Friday, October 29, 2010

The Book Doctor Is In

We've been doing some very serious cleaning around here as we were preparing for Jeff's fourth birthday party.

I managed to sort through a lot of things in my kitchen, especially after Chris repaired the larger double door cabinet. The repair job of the cabinet cost him $1.02 in scrap wood from the bin at Home Depot, but to me, the repair was priceless! The trouble was there was no ready stud for the cabinet to hang properly on. The previous owner 'solved' that with a very scary jury rigging involving badly screwing the side into a corner cabinet and using a board propped over the wide doorway to wedge between the cabinet and the one on the other side of the room. Mickey Mouse had better ideas, methinks. But no matter. It was creative I suppose, if rather dangerous. Chris instead created a solid bracer through the cabinet that was set low enough to reach some solid studs and will now support most of our dinnerware plates and bowls and such. Once that was done, it practically doubled my above the counter cabinet space! I was able to organize so much in the room! There's still the matter of the shelves in the corner cabinet that need some better settings. They came undone inside and crashed down one day, crushing a few glass items. I'm using that space for plastic tupperware at the moment...

But once the counters cleared of the clutter that needed to be in cabinets, I was able to organize the school and art supplies. That's going to make our arts and crafts time a little less of a hassle. I was able to get through the odds and ends much more easily because they were whittled down.

I used an old jar to start collecting crayon stubs. I have a project in mind for trying with these, but I'm going to with-hold the idea until testing proves it to work.

One of the things I got to was all of the well loved kids books that had come apart from love or simply began shedding their pages from age when the weakened paper pulled apart from the old staples. I repaired 9 books with packing tape. I know they won't last forever, but maybe if they last for another kid or two it might be nice. We really love and use our kid books collection. The shelf is very packed. Once in a while I go through and thin out the less popular selections. But I think it's inevitable that it's going to need two shelves for picture books here soon! We have lots of grade school chapter books else where, and the lowest shelf is full of the baby board and fabric books. The shelf above it is full of kid magazines generously gifted to us by Chris' mother and tucked into magazine holders (of which we also need a couple more of soon for the growing subscriptions)and also brimming with what Sam terms his 'research' books- small sets of science encyclopedias, biographies and history related books. The non-fiction kids shelf.

There is another shelf above these yet, but it, and the top of the shelf, are packed and teeter-tottering with VHS cassettes. My next target is to begin translating these into DVD copies so they can be sorted into DVD envelopes much more compactly, preserving some of the more worn copies by duplication, as well as preserving my eyes from the sore, and making available a lot of the videos that are often overlooked because of how densely they are double rowed and packed out of immediate reference. There are literally hundreds of these, mainly because the price is right. It's hard to pass up a lot of these at a quarter a piece at tag sales. But the collection is getting bulky and something must be done!

I've never been much of an organized person, personality wise, but the ease and the appearance that comes with getting stuff sorted out is becoming a sort of release. The more I free myself from clutter in big and small ways, the less mentally and emotionally thin I feel.

I hope the desire to organize my life sticks with me a while. I've still got a lot that needs tackling. Probably a good few years worth at the very least! And after that I need the stamina to keep up with the methodology to keep it from remounting against me!

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