Friday, January 2, 2009

Shedding of Innocent Stuff: The Garage Deep Clean

New Year's Day was spent in a flurry of activity, and it was perhaps a little more intense than I truly intended it to be. I woke up at 6:00 AM and went into the garage. With the exception of having dinner at my wife's parents place, the garage is where I pretty much stayed, all day. That, and going in and out of the living room and kitchen area to pack up all of the Christmas items we had out.

My goal was simple. There had been a creeping and growing amount of boxes and items making a second perimeter around the garage. I wanted to see how much of this stuff I could get rid of. Here's what I determined:

* We purchased a bunch of really fragile glass ornaments about ten years ago. We've been way too paranoid to put them up on the tree in the past, but this year we decided to give it a try. Since they are just plain gold, silver and burgundy balls, and since we liked the more eclectic mix of ornaments we've gathered over the years better, we decided it was time to let these ones go. In the process, we reclaimed a whole storage box worth of space.

* We have various totes and boxes that have made their way into the garage, most without lids, and most just end up on the floor as "dumping areas" to be dealt with later. This is an example where too much organizational media can actually lead to disorganization. I realize it sounds weird to say "we're getting rid of a bunch of organization stuff to get better organized", but in this case, it's true. Plus, with the added factor of not always having the fall back of putting things in a random container, one must go through the effort of actually putting things where they genuinely belong (shocking, I know (LOL!) ).

* I have an external frame backpack that I haven't used in close to four years. The internal frame pack is what I now use for outings, and my son has one that's best sized for him. This isn't needed by me anymore, so I'm giving it to the troop.

* I have a bunch of vinyl albums that I have not played in close to 10 years. It's a pretty good bet they will never get played. Gone.

* Somehow, a lot of scouting paraphernalia has made its way to my garage. It needs to go back to the troop closet at church and not be in my house.

* I have a table router that I bought when we first bought the house for all of the projects I would do. I've used it three times in ten years. time for it to find a new home.

* I have a number of items that I purchased from back in the days when my garage was Pinewood Derby central. Some of the tools are useful and definitely needed. Others I will likely never use again.

* I have a lot of stuff that is used by the Native American Dance tram that I help advise and support. Much of this stuff is in great shape, but having it packed all the time makes it bulky and hard to maneuver. By taking the items out, hanging them in see through bags from the hanging rack in the garage, I can stow the big trunk they usually go in up on the high shelf over the workbench, and use it when it is appropriate. Large scale floor reclaim :).

* There's paint that is the old color of rooms that are no longer that color. Why am I keeping this?

* I have three folding tables that were a big part of my Cub Scout teaching curriculum when the house was Cub Scout central. Now that my son has moved on and we use the church for most of our activities, I'm a little torn on what to do with these. Do I need all three? Not likely, but I can definitely see keeping two of them. The question is, which one to get rid of?

* There's a lot of sporting goods gear that has been worn by my kids through their growing years, and the smallest of the gear now needs to be given a new home. I have some serious emotions about the "Lion" snowboard that is now too small to be ridden by anyone... that board has now been part of the family for almost ten years, and every one of my kids learned to ride on it. Still, its time to let another family take advantage of it now.

Fourteen hours, four trash bags, three donation bags, and a lot of equipment that needs a loving home. My goal for this new year (remember, no resolutions :) ) is to commit to taking a really hard look at the items that come into the garage. It took a really long time to clean up this dumping ground, and I really don't want to do it again (LOL!).

1 comment:

Mare's page said...

LOL-your gargage sounds like ours only with different "stuff". Greg and I have been trying to find time to do ours. We did a "sorta" job on it one time but didn't do the workbench. Now the whole thing needs it again. I like the fact that with the kids getting older we have less "stuff" (or at least less big "stuff").