Summer arrived in Chicago on Sunday. And by arrived (for those of you who aren’t familiar with our area), I mean that it went from 50s to 90s with 99 percent humidity in a matter of 48 hours. Or maybe less. My memory is a little hazy after being fried.
So with it beign that hot and us not used to the heat yet, what did I decide to do on my afternoon of quiet while the wee ones were napping?
I decided that I couldn’t stand the garage being so disorganized anymore. I couldn’t stand the mess, and no one but me was going to do anything about it. I’m debating making the garage and a potential inside parking spot for my husband his anniversary present (umm help – it’s Monday and I haven’t started shopping).
Apparently I’m on a bit of an organizing kick right now. Someday soon, we might even have a post showing an organized office. I’ve had that one planned for about two years now. I’m still working on it. Ahem.
The garage has not been thoroughly cleaned by me since we moved in almost four years ago. While my husband has swept it and done the basic maintenance like that, with only one car being parked in the garage and well, it being a garage, things get placed there and stuff accumulates.
Needless to say, I spent five plus hours cleaning and organizing the garage. It was hot work, and maybe not the best day to do it, but I’m proud of what I accomplished. And like any major task, it came with a few surprises.
Some of my favorites?
- The 2007 Christmas picture Back in 2007, my husband apparently took the wee ones to a mall without me to get their picture taken with Santa. It was the first year that Little Miss sorta knew who Santa was, and it was an experience I wanted to share with them. Soooo my husband apparently hid the photo inside a Gymboree bag and placed it under the wheel of his bicycle where I found it two and a half years later (see, I told you I hadn’t organized it in awhile).
- A gigantic plastic bag filled with pinecones The wee ones – especially Mister Man – are big collectors. They like to find rocks and acorns and sticks and leaves and well pinecones. While I allow them to collect these things, the mean mommy in me also makes them redistribute them at the end of our play session. My mom indulges them a little more, and I found a gigantic bag filled with pinecones tucked away under the workbench. If only we had a wood burning fireplace, I’d be set for starters for years.
- A tent Neither my husband nor I camp. Interestingly, we never have, and I’m not sure how we came into the possession of a tent – which I originally thought was a folding camp chair until I opened the bag. More interestingly, we appear to have all the poles but none of the canvas. It’s possible that this will end up in the garbage next week. Right now, it’s overflowing.
- Balls, balls, and more balls While both my husband and I play softball/baseball, the wee ones are not hugely athletically inclined as yet. They’re playing t-ball currently, but football, basketball, and soccer are beyond them right now. We’ve yet to buy any of this kind of sporting equipment. Yet I now have three large bins filled with four basketballs, two footballs, six soccer balls, and a tennis ball. I have no idea how they got in our garage.
- A box full of light switches, electrical outlets, and a smoke detector I’ll take the blame on this one – or at least most of it. Four year ago, before we moved in, I changed out all the icky dirty gross light switches and electrical outlets. I put in dimmers and all sorts of cool things. And I saved the old ones because I thought I was going to… I forget what. The smoke detector is all my husband though. Needless to say, they are now properly disposed of.
- A broken wooden bat and metal cleats with holes in the sides Those are both my husband’s. His baseball league does a few wooden bat games each year, and apparently he broke one of his (obnoxiously expensive) wooden bats. He kept it thinking that one day he’d tape it up for a fungo bat. And the cleats? Ummm the holes in the sides where he’d worn through them were the reason I gave him new cleats two years ago for his birthday. I also found the plastic color changing inserts for his new cleats in a different location. All are now in the garbage.
A variety of children’s artwork The wee ones apparently somehow emptied their backpacks from time to time without me seeing (or maybe on days when I was working?) and stashed artwork throughout the garage. Very bizarre.
- Two baseball gear bags Oh. Yeah. I remember buying those at the church rummage sale for the wee ones for this year when they started playing t-ball. I got them for $0.50 total, and they are perfect to hold their gloves and cleats and bats. Oh. Except that I forgot about them until I discovered the bag Sunday. There’s always next year, right?
Professional photos of the wee ones We had absolutely gorgeous photos taken by a local photographer two years ago. They were amazing. And last year sometime, they disappeared. I couldn’t find the small album anywhere. I found it. It was in our wagon. I have no idea. None.
On the plus side? I found no dead mice. Living as near as we do to a conservancy (it’s in our back yard), small creatures like to try to use our house as a home base. We discourage them – luckily cats tend to keep them out of our house proper. My husband has found two dead mice so far this year in the garage, both in different baseball gear bags of his. Every time I found a potential mouse hiding place, I brought it to him outside and had him search it. Phew. Nothing.
So what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found when cleaning?