Thursday, May 14, 2009

Category 5

My house is a Category 5 disaster area. Oh. My. God.

A lot of factors have contributed to this disaster, the primary one being a profound lack of storage. Our house is a Cape Cod style, so we have three tiny attics that BJ is reluctant to put much into, and no basement. Our garage is full of stuff (not cars). We need to clean it out for the spring, but haven't had time. I really want to get the patio cleaned up (get out the pressure washer, put the new cushions out, put away all the junk that has accumulated through various projects) but it's not the kind of thing I can do with the kids around. Pressure washers + toddlers = bad.

I looked into PODS, but they don't serve this area (even though they're made locally - that makes a ton of sense). I think we may have to suck it up this year and get a storage unit. Right now, cleaning our house is like playing that game where you have 24 squares and one blank, and you slide the squares around to make a picture. We can't clean one area without destroying another.

Last weekend I bought 10 25 gallon totes (on sale at Menards) to sort the baby clothes into. I have one tote for each size, and they're almost full. We're going to have one hell of a garage sale, eventually... But right now, when we're not sure if we're going to have another one, it seems wasteful to sell or donate everything, only to have to buy it all again. You know that the surest way for me to get pregnant is to sell all the baby stuff, right? So, we have cribs and changing tables and clothes and toys everywhere right now. We're not using them, but I can't get rid of them, yet, either.

This house felt enormous when BJ and I moved in. Four bedrooms! Two bathrooms! What are we going to do with all this SPACE? Now, I feel like the walls are closing in on me.

How do you manage all your stuff? Particularly those of you who aren't done having children?

In other news, I owe the kids a Big Treat because they went to bed on their own last night with a minimum of fussing. I'll probably take them over to the zoo and get them lunch at Frozen Custard. I should probably get dressed, first. Don't want to scare the monkeys...


Anonymous said...

Nichole actually formed a company years ago in Charleston 'Neat Nic' and she and I have talked at length about how I could do that too... apples don't fall too far from the tree... I'm a pro at organizing as I've moved thirty times by the time I was thirty and HAVE NOTHING UNLESS IT'S ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! I completely discourage you from spending more money on a storage unit. There are ways of doing this that might be somewhat painful as you are not finished with your family but possible. It doesn't take two people to power wash a house... we do it every year, Chuck does it while I do yard work... if there were kids, I'd have no problem steering them away.... all you have to do is make arrangements with me and I'll come rescue you. That's what friends are for.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. We're reoding our basement so I can't store anything down there. the only thing where I have it easier is that I'm done having kids. Every season I go through the clothes, pack 'em in a box and send 'em to my sister in law who has a son one year younger than mine, works out perfectly. The best thing I learned over the years is to seriously get rid of anything you don't use often. It hurts sometimes but it's for the best. I went through MY closet last week and threw out about 5 garbage bags full, not kidding. I ended up with 3 extra shelves for storage in my won closet. ~Dori

RobMonroe said...

Trust that having too much space is a problem as well. We have so much space it's impossible to get my family to get their crap out of my house. Blessing/curse situation, you know.

Kaitlyn said...

I love SPACE BAGS! If you want to keep baby clothes and things of that nature you can store WAAAAY more stuff in a much smaller area than a tote. They're awesome and I highly reccomend them. I put all of Gracie's Newborn size clothes (poor things never even got worn since I had such a HUGE baby lol...) in one and I'm about to stick all of her 0-3 months in another.
You will like them, you will see! Try them! Try them! A-M-Y! hahaha...

P.S. What's up with the attic thing? Deac is like that too! I can't put ANYTHING in our attics...what a waste of space.

B.J. said...


The attics on the two sides of the roof are like 48" x 36" right triangles that run the length of the house. It's not a lot of space for much of anything and you _really_ have to not want to get into whatever you put at the far end because you are pulling everything between you and it out to get to it. Might as well as throw it away at that point, which I am a fan of for fixing the storage problem, unless, you know, it's my stuff (which is all important and necessary, I tell you).

We do have the crib and toddler bed in one and several boxes of our clothes in another so I would say they are well used but by no means full.

The attic over the center of the house has very minimal access (18" x 36" and BYO Ladder) and while wider, it is shorter.

Really, they are better thought of "conduits for wires and pipes" and not "attics".

Heidi said...

Ooh, custard. I miss the Midwest. No one on the West coast understands the beauty of a good frozen custard.

No suggestions for storage as I have the same problem, but without the "attics" or basement. The addition of the third (and final) kid nearly put me over the edge, mess-wise. I'm hoping to dump much of it at a garage sale this summer. Unfortunately, I have two friends who want me to keep the baby stuff because they plan to have (more) children in the next few years.

Great! Can they keep it at their house instead?@!

Susan K said...

I am a mom to 4. (1993, 1994, 1997, 1999)
Trust me when I say don't keep all the baby clothes. Pick one or two perfect outfits from each size and get rid of the rest. When/if you get pregnant again, you are going to go garage saleing/ shopping anyway. Even if you *know* you already have 8 storage boxes full. I am a firm believer that peace of mind and space to move around in are tied together. Getting crazy because of too much
stuff is so not worth it. Find friends that have kids and spread the wealth, you'll love seeing MG's dress on another little one. :-)

Kaitlyn said...

You sound just like my husband with all of those facts and figures!! You and Deac would get along well.
As a woman all I see is that there is space up there that I can SEE that he says is off limits...I'm pretty sure for the reasons you listed. Plus he says he would have to put in more support boards in ours.
But, since our attic is pretty much off limits and so is yours, and Amy doesn't want to get rid of her baby things yet, then go for the storage shed!
...we're like a year or two away from needing to get one, but I can see it on the horizon! :)