Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tales From Box City

Please excuse the crappy layout on today's post. Blogger won't let me put the pictures where I want them!!

How many boxes have we emptied?

This many. If you'd like to count, please be my guest!

I'm too tired to count them.

And my feet hurt, and my back... this is not a job for the faint of heart!

What you don't see here is how many Explorer-loads have gone on to new homes. I've been pretty lucky in that some friends have come forward and offered to take some of my "orphans of the storm" off my hands and re-home them.

For instance, there are lots of books and magazines that are now on their way to some of the area nursing homes and doctors' offices, where they can be shared with people who will want to read them. Hallelujah! So much better than going to the dump, in so many ways.

Yes, it's been exhausting. Just ask Hi-Hi, who discovered that a bath mat makes a wonderful napping spot.

Simon's pretty tired out too.

Now, if you don't remember how this all looked in the "before" shots, here's a refresher:

Note the total dearth of walking space, and the height of those boxes.

Yes, I do have too much stuff. Remember this is a 35+ year accumulation.

Deryk wants to know, button, button, who's got the button?

And big brother Dillon knows who: he does!

Proving that little boys can have fun and be helpful, too.

Their mom is my demon organizer. She spent a good part of her weekend organizing my knitting and quilting books, came up with a plan for making the cookbooks accessible and usable, and just generally worked miracles.

(Her hubby works nights, so he got to sleep and go to work rested. What a concept!)

She's also going to take all those boxes from the first picture. They've got an offer in on a house, so please cross your fingers that they get to move soon!

And an after shot. Look at all the walking room!

And look at those organized bookshelves.

Those two brown boxes in the front? They are the holdouts, and they're going to be gone shortly.

Okay, so this next picture won't make anyone's House Beautiful spread, but it's so much progress!

And yes, those are tubs of yarn. Not all of it, of course. But some.

I think the overall plan for the fabric and yarn is going to be another grand sorting day, where I will recruit some strong help and willing muscle, and we'll haul all the yarn and fabric and boxes of glass out of the garage, sort and reorganize them, and then put them back in an order that will make them accessible and useful.

And there will be a nice donation pile, too. I don't exactly know about whether I have the intestinal fortitude to sell stuff on eBay, and I know there are a couple more categories of things that need to be moved out completely, but my current goal is to start the new year with no storage unit and only the stuff I can really use and enjoy left around.

Wish me luck, okay?? And let's hope that my helpers will continue to be motivated to work on this thankless task with me!

Remember those pictures of all the stuff piled up in front of the garage door? Well, this is all that's left:

Some toys to finish sorting, a couple of stacks of D4's books (her bookcase is being delivered this weekend), and the tables which need to be taken down and put back into the garage.

More pics on my Flickr page if you have a strong stomach for this kind of thing. (There are also some older pictures of the "before" situation, before we started this whole project. Not for the faint of heart!)

I know that this is exposing my unlovely side to the world, but it's also a good motivation to keep up the purging. It will feel so good to have it all done!


Unknown said...

Wow, hate to think of how much I would have if not for the fire, the jerk who threw out my stuff, and the move to Tuscon and back.

Yikes, I would need a mansion.

mary said...

Hurray! I'm SO proud of you! Enjoy your new abundance of space.

Knitting Linguist said...

It's looking great -- congratulations!! And what a relief for you, I'm sure :)

DPUTiger said...

You have done a fantastic job. Keep up the great work!!! It's so worth it! (((HUG)))

Ellen Bloom said...

I'm envious of your resolve to de-clutter! Congratulations! Can't wait to see your new space.

Annette said...

Congratulations! You've made great progress. And you're inspiring me to start some organizational projects of my own.

Sheepish Annie said...

Wow. That is a whole lotta organizing! Kudos to you for seeing it all through. I just can't seem to stick with that sort of project long enough to really make a dent.

But what a difference it makes! I say it again: Wow.

Madge said...

You're a superstar! It was GREAT to hang out at your lovely home yesterday; you should be so proud of all the work you and your family have done in getting to this point. I know there's more to do (isn't there always?), but I hope the hardest part is behind you. Just keep on truckin'!

She Knits Socks said...

Congratulations on your success. I should hire you to simplify my house. It makes me tired just to think about it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Marie:

You lead the most exciting and unexpected life. I swear, everything happens to you. I am impressed with all the empty boxes. What an undertaking, But. the reward for doing all this work...should be one Congressional Medal of Honor, and at least 4 Purple Hearts! Can't wait to see pictures of the finished work.