Jump back in time to three years ago. We were moving in. The boxes were piled in every room of the house. As the sun started to sink lower behind the trees we decided to take the last load of stuff and dump it on the floor of the garage. Fast forward to the present. The majority of that box pile still sits in the same spot and the car is still outside getting pelted by acorns and buried in leaves.
Interestingly enough, many people across the country have this problem. The garage is full of junk and the car sits outside. A tree could fall on your car but your stuff will be safe. I would laugh out loud listening to George Carlin talk about “stuff” because with my garage, I could definately relate! The crazy part of all that is, I don’t even KNOW what the stuff is that I’m keeping so safe in the garage!
Obviously, if we haven’t needed any of that stuff in three years, we SHOULD trash every one of those boxes. Things just don’t work that way in my house. I know if I got rid of all that stuff without first going through it, I would think that every missing item for years to come was thrown out in that pile of boxes. So the boxes stayed…for now.
Three weeks ago, I purchased an inexpensive shelving unit with the sole intention of cleaning up the garage. I am ashamed to say the shelving unit rode around in my car for the entire 3 weeks since then. However, last weekend I pulled the shelves out of the car, set them on the ground outside the garage and got to work.
The first order of business was to clear out a space for the shelves. Yes, things were that bad. The previous walking space was a piece of lumber I used as a “bridge” to cross over stuff. I started pulling out the things we had outgrown, used up, or replaced during the previous 3 years: an old baby swing, a fireplace tool set, empty paint cans, etc. I knew we wouldn’t need these and they could easily be tossed out, given to charity or submitted to Freecycle. I worked that pile until I got down to the original moving boxes. I stacked them neatly out of the way for the day when I’m feeling nostalgic and decide to go through them all, hoping they are not full of old junk.
With an adequate space cleared out, I assembled my shelving unit. I positioned it close to the door so I could always have easy access to it’s contents – in case the garage floor became cluttered again or I was actually able to park a car there. The bulk of the items consisted of windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, bug sprays, etc. A box of household extention cords and various computer cables. Partial bags of grass seed – though they might be better put to use out on the lawn. I was able to stack 16 gallons of paint on the bottom shelf but I wonder if I will ever really need those.
Moving all these things onto the shelf did wonders for the garage floor. i could see it! I could walk across it without looking down! I could breakdance on it if I wanted to (and if I knew how to)! I wanted to get 6 more shelving units!Instead, I plan on installing slatwall to create an adjustable storage system that will grow and change as our needs grow and change. I’ll be able to hang hooks and baskets, make space for larger tools (chainsaw, hedge trimmer)
For now, my car still won’t fit in the garage. It will soon, though. Hopefully by Spring. In the meantime, the children’s bicycles are safe within the walls of the garage.