As last summer was the summer of the very long road trip (more on that later, probably in a different post), this summer has become the summer of home improvement. Honesty, ending one school year (our homeschooling year and my husband’s teaching school year), embarking immediately on a month long road trip across most of the US, and coming home just in time to prep and plan new school years left us very little time to do much of anything around the house. What began as a simple desire to declutter some of the mess that manages to find its way in our house has turned into an empty attic, almost empty garage, and rooms that should actually be painted. The painting seemed a good idea and relatively easy on the home-renovation scale. The kids’ rooms were painted a nice sky blue, and though I didn’t see it as “boys only,” it did feel “little boyish.” Plus, over the years, numerous stickers had been stuck on the walls near beds. So, fresh paint was a good excuse to scrape all stickers off the walls and neutralize the walls a bit.
We ended up choosing Dunn Edwards’ Sandcastle. I first saw it when my mother-in-law painted her house. It’s a beautifully warm and yet light color, changing with the light in the room. It doesn’t pop out from the wall and yet doesn’t dissolve into it either. In keeping with my desire for simplicity, I decided all three bedrooms would be painted, plus the hallway. I think my husband fears that will extend to the living room, kitchen/entry, and den. It probably will. But painting isn’t that big of a deal.
For some reason, cleaning out the bedrooms to get ready to paint turned into my husband declaring that the attic needed cleaning out. Now, before you picture wonderful “grandmother” attics, complete with rocking chairs, old chests full of treasures, and even a window overlooking the yard, let me explain by my loose usage of the word. Our attic is a glorified crawl space. I think Miss K is the only one who could probably stand up in there. We do have a drop-down ladder in the hall for access. But getting anything in or out requires staying very low if you wish to preserve your head. With that said, even with our “attic,” we did manage to fill it quite nicely. Three boys can collect many toys over the years. Add to that Christmas decorations, most of which we don’t even use anymore as we decided the electric bill was not worth it, and it doesn’t take long to fill the place. All of it came down, one box or bin at a time. I vowed that most of it will not be returning. There is simply not enough time in their lives to play with everything we have accumulated over the last thirteen years of child rearing. Our over abundance will make some other children very happy.
Well, with the attic cleared out, and with the promise that it will only house a few select things after this weekend, it was only natural for the garage to get in on the action. I mean, what’s a bit more mess. Not only does our garage house our stuff (think bicycles, bike trailers, skateboards, RipSticks, tents, coolers, baseball equipment … you get the picture), but still houses many of the things my dad left behind when he passed. I don’t think we will ever have use of a table saw, for instance. But when we inherited the house, we just kept everything. Much like the attic, the garage will be cleaned out and put back together with far less than it has now. By this point, and with the mess we have made, it seems moving might have been easier. We already have a large portion of our stuff “packed up” and ready to go. But I love our little house. It’s a nice house even if it’s a big snug around the edges. A little decluttering. A bit of paint on the walls. A cleaner attic and garage … maybe not the easiest things to do, especially with Miss K underfoot, but in the long run, much easier than moving.