We FELT like archeologists, and we certainly did a lot of unearthing as Lydia, Serena, and I spent most of the day Monday turning Ben Allen and Emily’s cluttered mudroom into a usable space once more. I didn’t think to take any “before” pictures, but you family members know what it was like — barely room to walk through it to the garage.
The first order of business was the unearthing. Although we didn’t have to be as careful and meticulous as real archeologists, we couldn’t call in the bulldozer, either. The girls began moving armloads of boxes, bags, and STUFF out through the garage to have room to sort. The goal was to take everything out, minus the freezer and furniture. By the way, Thomas children, your parents now have room to park 2 cars, count them, 2, in the garage!! But that’s another story. The girls took out the first “wall” of detritus in front of the shelves under the windows, while I sorted through saved paper and plastic bags, packing boxes and packing materials in front of the freezer and cabinet. By the time the shelves were visible, it was obvious that new shelves would be necessary. These were rusted metal, and one was so rickety that only the stuff all around it kept it from falling over.
Step 2: Beth goes to Lowe’s to purchase shelves. The girls continue moving things out and sorting. We had a burnable trash category, a garbage category, recycled cardboard consisting of excess boxes we broke down, recycled mixed paper, recycled plastic, and recycled plastic bags that have to go to Kroger. Then there was that mounting pile of things about which we needed to consult Emily. Lydia and Serena made good progress while I was gone, and while I returned and assembled the shelves.
Step 3: Vacuum the area beneath the windows, carry in new shelves, and go eat lunch! Emily had to leave for an appointment, but had said there was plenty of food in the frig. that we could snarf for lunch. Since Lydia and Serena evidently still had their archeologist hats firmly on their heads, the setting out of food for lunch turned into twenty minutes of refrigerator archeology! Serena specialized in ferreting out containers of aged food that would frighten a skunk, but which Emily can no longer smell since she had the concussion. They thinned out the population of fast-food condiment packets, and collected all the candy stashed in different places in the frig. The entire bottom shelf is now filled with candy! Serena is happy to report that, at least for a little while, her grandparents will not die of food poisoning by eating something from the refrigerator.
Here is a picture of the new shelves, with the allotment of things I, the head organizer, decreed Ben Allen and Emily could keep. There is one stack of box bottoms that Emily likes to use in the truck of her car. One bag of grocery bags, one bag of small bags, one bag of flat bags, one box of shipping boxes, one box of packing material, one box for the cans they save and use…..you get the picture. Oh, and here’s the picture…. The window treatment is temporary while Emily has the curtains washed!
Step 4: Empty out the other side of the room, disperse items as above, vacuum, figure out where to put things, ad infinitum. This is what the mudroom looked like when we were done. The first is looking from the garage door toward the house door.
Here’s the view looking north out the door that points toward the chicken coop.
And finally, this one is looking toward the garage door.
A good day’s work! Anyone want to take bets on how long it stays that way? Emily promises that she will be a good girl, but I noticed in the first picture that there is already a box on the floor that wasn’t there when we left on Monday!