I got kind of an early start to my fall cleaning around the house this year. That was due in part to a firm closure date for the campground and an electrical issue which prompted a visit from the electrician to our house. 

I ended up wiping down the kitchen table and chairs since they were everywhere downstairs and sweeping and mopping the relatively empty kitchen. 

That wasn’t even on my "to-do" list or at least not on my "do it now" list. Mostly what I was working on was what to do with all the stuff we brought home from the camper. Dave and I keep the camper stocked like a mini version of our house all season long. So when it ends, we have two of everything — condiments, spices, cleaning products, everything. 

Just jamming it all in cupboards wasn’t working. We’ll never be able to find anything and then we’ll end up buying more and instead of two or three of everything, we’ll have four or more. Not good.

Besides, a lot of our storage space wasn’t being used to its full potential. Some of the places I needed to delve into required me to put on my big girl pants, since there were signs of rodent activity. We all know I’m scared to death of mice. 

But no problem, I just needed to find my beer huggie a little earlier in the day, that’s all. And my rubber gloves. Well actually, I needed my gardening gloves for when I reorganized the freezer. I couldn’t find a thing in there. 

Not that I expect it to stay that way with breakfast stuff on one shelf, meat on the next, etc., but at least I know what doesn’t need to be on the grocery list. 

Next up was the medicine cabinets in the downstairs bathroom. With two cabinets and all the stuff from the camper cabinet, it was a bit of a nightmare. You should’ve seen Dave’s face when I hauled it all out onto every flat surface in the kitchen. 

We had three half-tubes of toothpaste, four cans of deodorant in varying stages of fullness, five spare testers for checking blood sugars … We needed some place to store all of the extras. I needed to reorganize the cabinets in the utility room to reach their full potential. 

As I predicted a few years ago, the cabinets never did make it up on the walls where they’re supposed to be. No matter, they’re quite functional on the floor where they are, even the one with the door that opens backward. 

The boys were ready to pry the door off because they couldn’t get it open. I just tried opening it from the other side. So both doors open from the right, big deal. The forethought to put them up on 2x4’s to keep them out of the occasional flooding of that room was also a good idea. 

When I got those redone, I had plenty of room for duplicates, including stuff from the kitchen. Good thing, too, because the canned good shelf in the kitchen is up on the wall and if I want it to stay there, I can’t put 500 pounds of food in it. 

The problem with the utility room cupboards is they’re not very deep, or tall for that matter. I needed a place to put some big stuff, like the camper crockpot. I will probably only use it once in the off season, at Thanksgiving, but it’s a big bonus having it then. 

We still don’t have our big oven working. Under the sink will be a great spot for the crockpot. When I cleaned it, I found a little camouflage flashlight our No. 1 son must have left under there when he was attempting to fix the sink. 

I put it where I put all the things I plan to give him or ask him about, but never remember when I see him. I got a big hint when I saw him using a red one just like it out in the garage. 

"Dude, where have you been hiding my flashlight?" I didn’t hide it, he left it under the sink about a year ago. I didn’t find it until yesterday. 

I had thought the bathroom closet didn’t need any fixing but tore it up anyway because I was looking for the nut that holds the glass light fixture up. It seems to me that there are lots of nuts out in the garage, but the boys say it has to have special threads. 

And there’s not another one like it in that whole building out there? Apparently not. I reorganized the stuff in the bottom, took out several coats in case the nut was stuck between them and still didn’t find it until I got out my little ladder and cleaned off the shelf. I found lots of rodent activity there. I hope they like the D-Con treats I left for them. I enjoyed the beer I had cleaning off the shelf. 

Next, I tackled the shelf in the shoe closet, which actually no longer houses shoes. You could almost hear the shelf heave a sigh of relief as the weight came off. Now, it’s only responsible for empty duffies, the button box (hoarders), and those unruly "green" bags from the grocery store. 

Even down below it isn’t as unkempt as it used to be. We’re supposed to be inheriting a bigger box to hold our household tools and there are only a few cans of paint left,but we still have the box of cables and cords I have no idea what to do with (total hoarders). 

My next challenge involves swapping out winter for summer clothes and making room for the camper towels in the upstairs bathroom cupboard. I know there is rodent activity in there. I’m going to need more rubber gloves, some more D-Con treats for the mice, and maybe a six-pack for me. 

© 2018 Laura Nethken