The key to a good After pic is a very bad Before pic! One might use this to their advantage and "stage" their first pic, but usually that's not necessary. It certainly wasn't in our case. Here's the before:
As you can see, the garage had become a maze of mess. What you can't see is that our attempt at organization--big plastic boxes stacked on top of each other in the back corners--had put our boxes to the test, and they had failed. One was crumpling completely in on itself from the weight of the others on top of it. Plus, every time we needed to put something in one box, it was inevitably the bottom box, which meant we just dropped the item in the garage "to put in the box later." Later never came. Until today!
Jon constructed three heavy-duty shelves that would house big boxes and paper office boxes alike, as well as allow for some room to stash odd-sized things like my photography backdrops. He also got rid of THREE boxes of books! (And if you know Jon, you know that was quite a sacrifice for him.) On my part, I parted with all my fall and spring decorations (because I only decorate for Christmas. anyway), and all but one of my beloved crafts. I also went through house decorations from my college days. AND (sigh...) the ghetto-fabulous cat tree is seeing its last days. It's going out with the next trash run.... It's in the house now for its last hurrah, though I must say these cats are not nearly as enthralled as Friday had been. Hmph. Spoiled on store-bought toys, I guess.
The one big thing left for me to cull through is fabric. I've collected quite a bit of it, and it's just so dang useful I can't see getting rid of it. I have a trunk full (that would make an excellent toy box for Caleb...), bags full, and even more stashed inside the house. However, several of my friends have picked up the sewing bug lately, so I might just bestow some fabric on them as a way to encourage their efforts. It would make me feel better about parting with it. Some of my fabric, however, I'll probably never part with!
Something else I feel like I'll never part with are my memory boxes. A tradition we started as kids, my parents would give us a box to hold the memories of our year: awards, drawings, stories, and many many many random things. I guess John did it, too, but I would also guess it the idea was for me, the pack rat with way too many memories. (Hey, when you're as forgetful as I am, you need physical things to remind you...and I just happen to want to remember everything.) So, sad to say, I have numerous memory boxes. Big blue bin, two large Rubbermaids...all housing memories from grade school up. It's embarassing, really, but that's one thing I cannot look at objectively.
And there are still some things in the garage that seem like I will never be able to get rid of them--namely, my darkroom photography equipment. I just can't seem to get motivated to put it up on Craig's list, and the sad truth is that I'm afraid most of it will go in the trash. However, I'm ALMOST ready to accept that truth, because I refuse to move it one more time. I have to get it up on Craig's list, and what doesn't sell, I'll leave at the front door of the local camera store in the middle of the night. :)
So, without further ado, the After!
As you can see, the darkroom equipment is in the front left, and that will hopefully be gone soon, which will clear up even more space. What you can also see is the floor! And the lawnmower! Where did that come from?? And almost every box (excepting a couple of book boxes) are accessible on the shelves, with no stacking and piling (and crumpling) to worry about.
What you can't tell is that one of the big blue bins is completely empty (all decorations relegated to the garage sale pile!), ready for stuff from our back storage closet, when my mom comes and helps me organize that area. And maybe she'll help me with my memory boxes?? (Pretty please with sweet smile and puppy dog eyes!)
All in all, I'm so proud of what we accomplished today. We made some organizational advances that will help us wherever we go, and we got a good start on our overall clean-out as we prepare for Caleb.
NOTE: Notice that Jon's accomplishment was to clean out some book boxes. For as much grief as I give him about collecting so many books, I obviously have the hoarding problem in our house! :) Hence, I've labeled this post "personality" because I think it speaks quite clearly to the type of person I am.
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