It all started because of the socks. For the last couple of years we’ve had this whole laundry basket just full of socks. The kids just walk into our room and fight through the pile to find what they need, and the pile never gets any smaller. It’s just one of the many mystifying things about socks, you know?
So I’d recently bought one kid a huge bag of black socks, and he was tearing through the basket looking for his socks, which weren’t there, and he was grabbing anything black while griping about our “system” which is obviously not a system at all, and is honestly a pretty big fail. He was upset with me because he thought the socks were mostly mine, but I said all the colored socks were his sister’s, and he suggested I just throw those all out. I think he was kidding… But well, she hasn’t lived with us for 8 months, and has likely grown out of those socks anyway, and I knew he had a point. Then I thought, why, I’ll just fix this whole mess today. I’ll pair up all the pairs, discard all the non-pairs, and maybe even have a separate holder for black vs white socks. They could live above the washer/dryer and not on our bedroom floor. I was inspired!
Then I realized that the socks were only one of three major problem areas in our room, which is far too large for people like us. We aren’t the type to build a lovely lounge area in all that space. We are hoarders of the worst kind because we don’t actually want the stuff that gathers all around us in boxes and laundry baskets. We just can’t seem to get it out of the house or stop it from coming in!
So then I thought, why, I’ll also sort all the books we have stored in these giant boxes today, and decide what goes and what stays, and life will be pretty and organized, and the shelves won’t overflow because I’ll fix that too. And I looked at the two large boxes of books on the floor and realized that we needed a serious donation area set up so we could handle this all efficiently.
I got to thinking how great life was about to be for us! We’d have all this space, and maybe I’d rearrange and make us an actual loungy area. Ah, but the next big project is supposed to be finishing the kegerator that’s waiting patiently in the garage for a proper tapping system. See, we’ve been making beer and kegging it, but the system is what John calls “college” at this point, and I have a plan to add real taps and stuff, and then we can entertain and share our quite fabulous beer. But the garage… Well, the garage was disgusting. It was the kind of project that’s hard to start because you can’t even imagine it as a finished thing. There was furniture for the dump and charity, and cobwebs and leaves, and spiders, and so much junk, even though we made sure we had room for one car, since we have four cars actively using our driveway now.
It was a big job, the one that I’ve put off doing for well over a year, and the one that John’s been waiting for someone to help with. So I went and sat at the computer for a minute or twenty to think on it, and this same sock-hunting kid came into my office and reminded me that I’d sat idle the entire day Saturday, and I should get up and make him delicious pancakes. Of course I said no, because seriously? But I did manage to get up, and an hour later I was dressed for mess and tackling the garage single-handedly. I filled the front lawn and driveway with things. So many things. Things like a dog crate for a 100+ pound dog, which I think weighed close to that itself. And a dog crate for a 70 pound dog. And half of a coffee table. And a frighteningly large amount of rope that I don’t think we’ve ever used for anything. That last one makes me nervous now that I see it in writing…
In between piling things everywhere that wasn’t the garage, I upset the mama spiders by mercilessly sweeping all the corners, up and down, and even sideways. Over near the hot water heater I found a dead bird, which was upsetting on so many levels. I’m pretty sure it didn’t have its head, which just made for more questions I didn’t want to ask or answer. For hours and hours I cleaned, heaved, slung, and nearly wept. Then John got home from work, and I could see the panic in his eyes. I’d taken on a huge job, and he had no clue what I wanted or expected him to do about it.
After a little bit of yelling (yeah, that was me, I was a little, um, into this job), the guys fixed a few heavy trouble spots for me, and I got back to work alone. Okay, alone except for when I started screaming like a maniac every time I saw a large bug (okay, I know, I know, but they were water roaches, and they were THIS BIG, seriously, and they were malicious!) and being rescued unceremoniously by the other kid, who finally went to get shoes since there were a good number of bugs to catch. He ended up helping on and off as I spent a few more hours cleaning and putting things back together. In the end, it was pretty awesome really.
There is now a space for the kegerator, some stereo stuff in a nice entertainment center thing, and a dart bard. There is a cozy spot on the old carpet for the weight bench to actually be used for weights instead of paint cans, lawn stuff all in one area, tools in another, a neat pile of stuff to donate, and a pile for the dump. The dead bird is waiting for burial outside. It was the least we could do really. The garbage is overflowing, and things still need cleaning, but this was an amazing transformation for a single day’s work.
Finally I stumbled upstairs to shower, and when I got up there I looked around at the untouched basket of socks, the untouched boxes of books covered in t-shirts that don’t even belong to us, and all the other assorted stuff that was taking away from my lovely future-dream lounge area. I may have said a curse word. Then I took more Aleve than I’m supposed to, showered in hot hot water, realized that moving any part of me in any direction hurt like mad, went downstairs for beer and football and passed out early. Today I can’t move without hurting, and I’ll have to tell the PT guy I’m seeing for my recently diagnosed rotator cuff tendinitis problem that really, it’s all so much worse now because of the socks. I’m sure he’ll understand.