Friday, September 3, 2010

The Domino Effect

We've all had times where the Domino Effect wreaks havoc with our plans.  You know what I mean  -  you set out to do something, but before you can do it something else needs to be gotten out of the way, but when you go to put it away, there's nowhere to put it so you need to clear space for it, and so it goes.

This week the Domino Effect happened here  -  but it turned out to be a good thing in a way.  I did get a lot more done than I would have if I'd been able to just finish what I started ...

As you may recall, I set out to clean, declutter, and organize my itty bitty workroom (you can see the "before" pictures here ).  One of the things I particularly wanted to do was weed through all the books and get the bookshelves properly organized, so I started by sorting all the fiction into three stacks:  keep, donate, and books I haven't read yet.  The books to be donated are mostly science fiction; they've been set aside for my best book-sharing buddy to go through, and whatever he doesn't want will go to the library or the thrift store.  The ones I haven't read yet went onto two shelves for easy access when I get some free reading time.  The keepers were packed up to go to the attic, where they'll stay until we get the family room downstairs finished.

And that's where the Domino Effect took over.

The attic was a disaster zone.  Between Big Guy moving stuff around last winter to find out where the leak was, and then the roofers moving stuff out of their way to install the new vents, and then Big Guy just opening the hatch and blindly tossing stuff up in the dark, absolutely nothing was still where it was the last time I was up there.  Boxes on their sides spilling their contents, Rubbermaid bins upside down so that when I tried to move them they shed their lids and emptied themselves, sawdust and shingle fragments and shreds of insulation everywhere ... honestly, I wanted to sit down and weep.

I hauled every single thing down out of the attic and piled it all in the living room. Then I re-packed every box and bin and bag, resisting the temptation to weed and purge everyone's stuff and confining that process to my own belongings.  Once that was done, I hauled everything back up the ladder  -  not an easy feat, and that part took much longer than the rest of the process  -  and grouped stuff according to whose it was.  So Big Guy's goods are to the west of the hatch, mine to the east, Youngest Daughter's to the north, and general household stuff, like holiday decorations, winter blankets, luggage, and so on are to the south.

Three days later I can finally cross the attic off the "declutter" list ... but the living room is now worse than before, since I found quite a few things I want to see if I can sell via Craigslist.  Oh, well, I'll get to them once I've finished the workroom.  Besides, I found the boxes of gorgeous slate-blue navy-rimmed Denby stoneware I'd stashed "for when the kitchen gets reorganized"  and decided that now's as good a time as any to dispense with the cheap Chinatown-dollar-store plates and bowls we've been using and get the nice stuff into the cupboard.  (The Denby was a thrift store bonanza  -  I could never have afforded even one place setting new, but I got eight each of dinner plates, lunch plates, and bowls for less than thirty dollars!)  So the Denby is in the kitchen, and the old dishes are stacked on a table in the living room; I don't dare just get rid of them (much as I'd like to) without Big Guy's approval, since the kitchen is more or less his domain.  I have a feeling they'll end up in boxes in the attic ... hoarding runs in his family, and while he's not as bad as most of them it's a major battle to convince him to let anything go.

By the time all the dishes were changed out, I was getting pretty hungry, so I took a microwave chicken pot pie out of the freezer.  While it was cooking, I got fed up with the mess the cookbook shelves over the microwave had become, so I took them all down and re-shelved them properly ... which in turn created more clutter to go through  -  all kinds of odd things had made their way onto the shelves at the hands of Mister I'll-just-set-this-here-until-I-get-around-to-putting-it-away.  Not my clutter, though, so it's all in a box waiting for him to sort through it when he gets home from his fishing trip.

So, the Domino Effect in action:  decluttering and organizing my workroom turned into decluttering and organizing the attic, which turned into decluttering part of the kitchen, which turned into more clutter in the living room and a car stuffed full of stuff to drop off at the thrift store ... but although it may not be immediately visible, progress is being made.


  1. Awesome! Congratulations. Doesn't it feel good?

  2. It does indeed - but that's nothing compared to how good it'll feel when it's finished!


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