Since today was a day off work I decided to tackle a couple jobs that I've been putting off. The grand kids got to do some work too. They weren't happy about that since they proclaimed it's a day off school so they shouldn't have to do anything. Fine, don't eat and I also won't heat the house today. They didn't like that idea. What did they do today? Stacked about 1/3 cord of wood in the shed, trimmed one of the fruit trees, picked pomegranates from next door, fed the chickens and brought in the eggs. Girl even made dinner (mashed potatoes with chili and cheese on top). There was still plenty of time to play.
I didn't get off so easy. I decided to vacuum the window sills and ceilings with the shop vac. Since the house doesn't have any carpet (just a rug in the living room) it doesn't get vacuumed very often. Swept alot, but not vacuumed. I then vacuumed along all the baseboards and the biggest chore, the dining room floor, which is tongue and groove oak and every groove is recessed. It collects a lot of little bits of dirt even if we do sweep all the time.
With that chore done I had to do the closet. I hate this closet. It's in the hall and it's a small closet, only about 2 1/2 feet wide. Somehow when anyone has some little item that they don't want to put away they shove it in there. And I mean shove. This closet also gets attacked by mice. That's a bad combination - shoving stuff in and mice eating their way through it all.
There are three shelves plus the floor. You wouldn't think it would take several hours to clean this out but it did. There wasn't much that the mice had gotten into yet there were mouse droppings all over. I pulled everything out carefully so as to not drop droppings on me. I piled it all on the dining room table. (I don't even want to hear about how unsanitary that was.) I vacuumed out the entire closet then went through everything prior to putting it all away.
I threw out a bunch of stuff. Putting on the prepper hat I looked at everything in a new light. What if TSHTF today? Would I want this? Yes or no? If the answer was no then I asked a second question. Is it something that we are going to use this year? If not then why am I saving it? Because maybe someday we will have another 1 year old birthday party for a girl so we need to save all this pink junk that says 1-year old? No! I didn't buy that, Army daughter did, but the baby is over two. Why do I have this??? What about the bucket of sea shells we collected about 5 or 6 years ago? I dumped them in the front flower bed by the grapes. Not doing any good shoved in the closet. If the grand kids want to see the shells they can look in the gardenbed. They certainly weren't ever going to see them in the closet.
What's left in the closet? Holiday decorations that fit into two Rubbermaid bins. Do you go overboard on holiday decorating that each and every holiday takes days to put up and take down? A bin of craft beads, glitter, Popsicle sticks, and other things to keep kids occupied for hours. A bin of last minute gifts for kids and adults. And a bin of candles and candle holders. That's all. Everything else fit into a big black garbage bag and into a smaller bag to go to Goodwill or some other donation center.
Then I took some of the candle pieces and melted them down and poured them back into a candle jar. When some candles burn they leave big chunks of wax unburned. Do you throw the candles out like this? I don't. Sometimes I'll use wax bits to help start a fire if the wood is wet. Otherwise I put the bits into a baggie and when it's full I melt them down and pour them back into a jar. I have one old pot that I dedicate for melting the wax. You don't put the pot straight on the burner, it can too easily catch fire. You put the pot into a larger pot of boiling water. In my case I use an old pan with a 2 inch high rim. I fill it with water and put my 1 quart pot into that water as a double boiler. The wax melts quickly. I have wicks that I can use or if I don't feel like messing with them I will take a birthday candle or a burned taper candle and use it for the wick.
Cleaning that closet was something that I was dreading but I also knew that if TSHTF cleaning a closet of junk would not be something I'd be spending time on and now, having extra space available (remember I got rid of over a garbage bag fill of junk) is always something that is useful.