Saturday, April 14, 2012

Backroom Odyssey

For ages now I have been avoiding something.  I firmly pretended it was fine and nothing at all was strange in my behavior.  The time has come to give in, however, so today I cleaned by backroom. 

Storage?  Nope, my spare bedroom.
A very long time ago, this room was my office. I had bookshelves, a desk and lots of space.  This very messy, disorganized area was once sparkling and became my haven from the world.  Then, I got a roommate and had to give it up for about six months.  Afterwards I never bothered to clean it up again.  It was worse than this at one point, so full of things that it felt like a warehouse- there was a tiny path to the dogs kennel and my office chair, but everything else was full of boxes!  The boxes are now in the closet (most of them), but the amount of clutter in here couldn't be rivaled by many antique stores.

Something had to be done.

I decided that today was the day, that I could stand it no longer.  At 11:00, I began.  Late, I know, but hey, Saturday is the only day I get to sleep in!

I started with the desk.  It's where I spend most of my time anyway, but the usable space had shrunk to the tiny bit immediately in front of the monitor.  The pen cup was inaccessible behind the speakers, one speaker was on the floor behind the desk, loose dvds and cds littered the bookshelves and desk shelves, and random papers stuffed every available nook.  Nearly three years worth of junk all crammed together, breeding. 

After I started, I lost track of time.  Initially I was just cleaning the desk and the bookshelf, but once I began I couldn't stop!  Worse than craving Pringles was my need to clean this darn room!  Besides the desk there were other problem areas- mainly the floor!
The kennel was covered, the dresser boxed in, and my craft supplies heaped in box after box. 

Somewhere in these pictures are my entire yarn stash, all my beading supplies, four sewing projects, the sewing machine, and three boxes of random craft stuff.

I worked hard.  The desk was cleared of everything, shelves and drawers emptied and dusted.  As I cleared it I sorted junk into separate boxes- things that don't belong in here, random papers, craft supplies, office supplies, and garbage.  Once the desk was unearthed I turned right and began going through the boxes on the floor.  Half were filled with random things and became emptied as I sorted them into the proper containers.  Most of the boxes covering the kennel turned out to be shirt boxes, empty and waiting for Christmas.  I broke them down and put them in the closet, along with 6 other random boxes floating around the room.  I vacuumed, shifted the filing cabinet beside the desk, moved the kennel (and vacuumed it, darn Shitzu sheds like crazy when he isn't shaved!) and then decided to move the bookshelf.  Sadly, it did not survive the move.  Well, not as a whole . . .

For whatever reason, insanity I presume, some bookshelf manufacturers make them in two pieces that you stack.  When it was first built this bookshelf was very sturdy.  Four years of being overweighted and ignored were enough to cause the connectors to shift.  As I slid it diagonally away from the wall the center bent away from me.  The panicky squeak in my voice brought the man right away (he spent the afternoon at the kitchen table writing a term paper).  He decided to lay it down and slide it outside, determining that it was dead.  As he did so, the top detached and the bottom . . . disintegrated. Not a single piece of five was still attached to another.  I was laughing too hard to take a picture of that (it was amusing, it fell apart just outside the front door!), but I did manage to salvage the top. 

Luckily the mishap with the bookshelf was the worst offender.  I untangled two boxes of random electronics (cables and powercords must grow like pea vines, all in curlicues and tangles) and vacuumed again.  Finally, a room with room in it!

Now that the room is clean I have learned many things.

1) Use heavy duty trashbags or you'll be picking up again going down the hall.
2) The cat is not a help but will back down things in boxes.
3) Water cups should not be below a shelf you are dusting.
4) There are never enough plastic totes.

Tomorrow I am going through the craft supplies and reorganizing them.  That's the double stack of boxes next to the shelf with the lamp on it.  Plus about half my bedroom closet.  Weee!

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