After spending 6 crazy weeks going through Mom's stuff, making decisions about what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to toss, I resolved not to leave such a huge job for my beloved children and their spouses. The job at Mom's was complete on December 2 so that gave me a month to mull over how to attack Durwood and my house full of stuff. I got an inkling of how to handle a big, intimidating job while working to insert all the family pictures onto shelves until TW, AJ, and I can get together to go through them. *light bulb moment* I did a little at a time. Didn't exhaust myself with trying to wrap my head around the whole job, I just looked at about 6 linear feet and dealt with that from rafters to floor. I took the last week of 2011 and the first week of 2012 and made a tidy in the sewing/yarn area so I could use the expanse of floor and the lovely cutting table I kept from Mom's as a sorting and staging area, making one pile of trash and another of donations, keeps, of course, go back onto the shelves or into bins. I've realized that Tuesday's the best day for it because it's trash night so I can haul up the bags of trash, not letting them pile up either, and then carrying up the boxes and bags of donations for Goodwill, packing them into the capacious back of Durwood's van which I then borrow on Friday to make the donation and collect the receipt.
I started under the stairs and am moving around one section at a time. First came the liquor cupboard because there were boxes and bins of bathroom and linen closet things that moved from Liberty St. here 9 years ago and were not touched since.
Then the scullery shelves got it. Pots and pans, small appliances, the bin of kitchen gadgets (Durwood's beloved gadgets) got gone through, sorted and rearranged. Look at that open space!
I turned the corner and arranged the pantry shelves and the canned goods shelves below them. Outdated things were tossed, jars washed, and readied for new canning adventures.
Last Tuesday I worked the paper plates, disposable food containers, and all the bags and wraps from Mom's onto the shelves across from the washer. Below those shelves were 3 bins of old dive gear, most of which got tossed but one bin went to the dive shop to see if any hoses, etc. could be salvaged. Now the sauerkraut-making heirlooms live down there, ready to spring into action next fall because we're out of homemade kraut. Out! And we can't have that, can we?
I have a staging area that holds empty bins and boxes and the overflow yarn & fabric bins; and the things, like the nativity set, that were stored way apart from the other holiday things are kind of piling up in another area. But I suspect that by the time I get there I'll have opened up space to start working things in and getting it off the floor.
I'm enjoying doing this just a bit every week, one day's endurable and not overwhelming. I'm looking forward to getting the basement done (so we can really use the woodworking tools and build stuff!) and moving upstairs. I can't wait to see what's hiding in the depths of the front closet. I haven't seen most of that stuff since we moved.