Thursday, May 30, 2013

Not So Spring Cleaning

So…I’ve been doing some cleaning.

Well, cleaning OUT to be more precise. My house isn’t C.L.E.A.N.

In fact, at this point, it feels very far from it.

There are stacks of stuff EVERYWHERE.

Maybe not EVERYWHERE, but in enough places to make it feel so.

This process began long about Spring Break. After Spring Break was over, I took TEN boxes (and some of these were quite large…we’re talking moving boxes here, people) to Goodwill.

Let me say that again for emphasis: TEN BOXES.

And this was before I went through anyone’s clothes.

Last week, I took an additional three boxes to The Will (as my friend SV calls it), much of which WAS clothes. But not all. Apparently, I still had plenty of miscellaneous paraphernalia lying about.

Let me be clear: NOT drug paraphernalia. I think the word “paraphernalia” gets a bad rap sometimes, as it is often used in conjunction with discussions of drugs in police reports. And on crime dramas.

I have WAY more access to the crime dramas than the police reports.

Actually I am happy to say I have never even seen a police report.

But I digress.

NO MORE paraphernalia!

OK, that’s not entirely true. But it’s better in here than it was. I feel a little bit like I can breathe.

Although the dust on some of this stuff is making it a little bit tricky to breathe like I’d want to.

And Mr. Always Random still needs to go through his clothes…I, personally, would be much heavier-handed on the “sort and pitch and give-away” than he is. I suspect that there are still some clothes lurking in there from when we dated...and that’s been a few years…

Anyway…I am in process of filling another large moving box with donations; boxes courtesy of a friend who recently moved…no worries. I am not moving. 

WE are not moving.

I am certain some of my neighbors are disappointed by that; others may be glad. Regardless, it is what it is. 

We are staying put.

Mr. Always Random has made that fact QUITE CLEAR since he finished the floor. “We will die in this house.” OK, maybe not die IN it, but you understand the point. And I suppose it is always a possibility. Only God knows how and where we will bow out.

And besides, I don’t really want to move…I just like to mess with him. We have a healthy relationship, don't we?

Frankly, this giant clean-out, at least in part, is because I’ve seen what a house with many, many years of accumulated stuff is like and I don’t want to leave that for anyone else…or go through it myself when (most assuredly) we DO move into another home/condo/assisted living…so I am trying to hack away at it now and  keep a handle on it in the future.

Via yearly purging and all that good stuff.

Anyway, in addition to filling up another large box with donations, I took three bags of books to Half Price Books. Yes, I could have donated them but frankly I was hoping for a little bit of cash in my pocket. And I knew Half Price Books would only give me a little bit of cash in my pocket.

Little being the operative word.

And they did not fail to disappoint. Well, actually they did…I was disappointed with the very little bit of cash they gave me. But I took it nonetheless.

And…that’s three fewer boxes of books in my house.

Oh, and lest I forget: I also have several stacks of books, toys and educational materials which I want to try to sell on Craig’s List.

And no, I DO NOT ship things via Craig’s List sales so do not ask, all you scammers out there.

Clearly this is a sticking point with me.

But I am happy to meet anyone in the greater Greenwood area to make a sale…if you’re looking for something in particular, let me know as I just may have it. I’m ready to wheel and deal!

OK, maybe not exactly true…but I am ready to get this stuff out of my house.

And, I must confess, that this cleaning out has also caused me to bring in something else new.  

I bought a new-to-me desk (on Craig’s List, actually) and in the event of a nuclear holocaust, I know that our family will survive, as this sucker can also double as a bomb shelter.

I like my furniture to serve a dual purpose as often as possible.

It’s a Steelcase Tanker desk (I didn’t know that it was called that….I just knew that I liked it) from the 1950s. Someone had it in his garage as a workbench…covered in cobwebs and spider egg sacks as it were.

Apparently these things can go for big money online, so I feel fortunate that I was able to get mine for only $60.

It is missing the skinny little "lap drawer" (I don't know the technical term for it but you probably understand what I mean), and it has a couple little dents. But overall is in lovely shape.

"Good bones" is what Lara Spencer would say on "Flea Market Flip". Love that show. So does the PBA. And there's no bad language or any sexual innuendos, so that's a bonus.  

I brought the desk home...and when I say “I”, we all know what that means by now, don’t we, people? It means I texted Mr. Always Random and told him where to meet me so “we” could pick up the desk.

To be fair, it took the two of us and our 11yo to get the desk into the bed of the truck.

Getting it back out once we were at home was easier…because gravity works!

Anyway, after we got it home, I painted it. I would have left it as the original color had it been the original color. But somewhere along it’s path, someone had painted the desk yellow.

And it wasn’t that I minded the yellow in and of its yellowy self, but it was very chipped and worn, and rather than try to find an exact yellow match, I repainted the whole thing.

Well, except for the formica top, which is in very nice condition. Took a little scrubbing with a Magic Eraser (L.O.V.E. those things!) and now it looks practically new.

The top is a "Sea Foam Green" if you are looking for a Crayola color to name it. The rest of the desk is “London Fog” by Krylon, in case you were wondering.

I’m certain you were.

Anyway…why am I telling you about the desk? I’m getting to it. 

I have always felt the siren song of writing.

Still confused? Keep reading...I MAY get to the point.

OK, maybe “always” is a little strong…but alas, since last August, I have found/made more time for writing than I have in years past. But being as how I am also a wife and mother, I kind of enjoy being with those people as well.

Yes, I refer to them as “those people” when I talk ABOUT them, as well as “you people” when I address them; this isn’t always the case…the “you people” is typically when I am in a snit of some sort about something they have done. Or said. Or SHOULD HAVE done or said.

Anyway…I decided to move my desk/office space to a more centrally-located spot in the house instead of the front bedroom. And my current desk is too honking big for any other room. Honestly, it is too big for the room in which it has lived for 8 years. But it has served its purpose well. I'm not really just seems like it.

Although I sometimes like the solitude, I can’t have it both ways and since I already spent time and money on the desk and chair (I got a chair too but it was free…an old doctor’s stool with 5-wheeled castors…I go sailing across the new floors on it. I’ve only ALMOST fallen of a couple times. I’ve never COMPLETELY fallen off at all. I tell you that because I know you were suspect.), we're in the process of making the transition.

Desk and printer to be moved when my dad is available to help with that process. He's great like that.

I painted the chair the same color as the desk, and I got some fabric that coordinates with my barstools and stapled it on. Looks kind of cute if I do say so myself.

Modesty isn’t always my strong I'll let you be the judge. I wish I had the "before" to show you as well, but apparently I wasn't thinking about you, my blogging audience, when I should have.

Please forgive me.

It is lovely, no? (say that with a French sounds better)
So my long-and-rambling point: Because I am transferring things to my new desk and getting rid of my old L-shaped desk (let me know if you are interested…otherwise I am listing it on Craig’s List. Shocking, right?), I decided now was as good a time as any to go through the piles of papers I had amassed in my many file folders.

I know, I know…I should go through it yearly. But some of us don’t have that kind of time.

Or don’t want to make that kind of time.

So I flat out refused for the past 4 years…ok, not really. It honestly didn’t occur to me. I had plenty of space in the drawers so it wasn’t a big deal. We’ve lived in the house for 8 years so that’s not TOO bad, is it?

So anyway, rarely have I made the time. Until now…I made the time now.

The “good” news, however, is that my old desk had two drawers which would accommodate hanging file folders; the “new” (you understand by “new” I really mean the old Steelcase one, right?) one only has one such drawer. So the drawer is fairly full at this point, with room for a little bit more…but not much.

I’m getting to the good news about that: I will have to be more diligent and thoughtful about what I want to keep and what I should simply shred.

And speaking of shred, after going through all the files, I had a lot of things to shred.

About half a large storage tub’s worth.

Don’t judge.

And let me just say that I do actually own a shredder.

It’s nothing fancy but I am not complaining in the slightest. We got it the same way we come by most electronics and other large-scale purchases: second-hand.

I’m not ashamed to say it.

Anyway…my shredder can’t shred a whole bunch at once. Five sheets at most. And I can MAYBE fill the reserve twice with shreds before it overheats and stops working.

It usually has paper sticking out of the top when it shuts down…that’s always the giveaway that it needs a rest.

So I looked at my large tub of paper to be shredded, and at my tired shredder, and I really wished that I had a child ranging in age from 2-3. Specifically one who loves the thrill of a new toy.

You know what I mean…for as long as this shredder would work before it overheats, that’s approximately how long the child and his attention would be engaged in the shredding.

About the time the shredder would overheat, the child’s interest would dwindle anyway. He could move on to something else for a while.

And then when the shredder was finished with its nap and ready to do some more work, it would seem like a new toy to the child.

Problem solved.

And yet…I did not have a small child in my house, nor did I have one available I could rent from a friend for a reasonable rate.

So I did the shredding myself.

It took several days because when I had to stop to let it cool off, I would forget about it for several hours.

Don’t judge.

The up side is this: now I have more than enough “filling” for birthday and Christmas gift bags for at least the next couple years.

Oh wait…I said I was cleaning stuff out, didn’t I? Rats…does Goodwill take that stuff too?


  1. I totally would have rented out one of my little kids!
    Now that school is out, I will also be doing some major cleaning out. Maybe. Unless there's something better to do. :)

  2. But I know your kids...your kids would be too diligent and they would have been frustrated by the shredder's inability to keep pace with them. And yes, you'll be cleaning unless you have to, oh, I don't know...take care of and worry about a sick pig? Just a random thought on what you MIGHT be doing.