Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Holiday Work

One awesome thing about the holidays is that Byrd gets an entire week off work. We didn't waste it! We finally moved stuff into our new garage, and... organized it! The result was the best Christmas gift ever.

We started by buying and assembling industrial-strength shelving.

 Then we started hauling Byrd's tools and whatnot into the garage...

Four circular saws, three drills, two brad nailers, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Can't forget all the stuff in the back office, which is still torn up 3 years after we started remodeling it, in part because we can't put it back together when it's being used as a storage room for construction items.

Oh yeah, and don't forget all the stuff in the garden shed...

The 5-gal buckets on the right were FULL of random items, from screwdrivers to PVC joints to electrical outlets.
As we pulled stuff into the garage, we went with a "Clean Sweep" kind of strategy: one spot for "keep," one spot for "sell," and one spot for "toss."

Then came the hard part... sorting the "keeps." The first day, Byrd reeeallly wanted to keep every little loose screw and nut and washer.

It was hard to even know where to start.
My sister K and my mom helped out a lot!
By the second and third day, Byrd was too tired to care as much. We threw out a lot. The garbage men probably cursed us when they emptied our heavy, overflowing trash cans.

The shelves are full, but everything has a place.

The three multi-drawer boxes (hanging on the wall) turned out to be invaluable for sorting the loose tiny items Byrd wanted to keep. And boy did he have a lot. We used ALL of the small size drawers (total = 90)!

We also got this nice wall-hook system for the opposite wall. Turns out we have 4 extension cords, 2 air hoses, 3 ladders, and 31 long-handled tools (shovels, rakes, etc).

Now, if you don't work in construction, you probably don't know (and don't need to know) that most hardware you buy in construction quantities, such as nails and screws, come in flimsy cardboard boxes. Cardboard is really not a problem normally because you use up the hardware quickly and then go get new boxes. If you are like Byrd, however, you're not organized enough to know where your box of nails is, so you go out and buy a new box of nails for every project. When you attempt to organize, you discover you have six half-empty, rotting, torn cardboard boxes with nails falling out of every rat-chewed corner. In some cases the nails aren't so much "in a box" as they are "in a pile, with some bits of cardboard for company."

So I went and bought about 30 plastic boxes to hold the hardware. And labeled every box, so there won't be anymore "I can't find it so let's just buy a new one." There is no longer any question how much we have, and of what.

I love the end result, which is a garage where both our cars still fit.
Unfortunately, we still have a storage unit to clean out. It's about the size of the garage. (I'm hopeful that we will be able to sell most of the stuff in it.)

Lest you fear that all my dogs got for Christmas was a stupid cardboard box, don't worry! Auntie K came through with a literal feast of squeaky stuffed dog toys.

"Stuffed" turkey, potato, corn, dinner roll, and greens.
Star shows off her own fat little "drumsticks."
(By the way, Star had her annual checkup yesterday, and got a totally clean bill of health. I was like, what, that's it? No medicine, nothing to keep an eye on, nothing to treat?? She's just completely different from Dozer... so easy.)
"The corn-on-the-cob seems overcooked."
Whereas the other stuffed items went to the trash within twenty minutes, Dozer took a strange liking to the dinner roll and has refused to destroy it.

This was our Christmas gift to the outdoor birds: a birdfeeder!

Apparently, this type of birdfeeder is not typical in our neighborhood. If it was, I would expect the birds to start using it easily. But it actually was very difficult for the birds to figure out. On the first day, the birds were just hopping on the ground underneath it and staring up at it. By the second day, they would fly into it and beat at it, trying to knock the seed out. Finally, a few of them tried to sit on the ledges, but they had a lot of trouble coordinating it, and three or four birds would try to get on one ledge at the same time, which always started a big fight.

It took about three days for them to get a system in place so everyone was using the feeder in an organized way. It was very interesting to watch them adapt. I suppose a birdfeeder is a pretty unnatural way for birds to eat, especially when they've never done it before.


Stephani said...

my little dog loves to lay completely stretched out like that with her rope toy, but our pitty can't quite figure out how to stretch his legs completely behind him. It's hilarious!

Kari in Vegas said...

hmmm wonder whats special about the roll

Stop on by for a visit

crazyjim said...

You should post pictures of your now totally empty garden shed and back office! Getting those empty is the good news. The bad news is that if you are starting with the garage already completely full -- on both sides -- that doesn't leave space for the soon-to-come new stuff, like the pool supplies, or gardening stuff, or bicycles, or ... I always try to build space for twice what I have. That way, I'm not squeezed for space for at least a short time -- at least a week or two!

Kimberley said...

Wow. We are jealous of the new garage and storage section in there. We are needing more storage room, but we dont have the room for a garage. So, we are building a shed. Cant wait until it is done!! :) Those pups sure enjoyed their cardboard box, but they did need some toys. :)

PoochesForPeace said...

ive been in cleaning mode too...

I have a question! Can you please give some input on these postcards im planning to make in support of HB14? I blogged about it here: but i just want some input on the look, language, idea of it all, and you know more about this kind of law stuff than me. So any suggestions would be welcome and helpful!! Thanks!!!