Do you ever end up somewhere that you never meant to be?
Peter and I did recently.
Here’s what I mean…
This summer I decided to participate in our neighborhood garage sale. “Hey, Mom, feel free to bring over anything you want me to sell,” I told her, “And if you want to grab any of my stuff that’s still sitting around your house, you could bring that over too.”
Turns out there were lots of things I had yet to claim from my parent’s house. Also turns out that my mom had just been waiting for an opportunity to unload it all. Two carloads of stuff later, our third garage stall was full of boxes. Ooops! Me and my big mouth!
That was June. Fast forward to November, Peter was sick of having a mess in his parking spot and was worried that snow would start flying before he was able to get his car in the garage again. We spent most of a weekend sorting through my pre-marriage treasures as well as everything else that had accumulated over the summer. I tried to get rid of a lot, but it was cold and there was just so much stuff, so some of it (okay, many boxes full), ended up coming inside to our basement stairwell landing for further processing.
Although Peter could finally park in the garage again, for some reason, he didn’t seem to think this was exceptional progress:
Now to find a place for it all. Naturally, our basement storage area came to mind, but I realized within two seconds of opening the door that nothing else was going in there without some serious decluttering:
So my to-do list went from, Clean Out Garage, to Clean Out Stairwell, to Organize Basement Storage Closet.
But wait, the chain doesn’t end there, so stay with me. As Peter and I were discussing the best possible way to sort and store everything in the storage room and stairwell, we considered the fact that we have a whole section of empty cupboard space in his office.
At first I thought maybe I could get all my gift wrapping supplies into the cupboards, but as I tried to make sense of it, it became apparent that the cupboards weren’t wide enough for rolls of wrapping paper, there wasn’t a good way to organize gift bags, and I simply had too much wrapping stuff to make it work. “If only they hadn’t built this little bump out wall, we’d be able to fit in some tall storage,” said Peter.
“Maybe if there isn’t any duct work or anything hiding in there, we should take it out someday,” I said. Then it occurred to me, “so before we talk about what we should with all our stuff right now, maybe we need to figure out what our vision is for ‘someday’. Then we’ll know what’s going into the storage room ‘for now’ and what will always be stored there.”
So that’s when we sat down and realized that in a few years, we’d like to have a family computer for the girls to use too. When that happens, we want it to be in an open space that can be easily monitored, which means definitely not anywhere that can be behind a closed door. So ideally, in half a dozen years, we’d have a homework area in the family room. And since it makes little sense to have a kids homework area in our current already-a-little-crowded family room, when we have a big office with lots of storage and extra work space right next door, we decided… drum roll please… to knock down the wall between the two spaces and have one big family room/homework area/play space!
Someday, that is. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I know it will be expensive and will involve new flooring, paint (including ceilings), lighting, and well, basically everything will have to be replaced, but I’m so very excited about this! I think one big space will be much more conducive to having a real family gathering area in our house. And it’s so fun to dream. I want a nice crafts/homework area and Peter has plans for a big TV and possibly a pool table. We’ll see though…
Anyway, that’s how Peter and I started with cleaning out the garage and ended up deciding to knock down a wall in our family room! Like I said, somewhere we totally didn’t mean to go.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? It’s sort of habitual for me I think. My projects are always more involved than they seem to be at first glance, although this may be the biggest snowball yet!