Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Cleaning: Garage, Attic or Basement

Sterilite Storage Bin, at Target

Today my Spring Cleaning project is to clean and organize my garage. It's half full of family keepsakes, Christmas decorations, and kitchen/home decor storage; and half full of merchandise for my eBay business. I actually have done a good job of sorting lately and have cleared about 25% of the garage. I'll never be able to park my car in it (there are boxes of photos and Christmas ornaments I can't ever imagine myself parting with, and I don't have a basement or attic or storage room), but I am creeped out by garages anyway and don't mind parking in my driveway.

My goal today is to move every box out of the garage (weather permitting - I don't want them getting rained on in the driveway), peeking in to see exactly what's in there, sweep and possibly mop the garage floor under them, sort and organize, and return the boxes I'm keeping back into the garage in an organized fashion. I expect this to be an all-day project, sigh.


  • If you didn't clean out your fridge yesterday during the kitchen project, do you need to clean out one drawer or one shelf today in both your fridge and freezer to keep on top of things?
  • Pamper your hands after you're done with cleaning projects today. Use a sugar scrub on the back of them, give yourself a manicure, freshen polish, and apply lotion and moisturizer as needed.
  • Know what meals you're sending with your kids in their lunchboxes this week? Plan menus and pick up groceries if you have time today.
  • Set out the clothing you'll wear to work tomorrow so you won't have to rush so much in the morning.
  • Laundry done for the weekend? Folded and put away? I intend to not let my regular Sunday routine (washing sheets and towels) collapse just because I'm doing a huge Spring Cleaning project today too.
  • Can you book some down time for yourself tonight, to relax, snuggle up on a couch with a blanket and perhaps a pet, read a magazine, or watch a half hour comedy?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Garage Organizing

Evercare Corn Broom, at Target

So .. my garage.. is really, really cluttered and messy. (Except for the 20% path I've been able to clear by decluttering! And the half of it devoted to merchandise is nicely sorted and organized, because I need to find my items quickly in order to ship fast and keep customers happy.)

I'm a pack-rat but not a hoarder - I can throw things away, but I do cling to things with sentimental value. Things such as porcelain dolls my mom made, family photographs, two boxes of my old record collection, and three or four boxes of handwritten letters that friends and family have sent me over the years. I'm proud to say though that in the past six months, I've made great strides in getting rid of things. I've removed photographs from their bulky old albums (though they're now terribly disorganized, tossed in a Sterilite tub) which cleared out about three tubs worth. I donated my childhood dollhouse and also my best friend's childhood dollhouse (with her permission). I started slowly selling many of the Madame Alexander dolls my mom and I collected (keeping a few favorites, and selling the rest at a loss just to clear up space in the garage).

There are some useful things I can't imagine ever parting with, though I can help the situation by not buying any more Christmas decorations, for example. I have around 13 tubs of Christmas decorations and lights, though I may pare that down in coming years if my nephews don't come over here for Christmas any more. The rest of what's stored in my garage are kitchen appliances, extra dishes, and some belongings of my former teenagers are in four Sterilite tubs.

What I hope to be using several of today, for things that can't be recycled or donated

Today I will try to throw away, give away or recycle as much as possible, then organize the rest. I'll pay special attention to my merchandise - I need to take inventory and reorganize it so it takes up less space. I've had some big Spring sales this month, and that's helped clear out some of the old inventory.

As I work, I'll remind myself that it's important to not add to the problem. Stop acquiring. Use and enjoy what I have. Replace it if it breaks. Get rid of 1-2 items before bringing in something new.

Today is going to be a very long, dirty, spider-infested day! I hope late tonight around 10pm I can collapse in front of the TV with a beer and put my feet up and successfully report cleaning out my garage wonderfully!

I challenge you to spend today cleaning your basement, attic, garage, or wherever you store your "stuff."

LOVELY BLOGS: Whisked Away

Jamie is a mom of four who moved from Arizona to New Zealand with her family. (You can follow their New Zealand Adventures at her other blog, The Young and the Restless). She's sharing her experiences cooking with new unfamiliar ingredients, which I find fascinating. Recent posts include a battered ciabatta ham and cheese melt, baked salted caramel popcorn (baked?), apple orchard bars, and tortellini chicken noodle soup.

Whisked Away on Facebook

LOVELY BOOKS: Floral Emblems

I can only assume the gorgeous floral illustrations in this 1825 book were hand tinted, since color printing hadn't been invented yet? I don't know much about the provenance of this book, but I thought some of you (especially the arts-and-craftsy types) might enjoy getting inpsiration from the flower pictures here. This is an early example of the "Language of flowers" that was so popular in Victorian times (this book was written during the Regency era). Skip over the boring text and head straight for the pictures, I say!

Floral Emblems, on The Internet Archive

LOVELY BOOKS: Homemakers: A Domestic Handbook for the Digital Generation

Author Brit Morin walks you step by step through the rooms in your home, giving advice on how to fix them up with DIY projects and modern technology advancements. The introduction also has a nice history of homemakers. I almost have to wonder if she's old enough to have actually made a home long enough to offer much useful advice, and I don't mean that in a snarky or negative way. This is a really "maker" focused book and could be really inspiring if that's your thing.

Homemakers Book, on Amazon


This Latvian crafter creates exquisite, adorable baby booties, mittens and knitted caps. There are bees, strawberries, Spring tulips, christening shoes and knitted summer sandals.

I'm having a really hard time choosing a pair for a friend's newborn baby girl - perhaps I will end up selecting these orange and green summer sandals.


Cake-Themed Origami Paper (Random Good Stuff)

Five Things I Learned When I Said Yes to My Daughter for 24 Hours (Huffington Post)

The History of the Toe-Cap on Shoes (Look Online)

How to Perfect Roast Chicken (BBC Food)

Raspberry Ricotta Cake (Orangette)

Snow is Delicious, But Is It Dangerous to Eat? (NPR)

13 Cute Plus-Size Jackets for Spring (The Gloss)

What Different Diamond Sizes Look Like on Real Girl Hands (PopSugar)

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