I cleaned off some shelves! I was even crafty in the process! It probably doesn't require that many exclamation points, but I'm not sorry.
I have these old bookshelves in my room that have become a crap magnet, and they got very crammed full of books and old church class notebooks and folders, and piles of schoolwork and art that was too precious to toss (I actually have a discerning eye for that, I promise), and montreat stuff, and sheet music, and a flute, and random memories and lost buttons and extra shoelaces, and things I have been intending to frame, and all our extra Christmas cards and birth announcements from the last decade, and folders full of every portrait session each kid has ever had in their whole lives (YES REALLY, and that includes the every-month-for-the-first-year ones), and cards upon cards upon cards upon cards (I might have a card-buying problem, not that I am admitting that here or anywhere) (I really like them! And again: not sorry). And piled all on top of that were things that needed to be returned or exchanged or didn't fit in the shelves, and anyway it was driving Mark nuts, and me too, so I promised him on my summer list would be tackling its reorganization.
And I did! And it was kind of awesome! Bins and boxes! Reorganizing is fun! (This is a truth I learned from the Berenstain Bears and you all know I'm right.) (More exclamation points.)
So. Before and after pics:
Much better now, yes?
Those bins mostly hold cards. From the top left shelf, in reading order: extra envelopes, sets of boxed cards, stamps/stickers/seals/etc, monogrammed stationery, mini cards, thank you cards, cards from people who love me (in the colorful box), then random occasion cards, birthday cards, holiday greeting cards, and the bottom bins are for kiddie school and art keepsakes -- one per kid, plus an extra for my own random memories. I KNOW it's too many cards, but I love writing and sending them, and I like to have many on hand, and even though it's a little Monica/Friends/everyday/guest/fancy/fancy guest with the towels, I WILL SAY AGAIN NOT SORRY.
Would you like to know some of the random things I found while I was doing this? (This is what great blogging is made of right here, folks.)
My very first drivers license:
Many love notes from Marky, including a crap ton marked "par avion" from when he wrote to me in Europe (weren't we quaint and adorable? say yes).
Two binders full of letters and cards I wrote to him from Germany, which he saved and put together in what turns out to be the best memories of that semester abroad, because he is delightful like that.
This xeroxed song Another Nathan stopped me from recycling after a choir event years and years ago, because it is one of his most favorites and he wanted me to keep it, which I did, and now it makes me teary because just... read that text. Okay then.
A page I apparently made Mark write and sign one day when he said he didn't want to make out, which I'm sure was unheard of because hello, he was 19, and I knew I would want future proof that it happened:
Many many travel books. This is the previously-culled-down stack I moved into this house, and I culled it even further, because they are old and of no use to anyone any more, but some of them are too full of my memories and scribbles to throw away. Mark and I have seen many things together, these books in our backpacks, and some of them are too dear to ever part with, useless or no.
And in other bookshelf-related news, I did a craft, because I wanted a place for my special pens that is mine all mine (those with the colored caps are my beloved Stabilo pens that I always bought in Germany because I didn't know you could get them in the states, until I found them a few weeks ago in a tiny writing shop in Northfield Minnesota, OF ALL PLACES, and anyway they are special), and look! it is pretty now!
Spraypainting the rings of mason jars and putting your own pens in there to keep them separate from writing utensils to be used by tiny humans: RECOMMEND.