My cleaning out and disposing of efforts got a needed boost recently. Two granddaughters are moving into their own apartments this summer and one grandson just bought a house. The girls said they are in need of any "extras" (their word) that we have around the house.
We went on a room-by-room search. There is an old kitchen table in the furnace room. We use it as a shelf and store our luggage beneath it. The only ones who might miss that are the grandchildren who used it recently. Will and Joci were here with a pair of visiting friends when storm clouds threatened. I sent them to the shop below our garage in the basement to wait the storm out but their dad and grandpa were varnishing wood there. They didn't want the kids breathing the fumes so they sent them to the furnace room. It is surrounded on three sides by cement walls and has no windows. I made a phone call to the visitors' dad to let him know where his children were and then went to join them in their safe room. I found all four huddled beneath a blanket under that table. They had pulled the luggage out and barricaded themselves with it. The storm blew past but I now know for sure they have learned how to protect themselves during tornado season.
The table was listed as a give-away. There is a box of Christmas decorations marked "for the kids" in that room, too. I have a glider rocker in one bedroom that crowds the room. They get that. Many years ago my sister refinished a small dresser and won a blue ribbon at the county fair for her project. It is has been unused but I couldn't bear to give it away - until now.
And so it went. We found extra bedding, bath towels and pillows. One of the girls suggested we check the dish towel drawer. I assured her that all our dish towels were so thin we could look at one another through them, so we didn't bother with that.
Grandpa went to the utensil drawer and held up a can opener. The plastic hand-protector broke off one handle a while back but he replaced the plastic with a thick wrapping of duct tape and it was once again easy to use. Then it got lost. He bought a new one. Then it was found. He held up the one without duct tape. It went into their box.
Recently Friend Kay told me about a recipe for 3-2-1 cake. You can bake one cupcake at a time in the microwave oven. I thought that would be perfect for them. The problem is that, when you make the mix, it is such a big batch it would take forever to use up when baking just one or two cupcakes at a time. A great idea was born. I mixed together a box of one-step angel food cake mix with a box of chocolate cake mix. Then I mixed another angel food mix with a box of white cake mix. I divided it, putting 1/3 of the chocolate mix into each of 3 Zip-lock bags and 1/3 of the white mix into another set of bags. I wrote up the recipe: mix 3 tablespoons of mix with 2 tablespoons of water and bake in the microwave for 1 minute. Voila! You have a cupcake.
Then I went shopping. I bought plastic canisters for the mixes, measuring spoons, custard dishes, a stack of cupcake liners and a Pyrex measuring cup for each of them. Next I headed to my sewing room and made pot holders and potato bags for them. I may still add a few things to their boxes. It has been fun getting all of this ready. I am not sure if my grandson needs any of our used stuff but I do want Alex to at least have a duplicate of the new stuff I give the girls. One thing he is not getting is a card with directions for crocheted potholders. Last summer I taught the girls to crochet so I am expecting them to make more potholders for themselves.
My husband pointed out that all they asked for were our extras. Shopping wasn't supposed to be a part of it. So now I am back to searching for more used stuff for them. Hmm - I wonder if anyone wants the flower swag that used to hang in the guest bathroom.
It is so much easier for me to give away stuff when it is going to someone I know. Maybe it is because I think I can retrieve it if I ever get to that wish-I-still-had-my-... place. I have an idea some of what they are taking they won't use and may dump. The way I figure it is - they will be able to do that without suffering pain or regret. I couldn't.