The reorg project has been in full swing for some time, and part of the challenge is the mish-mash of items that are stored in multiple places:
In most cases, that mish-mash made some sense on a case-by-case basis. But since I want to do some purging, it’s kind of hard to purge a collection of screwdrivers, for example, if they’re in three different locations. I pretty much have to put everything close to its final resting place before I can do a proper organized purge.
I have frequently called it a domino problem. For example, organizing some of the housewares and camping stuff is a bit painful when it is in at least two different locations, and moving it from one to the other requires me to move a bunch of other stuff out of the way to make room, which in turn means making room somewhere else for THAT set of items. Dominoes.
But paralysis by domino is a poor excuse / rationale for not being organized. And quite frankly, I don’t have the luxury of some of it anymore, not if I’m going to get my office working and organized properly.
I’ve already made a GIANT dent in the office and basement, Andrea has done a lot of stuff in the family room and toys from the basement to the office storage area, and we’re pretty close to being able to say things are all grouped somewhere. Like, “Okay, this is ALL the audio-visual stuff in the house all in one place, what am I keeping and what am I purging?”. It’s still not going to be easy on some of it to decide to get rid as much as I hope to purge, but regardless, if I’m going to finish by the end of September, there are two giant areas left untouched. I need to dig into them just to figure out what’s there even, beyond the general idea I have already. I still have the first-floor alcove and the garage.
Today, Andrea and I tackled the garage. Most of it was going through about 25 small shoebox-sized plastic tubs that had everything from screwdrivers to drillbits, from Allen keys to tape, and from screws to brackets for shelving. Some of it went GREAT. It was easy to see where things went, easy to group them, easy to dispose of some stuff.
Other areas were not so great. Like, for instance, a bunch of things I have for curtain rods. Which I would LOVE to get rid off, but Andrea and I have at least four or five places in the house where we want to change the existing window coverings. So it seems premature to purge curtain rod holders before we know what we’re doing for those locations.
I also haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing with multiple sets of sockets and wrenches that are all jumbled together. Most are labelled well; some are not labelled at all or worn away. I’m tempted to keep the newest and/or best quality set, and ditch the rest. I have this vision of two small tool bags, one in the garage and one in the house, both relatively identical with a good set of each size of screwdriver, for instance.
But as I said, I need all the sets together in one place to then start dividing them up properly. Today was phase 1 of the garage, and we went through two large shelves of small items. It took about two hours and wiped me out. While it didn’t empty large areas of the garage, it was the major parts that take time since we had to open each little box, sort through it, decide what to keep or purge, and even for the purging, seeing if it was something that Andrea could give away on the local “free” Facebook recycling groups or if it was just garbage. Or even if it was garbage, was it e-waste or chemical or recyclable or just plain garbage? A thousand little decisions and it’s exhausting. The electrical work is going to be worse as most of that will be just me going through it, today I had Andrea helping me decide.
The funny thing is it likely looks worse after we were done with lots of piles of things all over the garage on tables here and there.
Phase 2, which I’ll do sometime in the next two weeks, is also going to be a bit brutal. A lot of “big” things to decide if we’re keeping or not. Tarps that we found useful for x or y purpose, but do we need all of them? Some toys of Jacob’s in the garage … do we keep toys for going to the beach to build sandcastles? Which we haven’t used in 5 years probably? Are we keeping all the balls we have looking forward to maybe having a pool next year to play with them in? Or do we purge them now?
And a giant set of questions for me around what I’m doing with my astro gear. I have an option to build a small enclosed parking area in the garage to put a rolling wagon in that would let me haul all my gear to the backyard relatively easily. But if I take that option, I would keep some nails and screws, plus a bunch of wood, AND I’d have to get rid of the workbench. Or I can try to fit it in where there’s a wardrobe now, maybe even using some of the wood from the wardrobe to build the cover. Or do I scrap the covered idea, and then I can get rid of the fasteners AND the extra wood that is there. I am definitely not going to be building any more shelves, and so I have a bunch of shelving that can be purged. Unless, as I said, I build that astro box. Sigh.
25 days left in September, so it will be crunch time.
And these are not the only things left to do, just some big areas on the list that have to get going so I don’t end up having to repeat purging steps.
Today I choose to tackle the first phase of the garage work, with two other phases to go. We (Andrea and I) made good progress, but there’s still a lot to do.
What choices are you making today?