Sorting, sorting, sorting


Jim & Marion Jordan who played Fibber and Molly

Fibber McGee's Closet

Fibber McGee under the weight of his closet’s contents.

For a guy who hates categorizing things I’m actually trying to do a better job of categorization than I may ever have done before.  I don’t know of you remember Fibber McGee & Molly, but these mid-20th Century radio characters inhabited U.S. radio from 1935 till 1959  and they were hilarious.  I am too young to really ‘remember’ them, but I’ve heard recordings of their programs and I definitely identify with poor old Fibber McGee who was always getting buried in the pile of stored goods that fell out of his closet every time the closet  opened.

We’ve been doing this full time RV thing for 3 1/2 years now and I am embarrassed to say that I still can’t find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it.  Oh, I can find things.  But usually the second time around, or after I’ve completely given up looking for them.


With basically symmetrical storage on both sides we loaded her to the gills.

Our 2003 Journey DL was kind of simple as a storage ‘puzzle’ — with basically symmetrical bays — closed back bays that moved outward with the driver’s side slide we had those buggers loaded to the point of barely closing the doors.

Serendipity has a completely different storage theme working.  For one thing the storage bays aren’t nearly as symmetrical.  For another  there are two doors on either side that give access to a full width (but not full height) unified storage bay.  So, I have a couple small bays where we can store some things, and then one large bay where everything else has to go.  There are times that those smaller close-backed bays look really attractive when I’m digging around in that large half-full cavernous hole in the side of the coach bay.

Sterilite-1820 When we first started I had some storage tubs that I’d gotten in my Home Depot storage binsTruck driving days that were medium sized and fit the Winnebago just right.  But I could not find more of them when we moved into Journey so I had to find some other solution.  And I ended up with a hodge podge of different sized containers from Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and Walmart.

When we moved from Journey into Serendipity 1 1/2 years ago we pretty much just moved everything from one bay to another.  And I’ve been trying to find a better plan ever since.

We have started using these Sterilite 41 qt under-the-bed containers now.  My biggest concern is that the lids are not very strong.  But they stack nicely and because they are so long it’s easy to slide one out from between others.   Sterilite 41 qt

But the real job is sorting things out to put like things with like things.  I’m just getting started on that.  And therein lies my ‘problem’.

Some things are easy to categorize.  For example.  I have one that contains water supplies.  Hoses, filters, water valves, hose end-caps, those sort of things are obviously related to the water system.

I have another tub filled with electrical supplies — cords, outlets, stripping tools and wire nuts — things like that. , and another with TV related supplies — wires, adapters, etc.

Other supplies are not as plentiful as to fill an entire tub, or simply don’t fit IN one of these tubs.  Here the challenge becomes a bit more esoteric.  And it’s not like I have a deadline.  I’m gradually making my way through the basement, storage tub by storage tub.  I’ve consolidated several containers into single containers — being able to make categories that I would recognize (and label) thereby sometimes combining material in one partially filled tub with another partially filled tub and ending up with one reasonably full — but not jammed one (so I can actually SEE what’s in it).  By using shallower tubs this time, there’s less depth and fewer things hide in the unseen recesses of the tub.

CP⁄M_Ad,_InfoWorld,_November_29,_1982I’ve never in my life been a truly ‘organized’ individual.  When I first started computing I went through agony after agony looking for files I’d named with those old 8 character file names — back in the days of MS-Dos and CP/M computer systems.  My paper filing systems have never been great — I always seem to have overlapping and duplicate categories.  But maybe in my dotage I’m learning to simplify enough to make categories work for me.

Is it something I’m rushing around to do?  No.

When the weather’s nice and the temps not to hot,  when my eyes are tired from reading or I’m waiting for the pasta water to boil, I get out a chair, open the bay doors and sit there and ponder for a while.   Look at the tubs there now,  perhaps open up one that I haven’t been into for a while, and try to move a few or all of the items in it to join others of the same kind elsewhere.

I’ve succeeded in emptying some tubs already.  I’ll be able to bring a few things that we’ve stored — by necessity — inside the coach, down to the basement storage.  It’s not been fast, and I’m not done but I don’t get bored with nothing to do, and I’m enjoying the process of  trying to be more organized.

Thanks for stopping, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

If you never heard Fibber McGee…. here you go…


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