Last Friday was my bi-weekly day off. Usually on those days, I enjoy spending the day with my girl and try to tackle a few projects during nap time. This time, however, I sent her off to daycare for a full day of whatever I could dream up. What can I say? Sometimes a girl just needs some alone time.
As usual though, my dreams involved house projects. So after a quick morning meeting, I stopped at Menards for a little inspiration. I was browsing for bathroom faucets, when I happened to notice a sale on storage shelves and a light bulb went off in my head. I grabbed two and headed home.
It was a beautiful day outside, I was home alone, and there was something that had been bothering me for a long time. It’s never been quite at the top of my list of things to do. And it certainly wasn’t on my very long list of things to get done on my day off, but I put that list aside and got down to it. Cleaning out the garage.
Yeah it was pretty scary. With all the projects we do around here, we’d amassed quite a collection of junk out there. We’d fallen into a habit of throwing anything out there that we didn’t want in the house, and it had gotten to the point where we could just barely fit two cars in and we had to shuffle sideways to get to the door. How embarrassing. Especially since a lot of our friends use this door frequently. (I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because it enters right into the living room??) Besides the large amount of stuff we had managed to stuff into the garage, the previous owners were kind enough to leave us a random assortment of half full old paint cans, rusty tools, and broken Christmas lights, among other things. There were also random hooks and organizers scattered around the walls with no apparent pattern. Oh and some were broken.
The whole project seemed a little overwhelming, so I started small. I assembled the first storage shelf and cleared out a space just big enough for it to fit.
Then I cleaned a little more:
Once I had both shelves in place (This arrangement is actually two shelves, they can be arranged as one tall unit, or split in half to make a work table. I chose to do one of each.), I started to see the light. It was a dim light, but it was there. Now I could start sorting through all the junk and fill up those shelves. I also started making a large pile of trash. It’s amazing what I found out there. Old tupperware, 3.5 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of shoes (of course none of these things were mine…), and a whole collection of sporting equipment.
I slowly worked my way through cobwebs (from the safe distance of a broom handle naturally) and piles of leaves and junk. I swept out one half of the garage floor and stacked things there in piles while I cleaned the other half. I even stacked all our spare wood by type and size for easy access.
FIVE HOURS LATER… I was exhausted and completely filthy. But the garage was cleaner than it’s been since move-in-day over two and a half years ago.
I had to wait for Brett’s help to hang the ladder back up once I’d replaced the hooks higher on the wall. (I tried and humorously failed.) We still have a few things to do, like hang new hooks for the stroller, and hang all the tools on the pegboard I put up (you can barely see it above the bench-shelves right next to the door. Someday I’d also like to patch all the walls and paint in here, and maybe refinish the floor too. But for now, it’s very much improved.
So I didn’t get anything on my to do list done, but the garage looks awesome. The best part is that a lot of those shelves are still empty, so we have extra room for more junk. :) It’s really kind of amazing to me how much better I feel after this major clean up. It’s like every morning starts of a little better, because instead of leaving for work trying to ignore the mess, I smile at my organizational skills and feel inspired that some of the other project that seem overwhelming will one day be done.
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