Monday, 27 December, 2004
Cleaning the garage
I've been putting off cleaning out the garage until Debra and I had two unencumbered days. After three days off, mostly just relaxing and reading, we got up Sunday morning and headed to the garage to get to work. It's pretty surprising how much stuff two people can collect over the course of almost ten years. We'd given the garage some minor "straightening up" a time or two early on, but for the last five years we just piled more stuff in there until we could hardly get to anything.
We have a three car garage: two bays hold cars, and the third is designed to hold lawn mowers, yard equipment, and "other stuff." The third bay is at the back, perpendicular to the other two bays. We tackled that one first. As we pulled stuff out, we tried to arrange it into three separate groups: stuff to keep, stuff to throw out, and stuff to give away or recycle. Once the bay was empty, we swept out the accumulated dirt, leaves, and grass, and mounted the old laundry room cabinet on the wall. Then everything in the "keep" group went back into the garage. When we were done, I couldn't believe it. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I can actually walk to the back of the room now without having to negotiate an obstacle course. It took us almost eight hours to clean out that one bay.
Today we pulled both cars out of the front half of the garage and tackled that. There wasn't quite as much stuff to go through, although I was surprised at how much we had. All the old construction materials (doors, lumber, etc.) that I was saving "just in case" went to Habitat for Humanity. Other stuff went to Goodwill. The deep freeze that's been sucking electricity for no good reason went to a friend. After a good sweeping, the old bookshelves that we replaced in March and that had been taking space in the spare bedroom went along the walls, and everything went back in. The only thing left to tackle is my workbench, but now I have shelf space where I can put things.
It's hard to describe just how good it feels to walk into the garage and know that I can get what I want without a struggle. Having that monumental job out of the way is a huge relief. Now I can replace the two damaged doors, and I'll be done with the garage for a while.