Shelter in Place

I shelter in place at least once a year with my family for the LA Marathon.  We know we are trapped by road closures and rather than fight it, we embrace it.  We make lists of housebound activities we can accomplish and enjoy our family time.  This past weekend we did just that.  The current climate and COVID-19 fears have given us pause and allowed us to question and limit unnecessary travel and expenses.  It’s a good thing to do regardless of the threat.

In the past year we have had other non-voluntary opportunities to shelter in place.  In the fall we evacuated during the Los Angeles fires for a day and then returned to our home and were in the “be ready to evacuate zone” for several days.  My son and I found activities around the house including emptying our walk-in pantry and giving it our best The Home Edit makeover (their book is so helpful).  I am not a hoarder, but it’s easy for things to get forgotten on high shelves.  He lost interest in the project about 80% through, but for a then 9-year old I thought that was pretty good. The bins pictured below made our shelves so much more user friendly.  I did not spring for the labels and chalk pen right away, but they are what made the pantry easy for everyone in the family to use while maintaining the organization.

During the LA Marathon the list activities included a closet refresh, baseball card organization , building a pillow fort and making soup. My son collects trading cards for baseball and football.  I unearthed my own collection that was in a bin in the garage.  I spent a lot of time with a baseball fan in the late 80s and early 90s.  Collecting cards and getting to know the players was how I kept it interesting.  When we went through the bag of cards and started to put them into their sleeves (if you have a collector in your house these are the best option). We found Charlie’s Angels cards, Bay City Rollers cards and a business card of mine from when I first started my job in New York in 1999.  My son was excited to find things from the last century.  They must have been added to the bag of baseball cards when something else was cleaned out.  It got me thinking about the balance of clearing the clutter while preserving memories. It was fun to look back and a bit daunting to see “The Angels on a Cruise” given the current state of cruises and travel with COVID-19.


I continue to evaluate all non-essential travel and expenses and I have decided I have actually been awarded the time and space to clear the clutter and preserve memories and bond with my son even if we do argue about how to categorize the cards (year, brand, color of the border, team. etc.)

The future may hold more sheltering in place. I am ready to view it as an opportunity. We are making a project list and also thinking about ways to incorporate learning in the event that school is closed. My closet is an ongoing project (these are my favorite hangers in navy).

Here’s  to finding opportunities in stressful times.