Just before Holy Week I caught the bug, the de-clutering, organising flu raging through blogosphere, although in my case it think it is more a case of extreme nesting.
Anyhow I decided it was time to organise our shipping container. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a ‘before’ photo. But to give you some background, when we moved onto this property we moved from a very large home to a very small home. Fitting nine people into a space not much bigger than our holiday cabin has been a challenge. One solution was to purchase a shipping container.
It sits out of sight up near the cattle yards and has been one of the best decisions we have made. When we moved PC organised it so clothes were up one side, furniture up the back, books were all stacked on top of each other etc. This was a good system but there were flaws. Mainly the book boxes. Because the boxes were sitting on top of each other I couldn’t access them and to further complicate matters the books weren’t really in order.
So I decided ‘The Time Had Come.’ Firstly we tackled belongings that we really didn’t need, the playpen that I had purchased for Koala and had never used since went, the TV cabinet that had no real purpose, possessions that I had not quite managed to let go of when we moved here all went. Then we started organising and seriously culling.
Down the same side as the clothes are CD cases and videos, baby furniture and kitchen items, Christmas decorations and children’s toys. It is all accessible now and culled way down.
Along the back are some larger items of furniture and boxes of our of season sheets, sewing items and in the drawers of furniture are baby items and picture frames. All were culled. These are not things that we are necessarily hoarding but simply can not fit into our small home. I open the doors of the container at least once a week for various reasons.
And then up the side was the BIG task. The reason I kept procrastinating, why it took me two weeks to work through this job. Firstly PC solved the solution of unaccessible boxes. He built an entire wall of shelves!:) Solid hardwood timber that takes the massive weight of over a hundred boxes of books. The frames stand alone away from the wall, they are made solid by the timber shelving. Under each frame are large, strong brackets. I could now access the boxes, my next task was to know where a book is when needed.
The next couple of weeks involved carting the boxes down to the house and sorting and culling. I am proud to admit that I managed to cull ten boxes of books. Books that we didn’t really need, books that were fine but truly we had better. I also gave away doubles to my friends.
After thought I sorted the boxes into like groupings; adult books, adult religious, English authors, American Authors, Middle Ages, Older Girls books, Ancient World, Australian history, Australian Literature, Trixie Belden, Nature Books, Sets etc. As I sorted and boxed I wrote down the title or author or occasionally just the group of every box. 71 boxes later I was finished!! Well I am not quite finished as I have yet to complete typing up those lists and taping them to the outside of each box.
There are another 30 odd boxes of books with ‘siblings’ written on them. I left them alone. One day my siblings may come for them, until then they wait.
What a mammoth task completed, I am so happy because I can now access our books, I can put my hand instantly on anything I may need. It relieves the pressure of living in a small home, it is a wonderful solution to our situation.