The first time we saw our house, we couldn’t actually see the garage. It was jam-packed full.
I have a dad who kept his garage as tidy and organized as the house, even going so far as to park the lawnmower on a rug. (I didn’t just come out like this, you know. My mother’s a Virgo.)
(And I’m not making fun, OCD tendencies are in my chart. I clean as a way to manage anxiety. When my house it at its cleanest, I have usually forgotten to eat despite cooking and baking, I’ve maybe chewed off all my cuticles and the inside of my lips, and I probably can’t sleep.)
Anyway, We’ve had four garages in the timeline of our marriage. Two older detached ones, and two new attached ones. I know I don’t need a clean and pretty garage. I just need function. The Mister has a lot of tools. We have a fair amount of sporting goods and automotive crap. We’ve had a lot of kids, so you know, scooters, bikes, skateboards, sleds
— but we’ve never had a junked-up garage.
Looking at our garage, per the previous owner, I wondered how anyone’s garage could get so bad. I assumed three-generations of stuff would do it. I knew it would all be gone when we took possession.
Um, I hadn’t really considered our downsizing process completely.
I told you I’d tell you stories about the home improvement stuff, and I’ve decided this one is a good one to share for now. I occasionally rant on my Facebook, but people are offended so fucking easily these days.
Here’s my rant status:
If you ever went into a garage and wondered how on earth the people let it get that way, I can explain.
Prolly 26 months ago some people moved in and immediately pulled out the old washer and dryer to make room for theirs. They didn’t know then that their washer was broken.
Then when the movers came, they had everything that didn’t immediately belong somewhere sat in their garage. They saved boxes for their soon-to-move friends.
They survived The Plumbing Fiasco of 2013 and put their not very old washer out in the garage with the washer and dryer that came with the house.
After several months of the wife’s nagging, the husband sorted the garage enough to park in it.
They did not, for the first few months in their home, have the recycling bin or schedule, but they diligently filled boxes and paper bags with their recycling and got 99% of it out when they caught the nice men driving by one snowy morning.
They don’t take yard debris on the recycle truck. Heavy trash goes on another day. Usually the day before the wife remembers she had heavy trash for her husband to put out.
Then, when their kids outgrew things, when they replaced things, they sat the old stuff in the garage, too. They put the ant bait out there, the energy-saving kits, the empty cans of paint, the cat crates…
They took down dangerous sliding doors and put those in the garage.
When they bought a new grill, and some new tools, and a new bike, they put all that in the garage. They bought some lumber for a project and sat the leftovers in the garage. They kept an old dresser and an old mirror for a friend.
They have a futon frame that will never see the light of day. (Live in Indy and need a mission-style futon frame? Contact me!)
They don’t know why they still have a boxy computer monitor, really. Sure, they kept a box each for their kids’ keepsakes. Sure, they hoard fabric and Marine Corps stuff, but they never ever throw tennis rackets, basketballs, or shovels onto the garage floor.
They have Christmas boxes and empty boxes — these people have so many bloody buggery boxes, they don’t even know what’s in each box!
The wife occasionally digs for treasure, but today, she cannot find her box of vintage cameras and she wants to take a flame thrower to the whole fucking thing. She is not paralyzed by the sight of spiders, their webs, and eggs, but she has to admit to her children that the spiders do seem to have taken over.
She keeps saying they’ll have a garage sale, but the husband is never home on weekends, and she’s had plenty of garage sales by her damn self, and she’s grown old and bitter in addition to being fairly certain she ruptures her kidneys and ovaries every time she moves something heavy.
The husband says the garage is his room and it would look just fine if people stopped putting their things in it. Ironically, the wife wonders which room is hers, and decides on the kitchen and laundry. She concurs that those rooms would also look just fine if people stopped putting their things in them. The wife has a shed, but that’s not her freakin lawnmower in it, Buddy!
She dreams of a tidy, organized garage and she knows the only way she’s going to get one is to do it herself. She puts on her big girl panties, her mom jeans, her hoodie, her do-rag, her gloves, and her wellies and she picks up her trusty broom.
She thinks she needs a shop-vac. WTF happened to the shop-vac? IS IT IN A BOX?
I am happy to report that our garage is now cleaned-out and organized, and that my kidneys and ovaries did not rupture. And I found those vintage cameras, in the very last box I opened.
What about you? How’s your garage? Do you need to have a garage sale? Have you ever downsized?