Monday, December 06, 2010

The Disorganized vs. The Pack Rat part 2

When my husband read the title to last week's post he asked, "Am I disorganized?"

"No honey, that's me."

He read a little further.

"Do you think I'm detail-oriented?", he asked after a few minutes.

"Yes, I do.", I replied.

"I'm not nearly as detail-oriented as I'd like to be."

Says the person who knows what every person in town drives, who can spot five things he likes and five things he doesn't like the moment he sees someone's house as he drives by, and who can recite an insane amount of details of a hundred old testament Bible stories.

He read the rest of the post.

"So does this mean I'M the pack-rat?!", he asked, his eyebrows furrowing while the corner of his mustache tipped up.

"Well, let's see. How many matchbox cars did you just tell me you have?"

"About 500. Give or take.", he said, eyebrows furrowing just a tiny bit more.

"And how many legos, tonka trucks, equipment, big rigs, etc.?", I wondered.

"A lot."

Yep. A LOT.

I didn't even bother to ask about how many Diesel truck, 4-Wheeling, and old Mustang magazines he has kept over the years. I can't even estimate a number here, because the answer is this: *nearly ALL of them. Boxes and boxes. And some more boxes.

*and by nearly all I mean ALL except for the obligatory 3 or 4 he has thrown out because I've asked him to "narrow it down a bit". I couldn't say ALL all because it just wouldn't quite be fair, now would it?

At least his boxes are organized.

Going back to when we first moved in here, with all of my haphazard tossing of random things into random drawers, I really thought there would never come a day when we'd have the WHOLE HOUSE filled up with stuff.

*and by whole house I mean EVERY nook, cranny, closet, and shelf.

Not only is every room of the house beyond full, ALL of the outbuildings are full too.

The garage. Full.

The shop. Full.

The old granary. Full again.

The barn. Full.

The chicken coop (which doesn't house chickens, just wild bunnies in the spring). FULL.

And yes, even the little yellow bump of a shed over the old well pit is full of outdoor toys. Heaven help the person who pulls up the heavy concrete lid and looks down into the concrete lined box below. One year we stored our winter supply of potatoes down there where it wouldn't freeze and didn't use all of them. If you've EVER been lucky enough to know what 50 lbs. of potatoes looks like and smells like after it's gone bad I do not have to explain this any further!

It has taken us 9 years to fill every available space up completely but we have done it!

While we're at it, we might as well face it: it's not like all of our stuff is actually contained within the four walls of those buildings, either.

Just don't even think about trying to move us! It would not go good.

Let's see honey, we can do this with 5 semi trucks or... 25 dumpsters. Which will it be? Or maybe we'd just have an enormous yard sale and make enough money to go on that vacation we've talked about for oh, about 9 years now.

I don't mind the outbuildings being full. They are entirely my better half's domain and so they will stay. I have no need to *micromanage these things. Especially when the house is no better, now is it?

*and by micromanage I mean have a say in, think about, or try to participate whatsoever in (see my last post where I tell you exactly how much disorganization bothers me...)

A few weeks after our fourth baby was born it started to really grate on me, though. Years of shuffling one pile of "stuff" from one closet to another or from one storage space around here to another and I was DONE. Dee. Oh. Enn. Eee. Done.

Piles of stuff here and there and everywhere and no place to shuffle it to!

I took a deep breath and headed into the wild unknown: the back room. It houses our washer and dryer and...Stuff. It hadn't been sorted through in YEARS. I started pitching things left and right. I made a bunch of trips to the goodwill, loaded down with bags and boxes of stuff. I found a box of pictures that I'd forgotten about from 5+ years ago. I found my Christmas lights. I found more boxes of 4-wheeling magazines! Oh joy.

In the end, I had a whole new space that was finally usable for more than just storage and laundry, and only a few plastic bins that needed to find a new home.

So I took another deep breath... and headed down into the basement.

The last frontier.

The final wilderness of 150 year old houses with earthen basements.

The home of the enormous wolf spiders.


First thing I did was take a can of blue max Raid down there and spray the living daylights out of one wall while holding my breath, and run back up the stairs.

Two days later when the fog had finally lifted, I went back down with a long-handled broom and ::shudders:: swept a few of those enormous cobwebs away, threw the broom down on the floor of the basement before any marauding spiders could run up the handle and THEN... my arm. ::more shudders::

The next day I went back down with the spray and sprayed another wall. And the broom. Just in case.

Two days after that I went back down, closely inspected the broom before picking it up and sweeping a little bit of the floor. I carefully used an old dustpan to collect some of the bits of junk and stuff off the floor and dumped it in an old box, which is still down there. You never know when one of those nasty old spiders might be lurking in the center of an old rusty bolt. They're tricky like that.

The next day I took a shelving unit down the stairs and made 3 more trips down with plastic bins to place on those shelves.

After that I stopped.

It was when I realized it had taken me two weeks to carve out a space in the basement exactly 2 foot wide by 5 feet long. Those bins I put on those shelves that I fought off the spiders so hard for? I will probably NEVER look in again.

Well, okay, I MIGHT look in them once they've been brought to the surface by my brave spider-killing husband, sprayed with blue max, and sat outside in the sunlight for 2 days where birds can spot and pick off any remaining spiders.

I just don't know if I can send any more of my STUFF down into the abyss!

There must be another spot around here (Urgh!) that I can just...shove...(argh)... a few...(huff) more...(puff)... boxes...

(Whew!) Quick! Someone come quick and help me SHUT THIS CLOSET DOOR!!!


Nabila Grace said...

LOL still giggling over the spiders and it taking days to try to clear it out! It sounded like something I would do! I'm dealing with clutter and stuff too. Of course 2 moves in well 11 months did help but I still feel like I need to get rid of stuff...oh well...I will be like you and do a lil here and a lil there :oP Thanks for the giggle! ;o)

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize how much you dislike spiders.. LOL, Loved your story, I can smell the musty smell of your basement.. and the cold breeze of air as you slowly pause on each creeky ole stair, and inspect each step for SPIDERS!!
I love your referral to the many collections your hubby has... trucks, legos, magazines,.. You forgot the Civil War DVD's he has..
Love your writtings.. They are always so funny, and well written.. Can't wait for your next chapter. Love ya! Mom~


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