Drawer Debacle and a Plethora of Mixed Emotions

Sooooo, I made a mistake in the kitchen planning.

In my design, I neglected to take into account the depth of a slide-in range and put a 30″ stack of drawers in the adjacent corner. Although we haven’t ordered a range yet, my contractor realized that we wouldn’t have enough room on Monday. A typical oven unit is about 28″ deep, including the handle. That protruding handle will block my top drawer in the corner from fully opening and, unless this is fixed, I will be forever reminded of my mistake by having to open the oven to fully open the drawer.

Here is the hastily edited picture I sent to Noah to explain the problem while he was at work (I’ll go ahead and leave out the expletives that accompanied the image):

drawerissue

Sigh.

We’ve talked through some various solutions, including (but not limited to):

-turning the top drawer into a flip down opening for storing baking sheets, etc.

-trying to find a narrower oven or one with a recessed handle

-modifying a typical oven handle with hinges so it can be flipped up when needed

-redoing the drawer stack with 24″ drawers

-making the slide-in a cooktop and replacing one of the pantries with a wall oven

-leaving it as is and seeing how far the top drawer can actually open

A shout-out to the folks on the Garden Web Kitchen Forum for their help in coming up with many of these ideas and also talking me down off the ledge because I felt ridiculous for making such a lame mistake in a prime area of kitchen realty!

For now, we are going to leave it as is, see how it works with whatever range we decide to get and then most likely replace the drawer stack with a 24″ set and filler. It’s an unfortunate hiccup, but it’s not the end of the world.

And, of course, even having to open the oven every time I need to access that top drawer would STILL be better than cooking in a bus.

Aside from that annoying problem, or maybe in addition to, I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety over the past week or so in relation to the upcoming house completion. Nothing debilitating, just a general nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and difficulty trying to calm down at bedtime.

Some of this is because even once we are actually LIVING in the house, there are still going to be a lot of things left to do to make it functional and comfortable and there is an ever-growing list of stuff that we will eventually need running in the back of my brain. Things like window coverings, new mattresses, towels, rugs, kitchen chairs, stools, desk, bedding, pillows, slipcovers, hooks, window seating and a new kitchen table, to name a few.

Ideally we would be able to shop for and acquire these things ahead of time, but we just don’t have the space to store them right now and I don’t have the ability to focus on a whole lot more than immediate house decisions right now. The idea of throwing future decor in the mix causes me to break out in hives. Many of the things won’t be absolutely necessary right away, but they’re still on the list, niggling away at me.

The other parts of my anxiousness, though, are manifold.

For one: simply the idea of the huge, impending change about to descend on our family. I have no doubt that this is going to be a positive change overall – any lingering ideas that bus-living could be a viable long-term option for us have died along with a small piece of my soul somewhere in the past 22 months – yet a part of me still looks forward to it with a great deal of nervousness.

It’s just… as much as this has been at times an extremely difficult experience, as sick as I am of the mess and the over-crowdedness and the chaos and noise of 4 kids being amplified exponentially by the space limitations, as hard as I have struggled to keep my temper and my sanity amidst all of this and as many times as I have failed… this is still where we as a family have spent two years of our kids’ early childhoods and all the emotional accouterments that entails – birthdays, Christmases, lost teeth, first steps, you know how it is.

Two: The confines of the bus have had the benefit of forcing a closeness on our family that I am fearful of losing in a much bigger house. The girls sleep in the same bed, Finn is right next to them and all of them are only feet away from us at night. As INCREDIBLY inconvenient that has been at times (maybe inconvenient isn’t strong enough of a word…), it has also been comforting to know that we can immediately tell if anything is wrong with them. I am constantly aware of where they are and what they’re doing. All four of them are within arm’s reach at this very moment, in fact.

Three: Noah and I also have the concern that our kids will only barely remember this time as they get older, but not enough to really appreciate the struggle that it entailed. They will grow up in a nice, big house and we are worried about them developing a sense of entitlement. We share the belief that the best people come from slightly dysfunctional backgrounds and are concerned about going too far in the direction of normalcy and stability.

I admit that this is maybe not the most rational of my concerns.

Four: even though this period of time hasn’t been as “simple” as I was originally hoping and has actually made things that USED to be easy a lot more difficult and time-consuming (see: laundry, food storage, cleaning, etc), it has offered me the ready excuse to not do a lot of other things. I don’t feel the impetus to create elaborate meals from scratch or cook a hot breakfast every morning. The kids aren’t currently in sports or dance or lots of other outside activities and our homeschooling hasn’t involved much beyond the most basic tenets of education and free play. I also haven’t felt the need to participate in any “challenges”, such as waking up earlier, time tracking, decluttering, fitness or no-spend, among others.

Not to say that those aren’t all GOOD THINGS to do, they definitely are, it’s just that with the situation we’re currently in I’ve given myself a free pass to ignore whole swaths of them for the time being. Moving into a real house with real furniture will mark the re-entry into “real life” and the expectations that will accompany it that we start acting more like normal people.

I understand intellectually that a lot of these fears I’m holding onto are dependent on my own choices – I don’t HAVE to do anything. I could live in a house without blinds and rugs and continue to not exercise and eat cold cereal for breakfast every morning. But I probably won’t, nor would I want to.

Five: I’m going to go ahead and be brutally honest: two of the pillars that our family life has been revolving around for two years – the fact that we live in a bus and are building a house – will end at the same time. Where does this leave us with regard to our place in the universe? What will make us special and unique? What will people have to ask us about repeatedly if not “how’s the house coming?” I’ll have to come up with a new Instagram username!

(Okay, you can go ahead and file that one with concern number three in terms of legitimacy.)

It’s all just going to be a huge adjustment, guys. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

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14 thoughts on “Drawer Debacle and a Plethora of Mixed Emotions

  1. Try not to project too much. It is a strain on your body and mind. When it happens, it happens. Signed… the clutterer. ?

  2. Here is a funny story for you. One of the houses that I sold 10 years ago as a realtor was a million plus. And her oven blocked the drawers to the left. I say if a builder of a million dollar house can make that mistake, hey, we can too.
    When we renovated our house, my kids slept for a year afterwards on mattresses on the floor. One wanted a lofted bed like his uncle’s dorm room and I was afraid of the whole ladder thing for a 7 year old.
    The other wanted bunk beds and I couldn’t find the wooden, crate like things he wanted. They survived and were thrilled participants when we finally built the loft (turns out it is pretty hot up there, sometimes) and enjoyed those bunk beds until he grew over 6 feet and I insisted we had to get a longer bed.
    You have all the time you need and want to furnish your house on your terms and your financial constraints. And you can always use sheets for the window coverings.
    Blessings.

  3. Quoting one of my favorite authors here, because, honey-chil’, nothing on this earth will ever be quite perfect! πŸ™‚ I think you knew that already. πŸ™‚

    β€œThe most tragic strain in human existence lies in the fact that the pleasure which we find in the things of this life, however good that pleasure may be in itself, is always taken away from us. The things for which men strive hardly ever turn out to be as satisfying as they expected, and in the rare cases in which they do, sooner or later they are snatched away…. For the Christians, all those partial, broken and fleeting perfections which he glimpses in the world around him, which wither in his grasp and he snatches away from him even while the wither, are found again, perfect, complete and lasting in the absolute beauty of God.”
    ― Randy Alcorn, Heaven

    and another one: (add “NEW HOUSE” to this list! πŸ˜‰

    β€œNothing is more often misdiagnosed than our homesickness for Heaven. We think that what we want is sex, drugs, alcohol, a new job, a raise, a doctorate, a spouse, a large-screen television, a new car, a cabin in the woods, a condo in Hawaii. What we really want is the person we were made for, Jesus, and the place we were made for, Heaven. Nothing less can satisfy us.”
    ― Randy Alcorn, Heaven

  4. Write down all the specific tasks that need to be done (ie. window coverings, table, beds, etc.) and assign priorities to them. What is absolutely essential at what time? Then go through and jot down temporary alternatives (put existing mattresses on the floor to sleep on, use a cheap card table & folding chairs, etc.). I find that just writing things down so I don’t feel like I have to remember them helps me let go of a lot of stress. Give yourself grace – so what if it takes you a year (or more) to get everything just like you want it? Keep in mind that you only need to be accountable to yourself and your family. As for the intangible things that are stressing you, know that you don’t have to have all the answers right now. Let it go until you are actually moved in, and you may find that some of them are non-issues. For those that are still important, come up with specific strategies to deal with them. I read a blog post recently about how to not raise entitled kids, and it was excellent. I will see if I can find it and come back and post a link.

  5. We made the same mistake in our kitchen πŸ™‚ only for ours it was the dishwasher instead of the stove that was blocked by the drawers. So we ended up not being able to get my dishwasher of choice, and we had to go for a dishwasher that didn’t have a handle that stuck out in the end. Oh well, at least I like my nice wide drawers! They look just like the drawers you have there in that picture, and they hold so much!

    1. I haven’t been able to find any ovens without handles in our limited price range yet, but I think adjusting the drawers will probably be smarter in the long run. I just bought an oven, so we’ll see how it goes!

  6. *Note to self: don’t block the drawers with the oven when we renovate the kitchen** because I would TOTALLY do that! LOL Loved the comment above about the $1m+ house with the same problem in the kitchen. It’s just hard to think of every little thing when you’re planning the layout, and L shaped kitchens are definitely the worst when it comes to the potential for that kind of mistake.

    I get where you’re coming from with some of the anxieties you’re feeling. When you’re so fully immersed in such a big project for so long, it becomes part of your identity, and you do wonder who you’ll be and what you’ll do when it’s over. It sounds like it’s really time to get off the bus. Your stop has arrived. You’ll be in a different place than you were when you got on, and things will be new and strange, but you can take with you the good things you learned on the journey and let them help shape how you live in your new space.

    Jesus said “Stop being anxious” and gave some very good reasons why we should apply his words. I read this recently and reading your post made me think of it so I’ll share it:
    https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-no1-2016-january/do-not-be-anxious/

    Take a deep breath! You’ll be fine. πŸ™‚

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