Monday, February 16, 2009

Household Projects

I'm just starting a new book and what that means in the McCarty household is that it's clean out time.  There's just something about starting a new book that gets me motivated to tackle the projects that have been staring at me in the face since my last book was over.  (And for purposes of full disclosure, some of them have been staring at me for a couple of books.)  Why in between or at the start of a new book?  I think it's because I don't have a deadline looming so I don't feel guilty spending my "free" time not writing.

Yesterday we did the closet purge.  With two GROWING (and I do mean growing) kids, they go through clothes like you wouldn't believe.  My son in particular.  It seems like half his closet was too small.    

My husband dreads this time because he knows it isn't going to be pleasant.  I go on a mini-rampage and drag him in for the ride.  In the past three weeks I've: organized the last two years worth of pictures, gone through all the kids art projects to figure out what to save, organized my books for storage, made a memory book with my daughter for a trip we took a year and a half ago, cleaned out the garage, got our tax info together and cleaned out the corresponding files, gone through my research files, and (here's the biggie) FINALLY got the earthquake preparedness kit we've been meaning to put together done.

I live in the San Francisco bay area very close to a major fault line that the experts say is due for "the big one."  Lovely.  We have an old house and although it's been retrofitted, if the big one hits it probably won't be pretty.  

So how can I have lived here for almost nine years and not have at least a basic earthquake kit?  Good question.  To some extent I think those of us who live in CA do the head in the sand thing.  The "maybe if I don't acknowledge it" it won't happen kind of thing.  But it's also a big undertaking to get something like this together.  You can buy pre-packaged kits, but they are at least a couple hundred dollars a person.  Putting one together is much cheaper, but takes time.   We have tons of water and some food, clothes, radios, lanterns, first aid kits, etc.  We also had to figure out when and how to store all this stuff.  

But it's done and I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  In general I feel so much better when all these projects are done.  It's amazing how freeing it feels not to see the box of pictures against the wall, or the bag of clothes for the earthquake kit in the corner, or the overstuffed file cabinet.  One of my cp's (Bella Andre) does a Feng Shui class for writers and I'm a full believer--de-cluttering your environment really relaxes me.  

So what about you?  Do you go through mini-rampages like I do?  Any big projects staring you in the face?  Do you hate clutter or does it really not bother you? 

P.S. I'm blogging over at Fresh Fiction today, so if you aren't gone for the holiday pop over and say "hi."