Cars, Horns & Husbands

Readers may have heard me joke about the hubby’s first car a couple times in previous posts here and here. We’ve recently discovered his current car, referred to as the old “bucket o’ bolts” is actually older comparatively than the car he drove in high school. He thinks that’s pretty ridiculous and I must agree.

There are numerous things wrong with this car from the A/C being out to some weird electrical issues. On top of that it smells like “old car”. Well, now this thing has a new problem. It seems there’s something wrong with a connection somewhere which causes the alarm to go off on its own and the horn starts honking. Naturally, we discovered this new “feature” at 3am on a weekday morning, along with several of our neighbors. The first time it happened, hubby stumbled out front in his boxers to turn the thing off thinking it was just a fluke. After settling back into bed, it went off again. Rinse and repeat a couple times and he finally disconnected the battery; a task he now must do each and every time he drives his car.

This reminds me of a similar car issue in my prior marriage. While I’ve never actually shared stories from past including the wasband here, I’ll go ahead and share this one. Flash back to my twenties living in Provo, Utah. We were the typical poor, starving student family and had only one car; a crappy one. I had purchased this thing brand new but made a very poor choice and after only a few years it had more problems than you could imagine. The most memorable was the bizarre electrical problem that made the engine stop. The car would just suddenly stop dead in its tracks. We’d had it looked at by mechanics at length on two separate occasions and they couldn’t figure it out. One day while out driving, we accidentally discovered that if the engine started to cut out on us and we honked the horn it would keep going! So until we finally got it fixed we actually drove around town honking like idiots just to be able to stay moving on the road. Of course, this was Provo, Utah so I can assure you that our odd vehicular behavior was hardly the wackiest thing going on around there. Oh, the memories!

Back to the present day, with the hubby’s car honking issue. We had an appointment yesterday right after he got home from work so I had just gone out front to meet him and get in our other car. I watched him pull up, hop out of his car dressed in his nice work clothes, grab a towel and pop the hood to disconnect his battery. I was chuckling as he came over to get in our car to leave and said; "At this point, with all that’s wrong with that car the only things missing are one of those special stickers in the back window for not being able to pass the Smog Test and some Bondo on the doors!"

And that folks is one of those life lessons about finding the hilarity in everything.

Spring Organizing

Spring has finally sprung and with it the increased desire to get things done around here. As I shared in my last post regarding the big office clean up, we have a long list of “projects” we’re attempting to tackle. Everything from new household projects to basic de-cluttering and organizing. Once again, I admit that even with a background in helping others with residential organizing it’s still a struggle for me personally to keep things as organized as I would like them. There are lots of contributing factors to this but the big three (which in my experience apply to many of us) are:
  • 1) Not having homes & systems established for the various items in your home
  • 2) not taking the time to use the homes & systems once you’ve established them
  • 3) Having too much stuff!
#3 is the biggest of all and always has been in my opinion. When I was in the organizing business I told my clients that the act of organizing itself was a piece of cake compared to the task of eliminating excess. Once you’ve whittled down your belongings to a manageable level, they can practically organize themselves. But if you attempt to “organize” your items before you de-clutter and purge it’s much like putting the cart before the horse.

We’ve found it a challenge to find places for everything within our home and it’s been an ongoing task to come up with solutions. My prior post described how we were able to utilize a large armoire that was no longer in use for storing our projects and in process, shop items for Etsy and other eBay items to be sold. A little over a year ago, constructing a pantry provided the much needed home for our food that previously took up all the cabinets that were needed for dishes and serving ware.

Our newest organizing challenge is the master bedroom closet. While we are at least fortunate enough to have a walk-in closet filled with shelves & double rods, it’s sadly very small and does not house everything without some serious cramming. I hear that in many marriages it’s not uncommon for the husband to keep his clothes in a spare closet in a guestroom or hall, however not only do we not have a spare closet anywhere I couldn’t bring myself to make my hubby get dressed in another room. When we did our seasonal clothes switch (absolutely necessary unless you have a huge closet where you can keep everything out at once!) I realized I needed to get ruthless about paring down my clothes. So far I’ve managed to fill two huge bags to give to charity! Among the first items to go were several pajamas and nightgowns that the hubby has complained about for years. Let’s just say they were the type that would have made Laura Ingall’s very proud. I’m hopeful that with more purging and some great creative ideas I’ll be able to get our Spring/Summer wardrobes set up in the closet in such a way as to be able to actually see and retrieve them without swearing. I’ll let you know how it goes.