handle on things.
The only reason I’m sharing this is because it is nice. It’s a nice feeling to be surrounded by things that are meaningful, useful, and few. Husband has fewer clothes, but complains significantly less about having nothing to wear. Daughter has fewer art supplies, but uses what she has. I can cook much more efficiently, and I honestly haven’t missed a thing we’ve gotten rid of. We aren’t done yet, but we’re getting there; and we’re learning about living with enough, which is the real blessing in all of this…