I’m An Adult Now – Steam Cleaners

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One of the important parts of adulting is knowing the how, when and why of keeping things clean. When I recently posted to Facebook about steam cleaning my sofa I got an incredulous reply from a friend exclaiming that they didn’t even know you could do such a thing, and please would I explain how.

So let’s start with the fact that all fabric things around your house get dirty. Or at least dusty. Here at House O’ Fits, things such as curtains, throw cushion covers, table runners and bed spreads get laundered on a quarterly basis. I use the change of season (solstices and equinoxes) as my calendar guide. Linens that are more delicate or harder to dry, especially if they don’t come in direct contact with skin/hair or pets (things such as pillows, feather duvets and feather or wool mattress pads) generally get washed annually. (Yes, I said washed… I totally wash my feather linens and put them in a dryer – they turn out fine.)

But what about carpets, rugs or fabric-covered furniture?

Dudes, these should also be cleaned. Not constantly, but at least somewhat regularly.

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I’m An Adult Now – Organizing Your Closet (When Most of Your Stuff Is Black)

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I’m betting that if you’re one of those folks who make New Year’s resolutions, somewhere on your list is a variation of “get organized/tidy house”. Tidy houses are great things – they allow you to find things easily, move about freely, and be less stressed by clutter, but even with resolutions they are often hard to achieve.

The big hit organizing sensation of 2015 was Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Now, I don’t know about the “Japanese art” bit here, because most of the tricks Kondo espouses in her KonMari system are things that I’ve always done. (I’m apparently slow on the draw for telling people how to be like me and making money from it.)

Kondo’s advice includes things like discarding any item that doesn’t “spark joy” and thinking of your belongings as having a soul. There’s a whole lot of talking to your stuff in this system – “thank you tea towel, for making my dishes dry…” that is kind of hokey and unnecessary, but the idea of having a sense of respect for your belongings, and taking care of them, makes a lot of sense.

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Awesome Thing – Mid-Century Modern Lamp

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I’m all up in the mid-century modern decor lately, and I’ve been on the look-out for amazing lamps, ideally in great condition.

This baby jumped out at me during a visit to Mrs. Huizenga (28 Roncesvalles Avenue) recently and I decided on the spot that it had to come home with me. At a reasonable $45, I overlooked the few small scratches in the swirly black wood part and touched them up easily with a marker when I got it home.

For some reason I’d never been into Mrs. Huizenga on Roncy before, but after this visit, it will be a regular destination on my “looking for awesome things” list. Everything is very nicely curated and arranged, prices are very reasonable, and staff were very accommodating (we had seen the lamp early in the day on our way to te Roncesvalles Polish Festival and returned at near-closing to grab it). It’s a full gamut vintage store with not just furniture and housewares but clothes and accessories as well.

Why is it awesome? Oh my god, look at it. 2nd best lamp ever! (I’ve got another awesome lamp in the queue that is slightly more awesome. Maybe. It could be a toss-up.)

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The Places We Inhabit

Something happened last week that has weirded me out and I can’t seem to shake it. Greg and I ran into an acquaintance on the streetcar who happens to live in the basement apartment of the house we lived in for 12 years, up until 2006 when, due to the negligence of the landlord, I fell in the front walkway and broke my arm.

Despite eventually moving to a smaller place in a highrise building and no longer having a big old Edwardian mansion (with a huge back yard) to call home, we ended up much happier, if only because we no longer had to deal with said landlord and his utter refusal to fix anything unless absolutely necessary. While the house was cosmetically beautiful, there were rotten joists, no insulation, century-old single-pane windows, squirrels in the attic, and because the landlord converted a cellar to a basement apartment illegally (as in, he never got a building permit, and paid a bunch of illegal immigrants less than minimum wage to do the work that wasn’t up to code… not to mention that he’s never paid property tax on the basement unit), some serious issues with black mold that had spread through the crumbling walls.

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Into Every Life, a Little Change Must Come

When we first moved into this apartment, we weren’t sure how long we’d stay. I was not keen on the idea of apartment living, and we were still considering buying a house – this was to be a test to see if we could live in a condo without going insane. So we bought a cheap sofa, figuring we’d get another one if/when we moved again. It wasn’t ever very comfortable; I migrated to a chair rather quickly when I discovered that the angle of the seat on the sofa made my leg go numb.The cat shredded the arms, and a certain little brown dog pretty much claimed the thing as her own.

Four years later, we’re still here, after realizing that we could live in an apartment but that most condos won’t allow our large dogs. Four years later, and we really needed a new sofa.

We splurged on what we’ve called “our first grown-up sofa” – a stylish green loveseat that looks like it should be on the set of Mad Men. Other than the fact that the seat is a little deep for me and I need an ottoman (when we checked it out I was wearing boots that make me 2 inches taller; my feet touched the floor fine in the store, not so much at home), we like it very much.

Tula, however, while she likes it fine now, was not especially pleased with the transition.

Bringing new meaning to “curling up in a chair”. Still not impressed.

Dog and blanket installed on new sofa. “I guess this will do.”

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A Goth’s Christmas Story

Yes, that is exactly what it looks like. A black and silver Christmas tree – one of two types available at Honest Ed’s in Toronto. This one, at 7 feet and $99, is the nicer of the two, but even the 5 foot version at $59.99 was pretty cute (no twigs or pine cones on the smaller one). There was a time when I’d have killed for this puppy. Even now, years after my Goth phase has passed, I stood in the store going “Eeeeee!!!!” and fondling the silver-tipped branches.

It would be either a joy or a complete pain in the ass to decorate – finding lights on a black wire would be near impossible unless you shelled out the big bucks and bought them from a window-display place like Visualizer.

But imagine the tree decorated in silver, red and purple, with all the little Goths gathered around it on Christmas morning, hoping that Sandy Claws had left them a Sisters of Mercy CD, or a pair of bondage pants, or a new cape, or maybe a gift certificate to one of those fancy dentistry clinics where they give you fangs… it would be the best Christmas EVAH!

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