April 22nd, 2012
National Rebuilding Day, hosted by Rebuilding Together (previously named Christmas in April), is approaching fast. For the last two months, I have just been helping with calling and translating, but the Rebuilding Day… oh, that’s how my attention was initially caught. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to it.
Finally, yesterday, Prep Day started, and I signed up to helping as soon as I learned. Mostly, our group did a lot of clutter removal. We even have professional organizers! I have read a bit about it when I got a free book from Amazon about organizing houses, but its different to see it in person. One would think it is just all about making things pretty. But like interior designer and architects… Oh no, it’s a professional work. Before she arrived, we were running around trying to see what item the owner wanted to get rid off. There was a reason the garage was in a clutter in the first place – it is painful to get rid things for everyone. But once she arrived and started talking to the owner, things get chucked out at twice the speed we were going at. Some of the volunteers and I went upstairs for a moment (we went up to help the captain to clean out space for painting at the actual Rebuilding Day). By the time we came down, the 1/3 of the garage was emptied out.
It was like magic. *Jaws dropped*
By the later half of the day, I was mostly upstairs helping with moving things (for painting space later on) and sponging with a liquid call TSP. Another magical item, which whips the grease from the kitchen ceiling and wall with ease after some nice scrubbing. According to Amazon, TSP is a: “The all purpose cleaner used by professionals prior to painting exterior surfaces. It removes mold and mildew. Also de glosses surfaces that are oil base painted. Ideal for cleaning garage or basement floors. May be used to restore dried, used paintbrushes. “ Amazing stuff. The captain got it in liquid form, which was green. It smelled quite nice and non-chemical even though it’s a pretty strong cleaner. We had a running joke that it probably taste delicious.
Oh, I got to go on the ladder for a while for ceiling cleaning, which is always fun. Since I am petite, people tends to worry when I do anything that require me to go high above ground, but I actually have a strange love for height and defying gravity movements, a leftover from my gymnastic and ice skating days – plus, I get to feel taller, and that’s a good enough reason.
Through out the day, I got to chat with some of the volunteers, and I soon found out that they were mostly from the same company. There are some exceptions, which was lucky in my case, as one of the volunteers mentioned that one year she was in a group where everyone was in the same company except for her. To my own surprise though, none of the volunteers are in the ACE industry – they are actually mostly from the software industry, and some of them are quite knowledgeable in the home building field. By lunch time, our captain decided to order us some food, and we started talking while eating pizza on upside-down bucket sits. It was a nice sunny day, and while it did tired me out, it was the nice kind where you feel like you really got some good work done in a day. The much cleaner garage and kitchen definitely helped. I am going to be volunteering on Friday again, which I am definitely looking forward to.