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Cleaning, Clearing, Merging, Purging our Stuff

by Tara

Tyler and I spent most of the weekend on an autumn cleaning mission. We started by organizing the ever-growing collection of remnants from completed projects that were scattered about our land. Pieces of plywood, rigid foam insulation and all manner of dimensional lumber found a home in a shed at our neighbor Jeremy & Hercilia's place, creating what we dubbed a "community lumber yard" for anyone to pick from.

After that long-overdue chore was complete, we moved on to the real challenge: going through all of the crap we've accumulated during our first three years of homesteading (it's hard to believe that basically everything we needed to live fit on a pair of bicycles just a few years ago). Without a doubt, the most obnoxious phase of this undertaking was cleaning out the crappy little shed that came with the property.

Purging the Crap in the Crappy Old Shed

There was a time when I was grateful for the little thing, it being the only safe and dry storage space on our homestead, but those days are long gone. I've been mildly annoyed by it for at least two years running. It's too short to step into, too deep to reach the back of, and it's generally falling apart. By now, it's been home to countless generations of mice and giant spiders, crawling all over our stuff, and its myriad contents have been a regular reminder of our stupid mistakes, premature purchases, and failed projects.

All our Crap in the Crappy Old Shed
Surely the first thing we need for homesteading on a wooded property is a scythe! Also, we'll need twenty sickles for when a bunch of people come help us as we spend two winter months collecting phragmites reeds full-time so we can build a thatched roof!

Perhaps because we always thought of the shed as temporary, we never organized the things in it. We never put up shelves, or made the most of the space. What resulted was a mess of sharp implements, stuff we never used, broken objects we never got around to fixing, and tools we would use, if we could only access them, all wrapped up in a tangle of tie-down straps, sill sealer, and baling twine.

Hauling Stuff in Truck from Old Shed

It was pretty darn cathartic, emptying the entire disgusting thing into the bed of our truck so we could haul it to our workshop for a considered inspection.

Earlier in the week, I cleared out the the 5'x10' storage unit we've been renting ever since we moved here. And so, besides tying up loose ends from our current life, Tyler and I also spent the weekend going through all the belongings we carried over from our previous ones as well. With a massive surge of energy, we worked to clean, organize, sort, purge, and put away the lot of it.

Stuff from Our Storage Unit

It felt strange and wonderful to welcome the remnants of our other lives into our current one. Touring bikes and road bikes with scuba gear, farm trucks and IBC water tanks! Memory books and photo albums with chainsaws and chopsaws! The far-flung fragments of ourselves that remained after we blew up our world by cycling for two years and moving across the country were finally coming home to settle, for good this time.

Tyler's Bike by Cistern and Truck (Worlds Collide!) Our Bikes by Truck

Best of all, it feels as though the period of unbridled chaos that has spanned the last three or more years is finally coming to an end. No longer do we have to rely on a crappy tiny shed for storage! No, now we have the workshop. As we sorted our belongings into keep piles, sell piles, and donate piles, it felt as though a new era of order and organization was emerging on the horizon. Thank heavens.

Tyler Sweeping Grindbygg