Friday, March 3, 2017

The Plastic Project - Part II

With the final steps to the Everlasting Living Room Project behind me, I've been looking at my cluttered patio (staging area for the work in the living room) and decided to finally do something about it.  The Plastic Project leaped forward as I gathered all my plastic containers and headed out to do battle.  
As I sorted and cleaned, I discovered something which put the Plastic Project into a Right Turn.  Mainly, once you put something into an opaque container, it's important to label said container. But this also means keeping the label facing out in storage. But this can cause a problem if you have many odd containers and labels fall off.  Alas, my collection of plastic isn't all that uniform. 
In addition, many items I needed to store were purchased in plastic containers themselves.  It seemed odd to move them from one plastic container to another, especially since these are labeled AND see through. Those nifty plastic boxes lock beautifully and you can toss them around without loosing any. What I needed is a way to store many of these boxes for easy access later.  Stacking them on the shelf is just asking for some squirrel to knock them off! (Yes, my shed is a known rave location for late night crazy squirrels.)
So I decided to concentrate on those things which came in cardboard boxes and which don't take much abuse.  It's not like I play catch with these, but after a week of use (See Everlasting Living Room Project Posts) and then storage in the not-so-humidity-proof shed, I can pick up a box of nails and either the bottom just falls out or the glue which was holding the box together gives way. Result: Nails everywhere, cursing and where's-the-frakking-broom-when-you-need-it grumbling. 
Then I came across this in a thrift store.  This is a nail/screw sorter and is two sided. It's not something I would have purchased outright at the hardware store (I'm cheap, what can I say...) I can take all my nails and screws that are loose and put them in one place AND it has a nifty sealing top.  I have since tossed out my small plastic containers in favor of these.  (Ok, not completely, there are some items which beg for their own little plastic container.  I use small Rx bottles for such things as jig saw blades and razor blades as they can be stored in a drawer and protect my fingers when I'm rummaging for other things.) 
Finally, the big bins.  There are many things like tools or sandpaper or paint brushes which can be grouped together and stored for when they are needed.  I use the big over sized bins you see above to group them and then write on the edge what's inside.  These bins then can sit on a shelf or can even be stacked with lesser needed things on the bottom and things I use a lot on top.
Empty containers waiting use on the patio.

There is a side note to the plastic project which I feel needs mention, for all those who feel that plastic is the godsend it appears to be.  Not all plastic is weather proof.  Yeah, I hear you scratching your head and saying "ol marv musta been into the wacky weed again.

Many plastics cannot take the year to year wear of weather.  Witness my own experience.  Wife's car runs out of wiper fluid. I head to the carport where I keep a jug of the stuff.  I pick up the jug which has been stored for a long long time.  Walking to the car, I grab the top and give it a mighty twist, bracing my thumb against the side as I expect the top will be a bit stuck.

You can imagine my surprise when the entire top in one hand and the handle of the jug in the other hand breaks off from the bottom and nearly a gallon of wiper fluid splashes across my shoes as the bottom half of the jug disintegrates when it hits the ground.  So, lesson learned? Check your plastics regularly for viability. Press on the sides and listen for cracking. Replace immediately if it does.Or just watch for cracks like this one:
Cracks appear from repeated hot-cold-hot again weather.

I am replacing a few of these today (if only I had thought of this before the Wiper Fluid Incident!) and I'm also hoping that storage in the shed, out of the effects of weather, will make them last a bit longer. The wiper fluid was kept in the car port where it was less shielded from the weather.

The Plastic Project has become a big success so long as I continue to keep the plastics in good condition. 

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