Here a Can, There a Can, Everywhere a Can-Can

There’s a big project brewing here.


Weeks in the planning.

And although I know you believe this is simply a product of my tendency to use hyperbole, I’m not actually joking this time.

Weeks of planning.

And now, the time has come.

Phase One happened today.

Truth be told, Phase One has nothing to do with the project at hand.

It’s just that the project at hand involves a dumpster.

How often do you have a dumpster parked in front of your house?

Don’t answer that if you don’t want to. Really none of my business.

But we don’t have a dumpster very often. In fact, this is a first.

So in addition to the project that requires a dumpster, my brain starts thinking about all the other things lying around that could get plopped into a big ol’ dumpster while it happens to  be sitting there parked in front of the house.

All that stuff in the garage…

All that crap in Child A’s closet…

Several crates worth of guitar magazines from 1972 to the present that we keep carting around with us wherever we friggin’ go because you never know, somewhere, someday, there might be a classic guitar periodical emergency and we’ll be the only ones who can help. Despite my suggestion that the likelihood of that scenario is several orders of magnitude less than the likelihood that we’ll win the lottery, we keep lugging the crates of guitar magazines around and still never buy lottery tickets.

My logic is lost on so many.

But back to the dumpster.

The reality is that the dumpster will only be here a week, the major project is going to take up most of the weekend that the dumpster is here, so other than clear out the side yard that has been collecting crap since we moved in (the dangers of having a part of the yard that you cannot actually see), the rest of my household purge will likely stay a pipe dream.

But…one thing absolutely, irrefutably has to happen while the dumpster is here.

Yes, that is 58 cans of paint.

First, let me assure you that my pathology does not, in fact, run this deep.

Issue Number 1: The former owners left many cans of paint for us so we could do touch-ups without having to buy new paint. However, since A)We repainted every square inch of the living space (no hyperbole there either – I’m not kidding, we even had to repaint the ceiling) we could not use any of the gifted paint, and B) I now firmly believe that what seems like a thoughtful gesture is in fact a desperate attempt to not have to deal with things like paint cans when one is already hysterical because one is moving their family from California to Oregon. At least, it’s what I’d do.

So about a third of those cans we inherited along with the house.

Issue Number 2: We did not realize for the longest time that if the paint cans were empty and dry that you can just throw them away. I always assumed that you had to deal with them like nuclear waste disposal and call in the toxic round-up people. Nope. Dry cans can go in regular trash. And then I found out that you can let a half-empty can dry out and throw that away in the regular trash too. And if you need to speed along the drying process, just mix in some kitty litter.

Well spank my butt and call me Charlie! (No, actually, don’t do either of those things.)

So Himself and I spent the afternoon prying open paint cans that had sealed in ways that the government would envy, waving away fumes that I believe could have been used for stripping rust off industrial machinery, and mixing kitty litter into cans of putrified colors that carried with it the risk of making us swear off tunafish salad for the rests of our natural lives.

Don’t you just love Sunday afternoons?

But now every single can (except for 4 or 5 that actually do contain colors that we might legitimately need to use for touch-ups) is open, drying, and ready to get thrown by an unwilling teenager into a dumpster some time next week.

This is progress.


    1. We did actually run out.

      And we got a friggin’ 50 pound bag!!

      There’s was a loooot of paint.

      I had some issues with color choices.

      I got better.

      Or, I got less picky.

      Now it’s hard to tell.

  1. You know I had to include that line when I retweeted your post, right? Can’t wait to see Poppy run away with it.

    That seriously is an obnoxious amount of paint.


    1. LOL…I hadn’t really considered the tweetability of it when I wrote it.

      And it was beyond obnoxious. It was downright offensive.

      Way dude.

    1. They are in fact handy to have around at times like these.

      The oldest can now actually help with heavy and hard things.

      But the younger two will still be helpful for lugging paint cans.

      Even those semi-filled with kitty litter.

  2. Dumpster in front of the house? Check. For seven weeks? Check. Throwing away things you’ve been trying to get rid of for years? Priceless!

    1. I’m sooo excited about the throwing away. But dumpster is only here for a week, so I won’t get to anywhere NEAR the sort of throwing away I really aspire too!

  3. You wonderful woman! I’ve been hoarding paint cans in my basement for 10 years, while my husband refuses to throw them out, because of the “toxic noxious-ility” of them! (say that 3 times fast… I couldn’t say it once!)

    I’m so excited! *Kitty litter dance*

    I’m hereby awarding you +10 Martha points for the sharing of this wonderful household tip with your fans! YA-HOOO! It’s more than a good thing, it’s frickin’ awesome!

  4. Was there room in your garage to actually park your car for all the paint cans? :)

    Thank you, though, for the tip on can disposal. I had been wondering how to do that and hate to be anti-environmental. Will remember the kitty litter thing when we’re ready to get rid of our 15 cans of paint.

  5. So, your evil cat does actually serve a purpose around the house! Without that cat you would never have easily accesible kitty litter! So, what happens if you use the used kitty litter…ick…don’t answer that!

  6. I had no idea about the kitty litter! I may have to do that. And I’m officially jealous of your dumpster. I desperately need one parked outside of my house.

    1. I’m not going to get anywhere near as much mileage out of the dumpster as I’d like…I’d need to have it here for at least three weeks.

      And I believe my neighbors would find themselves very, very angry.

      *sigh* Ah well!

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