Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pile-up on I-RHome410... Back Stories to the First Steps in the Quest for CleanUp

If my post title is that long, you can probably count on a wordy entry...  A couple of unrelated happenstances started the ball rolling in helping me start to organize our out-of-control house, so I can't tell the new story without including the 2 back stories.

Rendering of the proposed desk and tank location
If you've read through the My Family page, you know we have a fish tank.  Princess Artiste got goldfish for Christmas years ago, and we've enjoyed them ever since.  We quickly moved from a 1-gallon to a 10-gallon tank, and had planned space for a 50-gallon tank in the new house.  
But after moving, the cabinetry and funds for the new tank weren't readily available, so the 10-gallon tank has stayed in it's temporary location for 3 1/2 years.

Last year, when a friend went to college, Prince Steadfast inherited his large fish tank...about 55 gallons, as near as I can guess.  So when the prince recently moved his belongings here, the tank came, too.  Since he said it had its own stand, I decided to clear the spot in which I'd always planned for a large tank.

But...The stand was just barely too big for the location with the desk we have at the moment, and it was a bigger job than any of us wanted to take on to trim it down.  So the fish tank found a new home in the dining room.  (The ironic thing is that we were not able to relocate our fish into the new tank and do away with the smaller tank. Because one of the residents of the new tank, a cichlid, is too aggressive and was eating away the tail and fins of our goldfish and spotted cory, back home they went.)

But, now I had a nice, clean spot by my desk and Back Story 2 enters the picture.  

When I was 16, the first time I had my own room, my dad and I built a bookshelf from a home supply store kit.  After Dad helped me build it, I finished it in my choice of stain color and a few top coats of polyurethane.  It accompanied me to my first apartment and to the next 2 places I lived.  Besides being sturdy, a joint effort between me and my dad, and quite a personal accomplishment, at 5 1/2 ft tall by 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep, it's a very useful size.  It holds quite a bit, while not taking up too much room.

Then I got married to Hubby, who is a furniture snob.  a craftsmanship critic.  a furniture-, cabinet-, boat-, and home-building superstar.  There are great things about having such a guy around, but it means that, like the cobbler's family who did without shoes, we often do without rather than have used or 'chintzy' to store our belongings.  During our first move, unaware of the bookshelf's history, he only saw the particle board construction and thought it cheap, lowly, and not worth much care...Which explains the scratches at the top of one side from its unceremonious slide into the bed of a pickup with nothing to protect it.  
He felt a little bad about upsetting me, but still wasn't interested in seeing it in any of our homes.  It found refuge in his parents' basement, holding the educational supplies that had belonged to his mom, a former special education teacher.

When we cleaned out my in-laws' home, the shelf went with Prince Stoic to his apartment in the Big City.  When he recently moved to a much smaller space, it found its way home to me.... And amazingly, fit exactly in the space I'd cleared for the fish tank.  (Did you think we'd ever get back to the point?)

Other than the scratches down the side (needling Hubby in his own side), it still is sturdy, straight, and looks as good as new.  I decided if I was short on storage, there was no use this perfectly good shelf sitting empty in the carport getting ruined by weather.  And as luck would have it, that stain I chose 35 years ago is pretty close to a match for our natural fir woodwork, so I think it looks quite nice in our house.  Definitely better than the pile of things that used to (almost) hide in that corner.

But now I'm moving from back stories and into the first steps toward my household organization, so any more details should really wait until the next post.

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