Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time Capsule

Back in October I decided to chance the deep dark depths of the closet under the stairs. I took some pictures while I was doing it and in keeping with the system by which I created my time capsule I'm just getting around to organizing this into a post. If this is the first time you are visiting my blog let me recap that my daughters are 24, 18 and 16 years old. We moved into this house when they were 2,4 and 10. At that time there was only one thing in the closet and it's still there. This was a very emotional experience. I am sentimental and so are my daughters. I have tried to do this before and they prevented me so I finally waited till they were not here and dove in. The SeaMonkey has been complaining and threatening to throw it all away for years.

Let's start with what I would find when I opened the door. Don't ask why there are blinding blue walls with big white splotches all over them. It was a family project. That's all. See that pile of stuff to the left? Middlest left these things when she moved in with Biggest-in September-and back in- last month- and has been asked to move them to the shed or back in her room.

Want to know where they are now? Just a second, let me turn around.

That's right. In my office.

So anyway. Beyond the norm like luggage and sleeping bags,
 I find more of my most recent child to reach adulthood.

Mid practices painting using old cardboard to save money so I had a whole lot of cardboard
 and also canvas in there.

More Mid. wth? Seriously.

This is a box of stuff left from when my mom lived with us in 2007
 and it's all junk but I didn't want to deal with it at the time.

Then a little further back to when Biggest moved out.
 This is a really nice pair of handmade cowboy boots that she says she has no place to wear. She admired a pair a regular customer was wearing when she was about 18 and working at a sandwich shop. The next week they brought her a pair.
 Because that kind of stuff happens to Biggest.
I put them in Mids room.

Ah, and then I hit the dress up bag. Oh boy. The mommy hormones started to hit about that time but I persevered. The doll is gone. The costumes? Ok yeah, They're still there.

Are you kidding Ms. G.?

This is Ouchy.
Ouchy belongs to Littlest. There is not much of her stuff in there because there is yet another big closet upstairs and it is still full. But Ouchy?
Ouchy stays.

This was one of my dads hats. He died 11 years ago.

This? Oh yes! This IS a totally Awesome purse from  the 80's.
What do you mean? Where do You THINK it is? : )

Mm Hmm. Doesn't fit a single toilet in the house. But! You never know.

 Then we hit another clean the kids rooms out session. Thomas the train, cars and a naked Barbie.
I was going to dispose of these. Guess who saw them in the trash pile and asked me to put them back? The Seamonkey. Mr. "Just throw it all out." Mm hmm.

 And whales. Of course there where whales. And there still are.

Pooh and boxing gloves. The story of my children in one photo.

Yes. That is exactly what it looks like.
Feel feel to use the photo to confound the children on family trivia game night.

Alright. Sometimes being a pack rat is very cool. No these have not been under the stairs since World War II ended.

 But they had been under there so long I forgot I owned them.

Do you know what all this is?

Neither do I, so I just put it back in the box and left it under there.

Back a few more years to Pooh.

 And Grumpy

At the very back a box of Biggest. The first one. Softball trophies and Birthday Barbie.
You know those stayed too.

Last of all was our crib comforter. My parents bought it for us when I was pregnant with Biggest. Yes. It stays.

All in all I sorted thru 7 large bags of stuffed animals to be donated or disposed of.
There are two left. (One entirely filled with whales). I was troubled by the lack of apes and when questioned by Biggest realized she doesn't have them either. The monkeys have escaped!
God help us if we don't find them somewhere. You should have seen her face.

I also threw away a few boxes of junk and am proud to say you can now walk five feet into the closet. Or at least you could until The Seamonkey said, "Look at all that space"and put his stuff in it.

But while it was empty I saw something I haven't seen in many years. At the very back the closet takes a left turn and reduces to three feet high. Just the right size for a young child to sit and play Barbies in the Barbie house their mother contorted herself to create and stenciled and hand painted the walls of. There are actually six rooms but my knees didn't allow me to stay in there long.

I still refuse to concede that, as my children claim, "they are screwed up because I kept them in a closet under the stairs when they were little. "

I even let all three of them paint the clouds all over that blue sky.

And no, this will never be repainted as long as I live.

Do you have trouble saying goodbye to pieces of the past? Or are you a ruthless clutter killer?

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  1. Your closet under the stairs is the equivalent of my guest bedroom/basement office. We moved into this house 14 years ago, when my littlest wasn't yet born, and it was pretty bare and uncluttered then. Being the only grandkids, they have been showered with mountains of stuffed animals and toys, and being packrats, have amassed rooms full of things that don't fit into their rooms anymore.
    I have a giant tub of stuffed animals I go through periodically, trying to find some to donate, but I get pretty sentimental about a lot of them, especially if they were mine when I was a child, and there are a few of those in there.
    I have been thinking a lot about purging lately, especially the decades worth of things I was going to scrapbook, but didn't. Just another someday project taking up space.
    Hopefully, I'll tackle some of this soon, before the stuff wins the battle for space here. Thanks for the humorous look through your past. (Loved the computer, we had one of the first home pc's too! Luckily the county here recycles electronics, so all that is long gone)

  2. I admire people that can get rid of things, without giving them a second thought. I'm not one of those people. Too much sentiment in everything in this house. I don't get rid of ANYTHING. However, now I just don't bring anything else in... there's no room left!

  3. My dream:

    and my husband's:

    That I become a RCK.

  4. I loved this post and the glimpse under your stairs! I'm kind of both. I have bins and bins of little smoked dresses and matching brother/sister outfits that I just cannot bear to part with. There are other bins stuffed with the kid's artwork from kindergarten on. Somewhere, in one of our overstuffed closets is my husband's old Star Trek Fan Club jacket which he will not allow me to donate even though it no longer fits him because he got it when he was about 12 years old. *sigh* But sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I become ruthless and just start tossing stuff.

  5. Caretaking the clutter . . . goes with being a mother . . . of kids at any age! Wishing you a blessed Advent!

  6. How nostalgic. I do have a slight problem with letting things go. My eldest is only 4 and his things have already taken over a whole store room. I like what you did for Barbie.

  7. Mel: I still have my Raggedy Ann and a handful of Barbies. That closet is just the beginning-there are multiple closets, boxes and trunks full of stuff stashed all over the house!

    Alexandra: We Too! Never will happen.

    MDSA:The box with the fancy baby dresses is in my closet and the artwork is in a trunk! We still have a whole lot left around here : )

    Elizabeth: Yes it does. And a Blessed Advent to you too : )

    Kiddothings: Barbie was very big around here. That was the second one I made and when they were bigger I built a third in their walk in bedroom closet. It's still there too ; )

  8. Oh my gosh! How funny! I always enjoy cleaning stuff out because of the memories that unfold in those things. What a great closet. I love the Barbie house!

    I have a garage full of stuff from my duplex when I moved over a year ago. I need to clean out space inside before I can move it in. I've put it off because it's such a daunting task.

  9. Mmm Hmm, close the door and walk away.
    When I moved into my first house, Dad sent stuff, lots & Lots of sentimental stuff, and half of it belonged to my sisters. He's good!

  10. Awwwwww you have so many memories. We've never had the room to store it so maybe if we did i would have kept a lot of things. I'm jeaalous about the rooms under the stairs.My kids would have love it! We have a small closet under our stairs. My son made it into a little room, but after we found chicken bones and mice we had to evict him. LOL

  11. This made me smile. Ouchy is so cute, and such a good name for a croc haha! i have a brown bear called brownie (I was an original child) that I could never give up. I'd be devastated if he got thrown out x

  12. Angelia: That's just it! I get all misty eyed and tend to put it back : )

    GPD: Oh yes he is! My dad waited about 15 years before quietly disposing of my leftovers. I was indignant...of course ; )

    Nicole: That is hysterical!...I might have found a couple cookies in there too..

    Charlotte: Dear, I don't know what to say because you might think I'm bordering on creepy..just ..make another check mark for Brownie Bear- I'm assuming that's how he's called? ; )


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