Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Joy of Organization, and Run, River, Run.

It's just freakin' amazing how much we can get done when we're not sick and have no grandkids here, and we also have some deadline looming to light a fire under our butts.

Saturday it was gorgeous outside and we had this nor'easter looming, so we got several things done that we'd been putting off planning for a long time. First we made our first pass at re-digging a swale to direct the water from all along the side of the garage and driveway down to the drain at the curb. No, we didn't use any kind of fancy schmantzy levels or anything like that to figure out the drop. We just eyeballed it and started digging. We also dug a bunch of dirt from around and in the street drain. Once it looked ok, we ran the hose at the back and tweaked the gully until it flowed all the way through. The dirt we removed from this project filled in some pockets on the other side of the yard, where water from the neighbor's yard tends to do its little riverdance into ours. Tomorrow I'm going to put down grass seed and some "seed saver" mat in the gully to keep it from becoming a permanent mudpit.

After we played in the mud, we did some basic gardening. Von did the spring inaugural mowing, while I dug out a 4" stump from the bed in front of the porch, then transplanted a small azalea that was brought over from our old house. Von was thrilled that I gave the go-ahead to rip out this one ugly bush at the front corner of the house, since that was the best location to plant another plant that Dara gave me (though I can't remember the name - evergreen, dark green leaves with yellowish spots, forms a fairly big globed-shaped bush that gets grape-sized red berries if it's happy). Von was thrilled and started to dive into the project, but Mrs. Robin had other ideas - she was frantically putting the finishing touches on her nest in that bush, so the new plant got stuck in a temporary location until Mrs. Robin's babies are laid, incubated, raised, and out of the nest.

Because the weather put our garage at risk of flooding, I also finally finished the brackets to hold my scrap/extra lumber supply, got that moved up, and rearranged a few other things in the garage just in case it flooded today (which thankfully it didn't).

We then came in and started the process of doing some major organizing inside.

First, The Purge. Last night we scanned through as much of our known possessions for things that we could get rid of. We had a grand opening ceremony of someone from Freecycle coming to get the double mattress/box spring that has been sitting in our attic though we had no real idea of where/when we'd ever use it, then we dove in. We filled two boxes last night to donate to Habitat's yard sale, and piled it and a bunch of empty boxes in the car.

Today was First Pass Organization, which was a huge accomplishment. "First Pass" means that at least like things are together, and almost everything is in the room and potentially even the area in that room where they belong. Let me give you some perspective. See this?

That's the center area of the finished part of our 3rd floor. Up until today there wasn't even a path through there, things were piled so thick and so high, so to get from the stairs in the foreground to the small bedrooms to the right & left of the closets you see in the background you had to walk over or on all kinds of crap. Now everything has at least been pointed in the general direction of home and given a good hard shove.

And see this?

That's where the blower unit for the 2nd/3rd floor is going to go, in the unfinished part of the attic. What it doesn't show is that that entire side of the room is now empty. EMPTY!! It was piled high when we started. Of course, the OTHER side of that room is now piled even higher, but that's going to get fixed soon as well - it's amazing how many responses you get on freecycle when you offer up a stack of window air conditioners and some luggage!

But wait! It doesn't stop there!! I've talked before about having so many unpacked boxes... well, we still have some but probably only 1/4 of the original amount, and everything got opened and generally inventoried. And lots of little victories were a part of that task: The four boxes and two milk crates that had various cleaning supplies, plus the cleaning supplies fairly randomly stashed in the bathroom and kitchen cabinets, are now sifted through, consolidated, organized, everything put where it belongs, cleaning supplies distributed to logical locations, etc. I found two boxes of old children's books that I'd forgotten I'd had, because they'd lived in the attic of my previous house for 7 years; it's amazing how seeing a big stack of old Nancy Drew's can make me grin (published 30's - 60's, collected when I was a kid obsessed with Nancy Drew). And so many other little things.

Oh, and since realistically it's going to be a while before I install a pantry cupboard with pull-out shelves into my kitchen, finally today I removed the mountain of crap that had accumulated in the previously unshelved bottom 3' of the pantry closet, put two additional shelves in the pantry, hung up some more smaller shelves on the side walls plus a bar & hooks to hang things on, and voila! Look at the result:

Ain't it purty?!?

We celebrated with a delicious dinner of halibut marinated and cooked in mango/chile vinegar, olive oil, capers and cilantro; some creamy parmesan polenta (a mix - I'm not THAT ambitious after a long day of working!), and some fresh asparagus sauteed in butter and garlic. Actually today was a double-dose of yummy cooking kinda day, since for lunch I made salmon patties with onion, roasted pepper, cilantro, and vietnamese garlic/chili sauce (plus bread crumbs, egg & some mayo of course), then served it with a horseradish/lime tarter sauce. I love having the time and being in the mood to cook!!

Today was a good day. And NOW I'm going to celebrate with a chocolate martini.


Kathy said...

Great closet organization. Where did you get the behind the door shelving? I'd love to get some for my pantry.

RBottoni at optonline dot net

Georgetown House said...

Kathy, I found that at Lowes. For whatever reason, the one near us doesn't always have it - we got the one that's on the door a while ago (and it's been the best thing in the world for keeping plastic containers & lids organized - far better than any cabinet or drawer!) yet it was a long while before they had them again, so that we could get another one for the wall (where you see the canned/jar goods, on the right wall of the pantry).

Now, if it would only stay this organized!!!

Now if my