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Thursday, May 19, 2016


Home Sweet Crap
Over the decades, my garage evolved from a lovely open space with function for laundry & work space into a pile of... uh... crap. You know how that happens. Nature abhors a vacuum, so under Nature's command, empty niches in the garage begin, inexplicably, to fill up. Things purchased with goodly projects in mind and trapped by innocent intentions entered the limbo, aka 'Out in the Garage'.
Where Feng Shui snuffed it
I've tried for a couple of years to cut back on 'stuff' and tidy up, but experienced zero success. I mean, things just refused to tidy themselves up, thus I had to give in and do something about it. Ergo, a couple of weeks ago I hired a living, breathing professional de-clutterer. Her name is Becky, and she agreed to help a sister out.

That brings me to this morning. Becky showed up bright and early at 9 AM, bearing empty lidded boxes, lots of giant garbage bags and her own lunch and drink. At, so help me, 9:06 sharp, she stood in the southeast corner of the garage. She picked up a 6 ft wooden stave and with great kindness, asked, "Would you like to keep this, donate or trash it?"

I was almost too happy to answer.

I mean, that was it for most of the day. I sat in comfort while Becky acted like the kindly extension of my will, magically zooming about, stacking, sorting, bagging... while what did I do? I answered questions and sat. You know, that's what Claire-Bears do best.

Soon the 'stuff' piled up, in their categories, in the garage center. It was like I was the homeowner in one of those popular DIY reality shows.
Stuff piled up in categories - 'keep', 'donate' and 'dispose'
Hard work is wonderful. I mean, I could watch it all day. Becky work was amazing. She did what I seem to be incapable of - sorting, organizing, etc. Unlike me, not once did she stop, wander away with a blank look on her face, forget what she was about. Go inside the house to watch that incredibly random episode of Big Bang Theory, or suddenly google a random thought of earth-shaking importance. In short, she was capable of sorting out the garage, a skill that is beyond my ken.

There was a break for lunch of course, and when I deemed to return, Becky was bagging, boxing and continuing to organization.

As pre-arranged by Becky, around 4 PM a junk hauler arrived. He & his little boy arrived with a truck which I took one look at and thought, "No way he's going to fit all my garbage in one truck load"

There was, after all, several junky cabinets of metal and rag-tag hungs of wood. There were not one, but two HUMONGOUS water bed bases that had served as a massive chest of drawers at the rear of the garage. With deft skill, the hauler neatly dropped the drawers on their edges, flattening them. Same for junky cabinets, same for all manner of wooden thingies. In the end, the 'stuff' did not even fill the vehicle to it's summit. Hogwarts couldn't have done a better feat of necromancy.
The driveway full of 'stuff'
The clean sweep did not just include the garage. It also included the Gulag Garden out back. It's been two summers at least, since I've watered anything back there. Anything green, maintains that color on it's own volition. Over the years I discovered that no matter how much any gardening company brags and boasts of its wood raised bed's long levity, I can assure you, they are lying. My pressure treated, linseed oil permeated, turpentine treated raised bed was no match for the hellish intensity of the California sun. And worse, the raised bed wasn't worth anything at all once the neighborhood cats decided it was the best litter box e-ver. I know. I feel vauguely ill when I think of that too.

Raised cedar bed in its happy, pre-kitty hay-day
of heritage melons, cukes and cutting flowers

Sad, sorry state of raised cedar a frighteningly short time later

Alas. Today the raised cedar bed is no more. *melancholy sigh*

Seeing the empty space, where for several years my fun, raised gardening bed sat, makes me want to cry. Stupid effing neighborhood cats. Ultimately the evil felines did it more damage than any ultraviolet rays. If only I'd had the forethought and good sense to own a pack of slightly underfed Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Enough pouting!  Note: there were lots of other things outside that went tossed, from the Great Trash Hauling of twenty-sixteen.

Farewell too, yee olde vestige of chicken husbandry
and other assorted bits of gardening gewgaw
Hello once again tidy patio with no evidence of former projects of various time periods

By the time the hauler disappeared on the horizon with the remnants of 'Claire's Follies', Becky had begun the final sorting of odds and ends, ending with an ultimate sweeping up all the dirt, and debris remaining on the garage floor and patio. Then it was over... my garage and the back patio were clean, sorted and looking like I didn't live here, and that, trust me, is a good thing.

How cleared and clean is the garage? OK, those who have visited me here, this is a shocking revelation: I no longer have to back out of the garage for people to get into the passenger side of my car. Yes. Let that shocking fact sink in and further, let me state: Best money I spent all year.


1 comment:

  1. WoW! Youve become a "minimalist". LoL