Sorry for the snark, I realize I should not mock a book that I have not actually read, but apparently I'm a bit tired.
So the carpet beetle battle continues. Suffice it to say, the infestation is pretty wide spread. I've found nests of larvae in pretty much every room, closet, cupboard etc. Well, that's not entirely true, and I haven't completed my scouring of the house, but let's just say that this is not a small problem.
At this point, I think most people would probably call an exterminator, but I'm not willing to go there yet, so instead I'm trying to deal with the problem in a more organic fashion.
Basically this means that I've been cleaning like a woman possessed.
I'm emptying every closet, drawer & cupboard - there are still a few to go - cleaning all of the contents, getting rid of whatever I can, and storing the rest an a way that will hopefully prevent the beetles from getting to the stuff, and make the next cleaning round (there will be many before this little adventure is over) much simpler.
Along the way I have gotten rid of a phenomenal amount of stuff. Seriously, I think the tally so far is 2 over stuffed chairs, one surplus (and ancient) bed, two area rugs, one kitty tree, one kitty house, about 12 garbage bags full of clothes, linens, pillows and the like, 3-4 boxes of random "stuff" and dozens and dozens of cardboard boxes that I was saving "just in case." OY!
While I was able to clean and donate some of the above, some of it just had to be trashed. I just can't give someone a piece of furniture or a rug that's infested with larvae - that would just give them the same problem I've got. Thankfully this is large item pickup week, so I only had to haul it all as far as the alley.
|Don't worry - they still have 2 other much more loved kitty trees, and I'm replacing Smoky's "lookout" with an easy to clean, non-infestable shelf.|
I'm using a combination of Ziploc bags, vacuum seal space bags, and air-tight (meaning it has a gasket) plastic storage bins for pretty much everything that isn't really easy to wipe clean or doesn't get regular daily use. So here's a glimpse inside my closets & drawers.
|Bedroom Closet (including winter bedding)|
|Bathroom and Hall Closets|
Holy Moly! Seriously, part of me looks at those pictures and thinks: "Eee Gads! This is the kind of stuff that OCD crazy people do." But after I found myself washing the same theoretically "clean" stuff for a second and third time to ensure it wasn't getting re-infested... well, air tight storage started to make sense.
Anyhow, when one is storing things in air tight containers, it's apparently important to use some sort of desiccant to deal with any lingering moisture. Fortunately, the Googelators were able to help me with that one - apparently silicon gel kitty litter makes a great desiccant!
So for smaller Ziploc bags I've made desiccant packs by filling coffee filters with the stuff - you can see them in the sock drawer photo, and for the larger bins and space bags I put about a cup of it inside a nylon and tied the end off. I guess time will tell how well it works!
I also determined that moth balls were just too dangerous to use inside my house - plus they aren't effective in places like closets that aren't air-tight. So for things that are hard to clean other ways, I've set up some air-tight bins out in the garage where I'm moth-balling things like my sheepskin snow boots. In theory it takes a few weeks to kill any larvae or eggs, and then they can return to non-mothballed air-tight storage inside.
But, while I'm definitely feeling exhausted from so much purging and cleaning, I'm also still feeling inspired by the idea that I can use this as an opportunity to make my home more functional and comfortable. And, as fate would have it, the universe has provided me with some much-needed inspiration on that front.
In one of my runs to donate a bunch of stuff to an organization that helps the homeless, I happened to find myself in the neighborhood in which I grew up. Turns out the house I grew up in is for sale! So I popped online to see if I could find any pictures of what the inside looks like now. I'm not sure you'll be able to appreciate the full impact of the improvements from these photos - but since I've just finished packing away all the old albums in plastic bins, well, we'll have to make do with a few shots that I already had scanned.
|Living Room Then...|
|Living Room Now.|
|Master Bedroom (formerly my mother's bedroom and half bath)|
|Master Bath (formerly part of my bedroom)|
|Walk-in Closet (formerly the other half of my bedroom!)|
|Note the furnace vent - they've painted them white but they're still there!|
So there you have it... I fear the kitties are sensing the turmoil and disruption as they've been sleeping in all kinds of new and interesting places, and have just generally been acting a bit out of sorts. I think this photo of Smoky sorta sums up how I'm feeling at the moment.
|I just wanna hide until it's over!|
But we're a loooong way from done, so in the meantime, I'm just gonna keep thinking of those beautiful photos of the home I grew up in, and keep reminding myself that this is an opportunity. Sigh.