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September 04, 2004: Again with the garage

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With Labor Day weekend approaching, I started pondering a few of the pending projects around the house and decided that we should set ourselves a goal mainly that we had to try to get them done so we could then reward ourselves with another trip to the San Francisco zoo. We did do our best to get a few of them accomplished in the weeks leading up to this weekend, like loading up the car with all the recycling that's been overflowing the containers for weeks and driving it over the recycling center, and getting rid of the weight bench (in preparation for turning the guest room into a library). But there was still one more project we needed to accomplish something we've been putting off and putting off for months.

Some time this past year I bought a bunch of shelving units and put them all together all by myself on a day when Richard was gone somewhere. Then I dragged them around and got a pretty good start on organizing the garage. But the effort stalled at that point, and the workbench quickly became someplace to just deposit clutter; the bike rack remained in its box, unassembled, and the new shelves remained half full, while all the stuff that should have been on those shelves remained in untidy piles around the garage.

So today we finally did it. Richard was supposed to do some work at the church with a few other guys, but he and my dad were the only ones who showed up and for some funny reason they didn't feel like tackling cleaning and repolishing the floor of the social hall all by themselves. So they gave up and went home, and as soon as he got home, we got started.

As most projects like this usually go, it didn't take all that long once we finally got started. Our garage was never a nightmarish mess like some I've seen, since after all, we've always been able to get both cars in with room to spare. So it was mainly just an hour or two of dedicated sorting and rearranging. We dragged the little cabinet I use to store paint and painting supplies over to the other side of the garage, along with the old chest of drawers that now serves as a repository for all temporary eating (picnic) supplies and all my miscellaneous canning equipment. We sorted through the huge box of stuff that's been accumulating since we moved into this house (over three years ago) and put it into many boxes and bags, and then took all of that and our first pair of bikes (bought for about $50 each at Wal-Mart) over to Goodwill. Then we put together the bike rack, which is a tall pole type contraption with little adjustable hooks, on which we could hang both of our (much nicer, more expensive) bikes, thereby
not only getting them off the floor, but also removing much of the bike-related clutter. We emptied out both of our tool boxes and tracked down all the miscellaneous workbench clutter sheets of sandpaper from when we finished our end tables, the cordless drill, a plethora of screwdrivers and wrenches and other tools and we set them all up neatly on the workbench. We then immediately put two fix-it projects on the workbench, but that's the point of having that bench in the first place and it's so much better than having it be covered in random clutter. We also threw away a ton of stuff enough to fill up our big grey city-issued garbage can. Not such a big deal, perhaps, except that trash day was yesterday and now there is no space to stick any more trash until after they come to empty it next Friday. Somehow, however, we will manage.

It took only an hour or two, including the time to load up the car and drop off all the stuff at Goodwill, but when it was done it felt like there was a big weight off my shoulders. I am oh-so-good at starting projects with all sorts of enthusiasm, but I have never been as enthusiastic at finishing them. So to see our garage looking perfectly organized and neat, and know that at least this project can be considered complete feels good. We're going to the zoo on Monday for our Labor Day treat, and we earned it.

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