When you live in a small space, it rapidly can become cramped, chaotic, and collect dirt. Forget the vacuum and broom–the dirt is under, behind, between, and betwixt. Dust collects, items can’t be found, and stuff…is everywhere!
There is no way to cope when the chaos takes over, and the only way to regain control is to engage in warfare, spring cleaning style!
In a cramped space, unused items don’t have space to stay. The changing of the seasons means that the past season’s gear needs put into alternative storage…be it under-the-bed or in the storage unit…or wherever you have to put it. The items that ARE being used now take precedence! In the meantime, that dust, grime, grunge, and chaos that has begun to get a grip on your daily existence needs to go.
In our case, it’s taken over. We’ve had a very busy month, and over the past two weeks, we were home just long enough to sleep, do a bit of work, and head out again for several days. That meant that we were home just long enough to make a mess, actually.
That needs undone, and our winter gear needs gone through, packed up, and put into storage for our long summer. We will need few blankets, few jackets, and far less clothing than we have over the winter. In addition, I’m taking this opportunity (?) to weed through clothing, discarding items that we don’t wear, that don’t fit anymore, or are worn out. That means three piles: store, donate, and trash.
First on the agenda is the clothing and bedding. That’s a serious priority, as with EVERYTHING all jumbled together, we can’t find anything at all! That starts with the fact that our travel trailer has literally zilch for storing of clothing–just two tiny closets (one is about 8″ wide…and as useful as teats on a boar, as my father would have said.)
Second on the agenda is “Heap Big Pile” in the “living room.” Heap Big Pile is a mysterious jumble these days of mismatched boxes and plastic bins, hiding who knows what. With the addition of one chihuahua to our family, we really need to find a better location for his crate than on top of a tool box. Dealing with the winter’s accumulation of mystery stuff is critical, and requires good weather–most of it has to be shifted outside during the big clean up for at least a couple of hours. I don’t want to try and sort through this stuff with the pressure of an incoming storm over my head!
The third item on my agenda is the paperwork that has accumulated on the table and benches. Once upon a time, it was orderly, but one of our cats, aka Destructo Cat, decided that rearranging and creating a challenge for me was part of his purpose in life. Now, the former stack is strewn over both benches and under the table in an impossible mess. Apparently, he didn’t realize that I did not need that, or else he figured it was a good way to retaliate for our prolonged absences over the past few weeks. I’ll get to spend a considerable amount of time with our filing box and the trash can as I sort through the now combined mess of real paperwork, scrap paper notes, and junk mail, made more interesting by combining it with research material, magazines, and some books.
Last, but not least, is the Swamp Thing. It needs cleaned out, and the motor needs worked on. In addition, the battery may need charging. Examination a couple of weeks ago indicated that a large quantity of leaves had found their way inside of it, and the tarp cover had come off too. In order to go fishing, that needs taken care of…and I want to go fishing very badly! This will fall entirely on GM’s shoulders–I’m utterly useless at working on a motor, and I have no idea how an outboard motor is tuned up in the spring, nor what needs done to the trolling motor. I haven’t even operated either one myself in decades.
After all of that is done…then comes the van. I want it cleaned out, vacuumed, and items that we store and carry around with us in it all of the time put back in with order instead of the chaos that has taken over the past few weeks. I had no idea where anything was, and I’m reasonably sure that GM didn’t either! We also have some minor maintenance things to take care of with it, like replacing windshield wiper blades, etc. We also need a wiring harness put on it to run the trailer lights, another mysterious task to accomplish. The only other vehicle that I personally put the light attachment on was very simple–I bought a gizmo from the auto parts store that went into one of the taillights. A wire dangled out of the side of the lens, with a plug in for the trailer lights. Simple, cheap and efficient…it worked on that small car for handling the trailer lights. I have looked for one of those cheap gizmos, and apparently it was too simple–I haven’t found one for sale anywhere!
I also want to get the windows washed on the trailer. It’s amazing how much grunge collects on them in a relatively short period of time. The trailer itself also needs a bath, and the roof needs it’s quarterly check for debris, etc. as well, another GM job. I’m pretty lucky that he’s handy, willing, and able to take care of all of these pain-in-the-neck minor but time consuming tasks.
It looks like such a short list, but in reality, combined with the normal living efforts, I’ll be thrilled if we have it done by the end of the week.
I find that amazing…all my life, spring cleaning was normally achieved in a weekend, with a second weekend for the yard…and with so much less space, it’s going to take me so much more time to get it done and with GM’s help too. Somehow, that befuddles me…we don’t even have curtains to wash or carpets to shampoo!