Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby Storage

As I may have mentioned before, we have a lot of stuff now that we have a baby. And most of it only gets used for a few months. So what do you do with it until you are done having kids? Well, you could give it away and start over with each kid, or you can store it. With space being such a limited commodity here in the city, I'm not sure how much stuff the average family actually stores. Lucky for us, we have not one but two, big storage rooms in the basement of our building that we have been able to stuff all of Ada's clothes, toys, bouncy seats and various other accessories, into. After a year of shoving stuff into the storage room, I finally hit my limit of unorganized chaos in the basement and decided it was time to do something about the accumulation of stuff. No, I didn't get rid of it. Instead, I begged Rick to build shelving so that I could store more of it.

What seemed like a good idea that would be a quick little one day hammer and nail festival, turned into a 3 day construction site in the basement.

We arranged for Rick's mom to watch Ada for a day so that we could get the shelves built. We got up early, Rick drew up the plans for the shelves, measured the space, calculated the amount of wood we'd need, and the supplies it would take. Then we looked at the clock and it was noon. My how time flies when you are trying to get something done in a day. Rick realized that we couldn't fit all of that wood in our little civic. So, who do we know that has a car big enough? Lisa? She has an SUV, but I think she just downsized and she isn't answering her phone. Anne? Oh yeah, she has a CRV. "Anne, can we borrow your car?" "Sure."

We spent an hour going up to get Anne's little CRV, the baby of all SUVs mind you, and coming back. We drove straight to Home Depot. Rick found the wood. I found the hardware and the saw. 2 hours later, we had purchased the wood and were trying to load it into the CRV when it started to rain. How nice. As we were standing in the rain with the back of the car open and the wood on a trolley, the Home Depot guy looked at us, pulled out his measuring tape and held back a belly laugh. There was no way on earth that we could get even one sheet of the plywood into the CRV. We were going to have to rent the Home Depot truck after all.

Rick joined the Home Depot guy in moving the wood and the truck to a lower level of the parking garage to get out of the rain. Yes, our Home Depot is on multiple levels here in the city and is attached to a parking garage. While they were loading the truck, I was busy filling out the rental paperwork and calling my awesome insurance agent to have him fax our proof of auto insurance to the store as Rick and I didn't have our insurance card on us and we were driving Anne's car. Luckily, he happened to be in his office on a Saturday afternoon and was able to fax it over. I got the keys and Rick made a call to our neighbor Lee to see if he was home. After all, how else are we supposed to unload all of this wood?

We arrived home and pulled the truck into the back alley. The hope was to back it into the lot behind our place and unload it all nice and easy. Unfortunately, the previous snowfall had turned into patches of ice and was covered with puddles of water since it was raining. We did our best to get the truck into the lot but, it was still hanging out into the alley by a couple of feet, making it impossible for a car to get down the alley. But if we backed it in any further, we'd have taken out one of the buildings on either side as it was extremely slick.

Lucky for us, again, Lee was home and offered to put on his rain boots and help us unload the wood into the basement. 45 minutes later, we returned the truck to Home Depot, and thanked Lee. Now we had to get the car back to Anne. There goes another hour. It's 5 pm. We ordered dinner for pick-up. Came home, ate it, and called it a night.

Day 1 - we got the wood.

As it turns out, no home improvement project will take less time than you think. No project will take the amount of time that you think if you are an optimist of any sort. And most projects you undertake will take significantly longer than you expect. In our case, it took 3 days. 3 days of hard labor and finally, we had our shelving units.

And don't they look great?

Now I can finally find things in the basement. I don't have to worry about a potential flood ruining all of our stuff. I don't have to worry about a tower of bins toppling over on me when I need to get at something down there. And I don't have to get rid of any of Ada stuff so that any future additions to our family will be all set -- unless we have a boy and then he might just have to learn to like pink.

Moral of the story: Everything takes longer when you have kids. Just allow yourself more time for it all.

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