I did SO MUCH boring-but-satisfying work around the house yesterday! I dispersed the contents of FOUR large bins from the basement shelves: some of it was warm-weather clothing that went into children's rooms, but I put about half of it aside to be donated: I noticed we had about twice as many pairs of shorts as I needed for Edward (probably this was the size that got lost long enough I'd finally concluded the previous child had skipped the size and so repurchased it), and also I think it's time to conclude that William is the only boy who's going to wear slims so it's safe to get rid of those handmedowns instead of hanging on to them just in case one of the two younger boys needs them, and also I threw out some jeans with holes in the knees---good thing I stored those for four years! My dining room will look SO MUCH BETTER when I finally remember to take the half-dozen bags of clothes to the donation dumpster.
I also took a binlet (like, not a BIG HUGE bin, but what do you call it so as not to give the impression of largeness?) of pure miscellany that Paul had dumped into it while moving furniture: all the pens and pencils and game pieces and refrigerator magnets and puzzle pieces and playing cards and small toys and pieces of possibly-important paper he found there. I'd been putting off dealing with it out of resentment: he got big glory for moving furniture, but would I get any for doing the fiddly cleaning up, even though it would take longer and be more of a pain? NO I WOULD NOT. And why would he just leave it there, as if somehow it were MY job? I went through it and tossed a lot of it (some of those game pieces were to games we haven't had for years), and put away the rest of it (SIX rolls of tape! no wonder I can never find tape).
I also threw out a large pretty platter. It's a neat shade of green, and it looked gorgeous sitting on our bureau with its matching pitcher on it. Until the pitcher broke several years ago. I couldn't replace the pitcher (Target clearance, long gone), but I didn't want to get rid of the platter, because every time I thought of doing so, I got mad about the broken pitcher again. As if perhaps saving the platter would mean the pitcher HADN'T broken. Anyway, I threw it out.
I planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs my mom didn't want anymore, and while I was out there I planted the little pine tree I bought around Christmastime and the blueberry twig I bought to replace the one that died over the winter.
I went through a bag of Edward's Christmas stocking stuff that turned out to be still hanging on the back of a dining room chair. I put away the few things that were in it, and threw out a handful of red and green M&Ms.
I dispersed the contents of a box I'd started as a "Donate This" box. Some things weren't even worth Freecycling, so I tossed them out. Other things were worth Freecycling, so I Freecycled them.
I gathered up the singleton gloves I'd been noticing here and there and another-there, and put them in a drawer in the mud room. I took Elizabeth's winter coat out of the mud room and hung it up in the hall closet. I found a pair of shoes, realized I hated them, realized that keeping them anyway wasn't going to get me my money's worth from them, and put them in the donation bag.
It was a lot of puttering: allowing myself to be led by what caught my eye next, instead of trying to work in a steady line across the room. And so the net effect is of a nice overall improvement, mostly in the dining room, though I also have the private satisfaction of knowing about the change in the basement a visitor wouldn't see.
And this morning I melted a bag of frozen pineapple juice into the sink, which doesn't SEEM like a big deal, and ISN'T, except that it marks The Attitude Change that comes with working steadily to improve the state of the household: I've noticed that instead of thinking, as I have for probably a year, "Oh, yeah, that bag of pineapple juice---we're obviously not going to use that after all, and anyway I'm sure it's no good anymore. Well, no sense dealing with it right this second if I'm not also going to deal with the bag of bread ends we're apparently never going to feed to ducks, and also tidy up the freezer in general, and anyway there's still plenty of room in there so there's no rush," I yoinked it when I noticed it and brought it upstairs with me and plunked it into the sink. Maybe later today I'll yoink the duck bread.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...