Yesterday I boxed up all the Christmas decorations and returned them to the basement. I stopped there, not returning any pictures or other decorative stuff to their previous places. I figured it would be a good time to rethink what I want to display, and besides, everything needs a good dusting. Since we concentrated most of our holiday decor in the family room (the fireplace and tree were there), it looks the most bare at this point. I can imagine all sorts of things if I could have a clean slate and start over with paint, new furniture, built-in bookcases and a fireplace renovation. But since that’s all just in the thinking phase, I decided to finally sort out the mess of board games in the corner cupboard that I don’t like.
We bought this cupboard from the previous owners because it fit the space, and we knew we needed storage. It’s designed as a media cabinet for a small television and components, but ours is too big for it, so we’ve always used it to store toys and games. Unfortunately, the triangular shape is less than ideal and the oak finish is dated. We paid too much for it at the time, and I regret it. We’ve lived with it for five years, but maybe in the next couple of years we can replace it.
Before Christmas, I cleaned out the toy shelves, but gave up before tackling the games. Despite the dusting I still haven’t done, the four half-built Lego sets and mess of stuff on the coffee table, the crumbs on the kitchen counter and floor, I feel incredibly productive now that I’ve sorted through that game cupboard.
I filled two boxes with games and puzzles that we don’t play with anymore. I set aside one stack of games for Miss Seven to decide their fate. I sorted all the scattered playing cards (miraculously, there are several complete decks) and returned stray pieces to their boxes. I culled the duplicates–how many versions of Memory do we need? I even branched out and sorted through the puzzle cupboard under the tv, where wooden toddler puzzles and bead stringing sets have gathered dust for many months.
Even though I am eager to demolish those dinky little concrete shelves above the fireplace, and fill the niches on either side with shelving, at least things are tidy for now. I want to take plenty of time and thought (and save some money) before making those big changes. And now I’m off to see if I have some volunteers to dust and sweep.