Flotsam and Jetsam

flotsam and jetsomMy project this month is the attic.

Angel Girl got things started for me – sorting through the things that have a designated place and just needed to go back.

But my job is harder. I’ve been working my way through the piles of stuff that don’t have a home.

The flotsam and jetsam of a family that somehow ended up in the attic.

The orphan shoe.

The pretty ribbon saved from a package.

Scraps of wrapping paper.

An old clock radio.

A cassette tape.

The box of curtains I bought – but never quite got hung.

A random toy horse.

The reproduction fife we bought Matt on vacation when he was four that a sibling later squished.

Random bits and pieces of life, overlooked, outgrown and unneeded on a daily basis.

Every piece must be touched and evaluated .

Keep?

Throw?

Donate?

A million tiny decisions.

The garbage pile gets bigger.

The donate pile tips over.

And there – on a small pile – are the treasures.

The few nuggets worth saving in the piles of stuff.

Mission accomplished.

A Million Little Decisions

We started in on the basement one week ago.

It began as a simple project – just replacing our small, very dated TV stand with a much larger unit someone had given us.

But that project lead to rearranging book shelves, which lead to replacing the nasty metal craft cupboard, which lead to…

You get the picture.

By the time we went to bed last Saturday we had created a monster of a project.

Every inch of available floor space was covered with stuff – all of the contents of the craft cupboard, books, toys, boxes, totes.

Just to get a jar of spaghetti sauce from the pantry shelves one had to first scale “mount donate”, leap over two tubs of playmobil, and zigzag through boxes of apples, spaghetti squash and random canning jars.

Oy.

Twas a massive project.

I have touched a million little pieces and made a million little decisions. Marbles. Colored pencils. Paper of all kinds. Movies. CD’s. Books. Beads. Yarn. String. Puppets. Props. Costumes. Sewing patterns. Fabric. Games. Paints. Glues.

Even a disco ball.

It has taken me a week – but I see the light at the end of the tunnel, or at the least patches of carpet under the piles.

But it will soon be streamlined and organized.

Neat and clean.

And it will look better – much better.

And someday – hopefully – I will replace the millions of brain cells I lost in the midst of all those pieces.

Someone send chocolate.

Spring Cleaning

I felt so rested and refreshed after Easter Sunday that I embarked on a rather ambitious project on Monday – I decided to clean the school room.
Cleaning

Our school room is rather misnamed. It should be called the “catch-all”.

It’s the little room tucked off the living room where we have many library shelves filled with books, my file cabinets, a couple of computers that no longer work and lots of stuff that I need to deal with it.

You know the stuff – it’s all the things that you discover while cleaning and don’t know what to do with.

“Just put it in the school room and I’ll decide later.”

And the things that are out and need to be put away quickly because company’s coming.

“Just put it in the school room and close the door. We can put it away later”

But later never came.  Until now.

It was a mess – but I was determined to deal with the clutter. I went through shelf after shelf, sorting through hundreds of books – each one an old friend.

I straightened, organized and yes – even purged a few. (Oh – but that was painful!)

I emptied boxes, sorted computer games, and worked my way through files.

Now three days later – bits and pieces from the school room are spread all over the downstairs as I sort and sift.

But there’s a problem.

I’m out of energy.

And company is coming.

You know what’s going to happen don’t you.

“Just throw it in the school room and I’ll decide later!”

I think I’ll close the door again. 🙂

Sometimes – You Just Gotta Do It

Art

We cleaned the craft cupboard on Saturday.

It needed to be done – I mean seriously needed to be done. It was so bad that when you needed something you had to open the door slowly, brace your arm to catch whatever fell out while grabbing what you needed quickly – if you could find it. Then you just prayed the door would close again.

But I hadn’t planned to clean that cupboard – at least not on Saturday. I had planned to do it some other day – in the future when I had nothing else to do.

Maybe after I had cleaned all the grout in my bathroom with a toothbrush and organized my spices alphabetically. 🙂

But have you ever noticed that one thing always leads to another – especially with cleaning.

It all started when the kids decided – on their own – to organize the movies.  I sat back and smiled while they unloaded everything on the floor and even when they had a heated discussion on the merits of different movies.

I was thrilled when they found the 2 missing movies from our art curriculum and the exercise video that I hadn’t seen in months. (and no – I did NOT hide it on purpose!)

I bit my tongue and let them organize things how ever they wished – figuring that if I ever needed a movie they should be able to find it for me.

But when the dust cleared and the cupboard was filled – there on the floor was a pile of movies – children’s classics like Pooh Bear, Thomas and Busytown that my kids have outgrown.

It was that pile of movies that caused the problem.

They needed to go the attic.

But in order to go to the attic they needed a plastic container to put them in – and the only plastic container to put them in was currently full of stuff that I didn’t want to deal with that was left over from Vacation Bible School back in July – and that container was stuffed in – you guessed it – the craft closet!

So – I took a deep breath – yanked those doors open and watched as the contents exploded on the floor.

Then Angel Girl and I spent the afternoon organizing colored pencils, crayons (seriously people – do crayons ever get used up?)  and markers.

We sorted paper, yarn, scissors and millions of beads (I am not exaggerating – well , not much!)

At the end of the day we had one clean cupboard, one full garbage bag, one box of fun stuff to give away (it’s coming your way Cinnamon!), one plastic tote of movies ready for the attic, and one cabinet of movies sorted and organized.

Whew!

At least I can cross that one of my list – now I should get right on that grout in the bathroom…. 🙂