Monday, June 15, 2015

One Thing Leads to Another

Carson got a new bed a few weeks ago and, since it was a new size, none of the pictures were hanging in the appropriate places for the new furniture placement.  Davis patched the old nail holes and I shopped for new bedding for the larger sized bed......and then I decided all that just seemed like the perfect excuse for a room makeover for him.  In the spirit of Mississippi State fandom, I thought he'd like a gray room with a maroon accent wall.  He has so much MSU paraphernalia that we all thought it would be a great teenage boy room idea.   In our changing things up, we had all this stuff that we weren't going to use in his new space, so a pile started to form in the garage.     

We had a party for my niece and her new husband yesterday and so in the process of gathering things to decorate for that, I'd made many-a-trip into the attic.  It was just a nightmare up there.  A wasteland of those material things that float around in the abyss between being wanted and useful and the trashcan.  All the junk you don't want it in the house, but you're not ready to say goodbye to it either, so it's sent to the land of pink insulation and three digit temperatures, while you work through letting it go.  Yeah, sure there are the seasonal things that stay up there until they come down and make their annual appearance, but then there's all that other stuff that's just there for no good reason.

I decided we needed to do something about the clutter up there, so I went up and tried to bring some semblance of organization to the space.  I straightened and categorized and shuffled stuff around and then passed some things over to Davis and sentenced them to either the trash can or the growing pile of "let me think about it" in the garage.  He'd climb down with it and place it in the appropriate place, while I was up there sweating like a pig at a bacon factory.           

I've kept a lot of the kids' old toys up there.  Barbie dreamhouse, Sweet Streets town, Legos, Star Wars ships, Erector sets, Electric football, tea sets, puppets, doll strollers, wooden blocks, dress up clothes, Hot Wheels, books, and board games.  My plan is to become that grandmother, who the grandchildren just love to come and see, so the toys stay.

There are other things that are just hard to know what to do with.  Like, we have a box of trophies and plaques that is the size of a small island.  It's spilling over with medals and every form of recognition symbol known to man.  Plastic, gilded figures on wooden bases with engraved plates commemorating some achievement that no one even remembers.  It's like an open grave of golden, plastic ball players, dancers, soccer balls, books, and any other field in which one can be recognized with statuettes fashioned from faux precious metals. 

What's a mother to do with those?   What kind of mother would carry them out to the street with the trash?  But, nobody really wants them either.  So, I suppose they will continue to take up space in the same place where mine, yours, and everyone else's old trophies still remain their mothers' attics.  I propose that children, from now on, be issued certificates to redeem for a free Blizzard or McNuggets or something in lieu of trophies and then we, mothers, wouldn't have this dilemma 15 years after their achievement has passed.    

I knew, this week, the kids would both be gone and I'd been planning to ride this wave of purging on into the rest of the house.  Like I always say, "nothing uplifts the soul like a good house purging".   So, Carson left this morning for church camp and Blair went back to college and I got to work. 
In the laundry room, I went through that basket of loner socks that we all have.  We wait and wait with such hope for those socks to show back up.  Some of the lonely socks have been in there for years and, today, I finally had to break it to them, "Your mate has been gone for 2 years now and I don't think she's coming back".  That's always a hard thing to have to tell a sock. 

Then, I organized the cabinets in the laundry room.  I keep all kinds of things in there.  There's this one cabinet, in particular, that is always in such a state of disarray that you have to open it with extreme caution, while shielding your face, as things consistently shoot out, bounce off your head, and crash to the floor.  Closing the door is tricky, too.  The goal is always to just get it to close and you can deal with it in 6 years.     

Then, on to the kitchen.  We all have that Tupperware drawer.  I got rid of the bowls that haven't had lids since the early 90's.  I organized that one big utensil drawer that we all have and, after some deliberation, decided to keep the biscuit cutter and melon baller in case we fall on hard times and I ever have to cut my own biscuits and ball my own melons......but let's don't even talk that way.   And it may interest you to know that, after gathering them from all drawers and corners and nooks and expired bags of snacks in the kitchen, we have a grand total of 26 chip clips in this house.  26.  An embarrassment of riches.   

I moved over to the lunchbox cabinet.  I don't look in that one much.  Carson packs his lunch and I didn't really know what all was in there.  Well, I'll tell you what's in there.......all the rejects from every variety pack that I've bought in the last two years, that's what.  That one flavor that nobody eats.  The salt and vinegar chips.  The Nilla Wafer cookies.  The chocolate Rice Krispie Treats.   The banana muffins.  The butterscotch Jell-O pudding.  All abandoned by their friends, the Oreos, the barbecue chips, and the snickerdoodle muffins.  It was kind of the Island of Misfit Snacks.

From there, I went to the spice rack or, in my case, the spice wreck.  It's funny how I am OCD about many things, but it never seems to surface in my spice organization.  There's no rhyme or reason to it.  It's just a hot, spicy mess in there.  I would like to note that I did throw away some cream of tartar that I believe I brought with us from our last house almost 11 years ago.  It is, apparently, not one of my "go to" spices.       

Then, we all have the glasses/cups cabinet.  There's the good glass stuff and then there's this regurgitation of plastic cups from every restaurant, ballgame, waterpark, event, and theme park we've visited in the last five years.  I did a major downsizing of this collection of plastic drinking vessels.  Please tell me you have this, too.  I suppose this is our modern day version of the jelly glasses our Mamas used to collect.....adorned with the Flintstones, Peanuts, or geese with bows around their necks.         

So, I got done with the laundry room and then the kitchen and that's as far as I made it today.  My goal is to work my way through the entire house by Friday.  Today alone, I threw away 3 big garbage bags full of junk.  They were 40 gallon bags, so technically you could say that I threw out 120 gallons of junk and that doesn't count what went into the increasingly impressive pile of "I'm not sure" that is mounting in the garage.

I've decided to have yard sale with the big pile that is now starting to become a fire code violation and is impeding our ability to reach our cars.  I told the kids they could split the profits if they'd take it over from here.  So, if you enjoy waking up in the dark to drive around to strangers' homes and plunder through their worthless junk, you won't want to miss this event coming up in a couple of weeks. 

I'll be in the bed.  My work will be done. 

Tomorrow.....Davis' home office, and the kids' rooms. 




  1. Bravo Joni! The trigger started with Carson's room and now you're trudging through the rooms. Hard though with the games and trophies, sentimental. I laughed about the spices, socks and the rejects of snacks, been there. I'm going through my own mini purging, paperwork. Excellent post, Kathleen in Az

    1. Kathleen, it's such a good feeling to have everything in order! Good luck with yours!

  2. Thanks for the motivation to get going on this myself. There just always seems to be something else I'd rather be doing. :) I'm sorry you had to have the tough conversation with the socks...that's always hard.

    1. Hahaha.......sounds like you've had to have the talk before, Denice! I'm done with my cleaning and it's such a good feeling! Go for it,'ll be glad you did :)