I didn’t mean to start cleaning things up and moving them around. It just sort of happened. I’m an organized person but not a neat freak. I’m not a slob either but cleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do. Being that my studio is in my home I have to have a lot of art supplies and computer things at my fingertips. As a result everything is out and not tucked away. I keep things as neat as possible but organized is more important. Until things reach a critical mass. That’s what was reached tonight.

Things got to a point in my place where the clutter overwhelmed the organization. That’s the time when I can’t get any more work don until I clean up. And cleaning up, this time, meant organizing some things, throwing others out, and moving stuff around. I had to try and find a new place for everything new. And the old too.

Living in a typical 60’s- 70’s suburban split level ranch I have a closet reaching under the stairs that split the levels. This is the closet of last resort. It’s an unfinished space so you really can’t store anything in there that you don’t want to smell like musty concrete and slowly deteriorate. I usually store boxes under there. Whenever I get a new piece of computer, audio, or video equipment I store the box it came in under the stairs. You never know when you are going to have to return something in its original box.

Boxes come and boxes go. I don’t pay too much attention to under the stairs but I do get rid of older boxes when I need to store new ones. I sometime temporarily store stuff under there too. Recently I had my collection of HeroClix figures under there. I used to play the game all the time on my lunch breaks when I worked in the Marvel Comics offices but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve gotten the chance to.

I put the HeroClix under the stairs but knew I wanted to store them in a better place. Even though I haven’t played the game in ages putting them under the stair was condemning them to a slow death by dampness and neglect. For some reason the HeroClix are one of the few things that make me nostalgic and I didn’t want to burry them. Yeah, the world’s a weird place.

I needed new storage containers for the HeroClix because I had them in these big open flat boxes that didn’t really fit anywhere. I decided to get some of those cheap plastic food containers that you can buy in the supermarket or big box store. I bought the entree sized ones and the were five for $2.19 Pretty cheap. I kept underestimating how many I needed but after a few weeks I had them all stored in ninety containers That’s about forty three bucks worth of containers. It does add up now. Doesn’t it? The ninety containers then sat next to the couch in my studio for three weeks.

Today my new scanner arrived and a critical mass of clutter was reached. I had to clean out under the stairs to put its box under there. After all, the box my computer came in was still under there and got that computer in the spring of 2002! I’m thinking about getting a new one this year so I might as well get rid of the old box. That and my two year old printer’s box hit the recycle bin.

The next step was to rearrange the shelves in my laundry room so I could put the HeroClix on them. Crap had to be thrown out. Boxes had to be broken down. Things had to be shuffled from place to place. Anything with an impenetrable layer of dust was chucked. It’s amazing what collects in the laundry room. I had a container full of Armor All wipes. I don’t know where they came from. They’ve been there for years. And they were just dried cloth now. Any cleaning solution had long since evaporated. Other bottles with a quarter inch of cleaning solutions in them also went.

So now all my HeroClix have been successfully stored away. They are fairly easy to access so I can indulge my nostalgia by thumbing through them any time I want. No longer are they falling apart under the stairs. But all this breaking down of cardboard boxes and gathering of styrofoam pieces have left this place in real need of a good vacuum. I don’t want to vacuum. I never meant to start cleaning up tonight.