Last week was Spring Break, and Husband and I took Son for a weeklong stay at my Dad’s place. Husband had big plans to work on our 1967 Chevy Truck, which he inherited when his father passed, and since I didn’t want to dive into that mess, I decided to finally accept my Dad’s pleas to clean and organize his house. In addition to this, I took down two books, and a secret sewing project. I figured I could clean and organize Dad’s kitchen, guest bath, playroom, begin to pack up my brother’s room so it can be the grandkids’ bedroom, since he’s finally skipping the nest, and electing to stay in his college town over the summer, and then relax with my books and stitching. Plus, Husband and I scheduled a surprise zoo visit for Son. Boy did I underestimate my time.
First, let me say that my father is single, and works two jobs. He is typically only home between mid-night and 6 a.m., and then has Saturdays off. That leaves just one day to get anything done, and the things he prefers to tackle are the outdoorsy sort of things, like planting a garden, digging up his septic system, or fixing a car. Add to that the fact that my brother, up until very recently, lived at the house only on weekends, along with at least 2 of his closest male friends, and other party guests. Dad’s house was more like a frat house than anything I would call home, but since it wasn’t the house I grew up in, I wasn’t really bothered by this. That is until I had to live there for a week.
I started my clean sweep with the bathroom. The guest bathroom is obviously used by all guests, and to occasionally wash the dog, but most of the guests were male, and drunk, and well, if their aim is poor sober, just imagine how it is when they’ve had a few too many. And then there’s always what happens after they’ve had even more than too many. Yep, the bathroom was gross. It took me a while to muster up the courage to get my hands wet, but once I started there was no turning back. I scrubbed the fixtures, the walls, the mirror, and the floor. I washed the shower curtains — Dad has two, the rug, and the towels. Luckily, washing the curtains was a simch since I discovered I could wash them in the washing machine. Still, it took me most of the day to get it all done.
The next day, I began tackling the playroom. Dad’s playroom isn’t really what you imagine when you think playroom. It’s really a room with a TV, two computers on separate desks, although only one computer works, and various old board games and toys from days gone by. It needed both a good scrubbing, and some serious organizing. I figured it would take me a full day to get this room under control, but I was off by a few days. Yes, it took me days! Three days, to be exact!
I started by boxing up all the VHS tapes. Some were movies that I wish I could play for Son, but we don’t have a working VCR, and others, well, I don’t think you can get anymore, like the original release of Star Wars. So if you’re wondering why I didn’t pitch them, well, they weren’t mine, for one, and they are sort of sentimental. Besides, they’re only taking up three boxes worth of space in the shop out back. More importantly, though, boxing up the tapes meant freeing up five drawers of space in these dressers Dad has in the playroom.
Originally, the dressers flanked the TV in the background, but I had a better idea. I though Dad could use a console table, since he doesn’t have, and doesn’t want, a coffee table. The console would be a place for people to put drinks, and I figured with a bit of creativity, I could create more storage.
Sure, the dressers are just cheapy, particle board and paper things that I think Dad was given for free, but I knew I could work with them. Besides, I didn’t really have a budget to shopping. Instead, I set them where I wanted them, and then asked Dad to cut a top and shelves out of some furniture grade plywood he happened to have on hand. After he measured, cut, and fitted all the parts, Dad attached the pieces to the dressers with a pneumatic stapler.
The dressers were now a console table, with added storage, and not just some throw-away furniture.
Now, I know the new console could use some paint, and a bit of dressing up, but my job was to clean and organize; I’ll leave the decorating up to the owner. Really, I think with a coat of high gloss white, and new hardware, you’d never know it was pieced together from trash. What do you think? At the very least, I think it’s encouragement to keep your mind open.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another cleaning tip. I know, it’s revitting blogging at its best.