Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Cleaning

After weeks and weeks of significant and successful (depending on how you look at it) procrastination, I am finally biting the bullet and attempting to tackle some spring cleaning.  You can tell how well it's going, since I am writing at the moment instead of cleaning.  In my defense, I was cleaning alongside Jake, who was pressed into service since he decided he wanted to spend the day at home rather than at his grandparents'.  See if he ever does that again.  Anyway, he was working on his task, and my vacuuming was bothering him, so I came upstairs to throw in a load of laundry.

I am trusting that Mother Nature is now on an even keel, and I'm washing the winter coats, along with a collection of miscellaneous sweatshirts that have piled up downstairs.  So, if we get snow tomorrow, I may have to accept some responsibility.

Our house is a little funky (not the smell, although it could use some airing out).  We have a small room-type space when we walk in out of the garage.  It is up one step from the garage, with four (plus one more) steps up into the kitchen, and four steps down into the basement.  The room is only 3-4 feet wide, but spans the almost the depth of the house.  For lack of a better term, we call it the breezeway, although one could debate endlessly about its true name.  But I digress.  This room is disgustingly filthy.  It is where all of the outside dirt, mud, asphalt (I often wonder how this happens), grass and whatnot gets tracked.  Ideally, the room works great, but somehow, it actually doesn't.

There are coat hooks to hang our coats on.  Yeah right.  My coats get hung up.  Sophia throws hers on the shoe rack.  Jake takes his off and throws it on a chair (or floor) in the kitchen.  And Pat, well, Pat's ends up in the kitchen.  Or dining room.  Or living room.

Our shoes go on nice little shelves, or in a big bucket for the kids.  I usually kick my shoes off in a pile, without bothering to place them back on the rack.  The kids put theirs near, and sometimes, even in the bucket.  Pat's end  up in the kids' bucket.  Or the kitchen.  Or the dining room.  Or the living room.  Pat got frustrated about my shoes a few weeks ago, and pulled out two big plastic bins and pitched my shoes in them.  However, he just randomly threw the shoes in there, so I have had to go searching in each of the two bins, as well as on the racks to find a matching pair of shoes, especially now that it is warmer (fingers crossed), and I'm pulling out spring and summer shoes.

Anyway, our breezeway has become a catch-all place for all of our miscellaneous crap (like Jake's Native American Pueblo house out of 3 shoes boxes, from November 2011).  It really needs a good cleaning out, so I'm tackling it.  I already have a full 13 gallon trash bag.  Bible study crafts, old paperwork, plastic bags, and yes, the pueblo are all gone.

My kids' school is doing a fundraiser, which is helping me to clean out.  We are collecting gently used (without holes) sneakers.  It is through Green Sneakers, and they clean and refurbish sneakers to give to children in poor areas.  I knew this fundraiser was coming up, and have been hoarding sneakers that I would have otherwise tossed.  Jake's project was tying or binding the shoes together and bagging them up, so I can get them off my breezeway bring them into school for donation.  The Biels are donating 17 pairs!

(I don't usually ask for things from my readers, but if you're local to me, and would like to donate some gently used sneakers, email me and I can pick them up.  It is a fundraiser for our school, but it is also Earth-friendly, as it is REDUCING WASTE, RECYCLING PRODUCTS and HELPING THOSE IN NEED!)

Amongst the things I have to deal with on the breezeway is a box from my grandmother.  It has some of her scrapbooks and things in it.  When I say scrapbooks, I mean, this woman had probably 20 (not including the 12 that I got suckered into taking about 10 years ago) albums of stuff (no pictures).  My grandmother saved every card, every wedding invitation, every thank-you, in addition to cutting out articles in the paper about people she knew.  The scrapbooks illustrate her life, what was going on and who was in it.  And I feel horrible for saying this, but they're virtually meaningless.  What do I do with them?  I'm not ready to pitch them, but I'm leaning towards that, eventually.  I will probably go through them once or twice (seriously, there are a LOT of them), and pull out anything that has family meaning, but I don't know that I can save them forever.  I tried to go through some of her older scrapbooks once.  I stopped when I found a letter from my grandfather (away for his national guard training) to my grandmother, talking about how he "sure does miss the nookie."  Blech.

The washer with the winter coats is almost done, ready to go into the dryer.  The boots are put away in a closet (wish we could have a fundraiser to donate old boots...they get far less wear!).  The shoes for donation are all bagged up, and ready to be put in my car so I can remember to bring them to school this week.  The coats are cleaned out and hung up.  Now I'm ready to tackle cleaning the shoe racks.  I think.

Wish me luck.

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