Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jumping in head first

Cleaning my garage that is...

It was time to do something with... the garage. I was tired of moving "stuff" from one shelf to another, tripping over things, not being able to find what I needed, and generally feeling uneasy by the chaos and clutter. I knew we were looking at more than the usual spring garage clean up... it was time to take everything off the shelves (except the pantry shelves), go through each and every box... and start an enormous Goodwill pile.

What started with just putting a few groceries away became an all-day event. I finished just a little before 4:00 when hubby and I had to take the car in for an oil change appointment. I took about seven brown paper grocery bags with me to Goodwill. There will be at least another seven tomorrow. I got to the point where I was donating things I still liked. However, if I didn't have room for them... out they went.

This is the third (or fourth?) time I downsized "stuff" since moving out of our really big house. It honestly didn't seem like I owned that much "stuff" when we lived there. However, I had kept everything from when I had a small business making craft items and teddy bears, all of my sewing and quilting supplies, all of our homeschooling "stuff", more than one collection belonging to four different people, hundreds... no, thousands... of books, almost all of my in-laws papers and such "inherited" after they died, and just lots of my other much loved "stuff".

There's nothing like having to move "stuff" to make you lose your grip on it, so what was left at this time was basically those items remaining after three "downsizes". I've reached a point in life where one decides they are not going to buy another shelf!

Oh, there are some things I would obviously keep even if they had no use because they belonged to someone I loved. There are others that don't take much space and would require quite a bit of money to replace someday should I need them. However, there was a lot that, as I went through everything, I wondered why I was taking up so much space to keep them?

It has been downright emotionally freeing... giddy perhaps?... getting rid of excess and unneeded stuff. Not only do I not need to buy more shelves, there is space on existing shelves for some stock up items to "recession proof" a tad more (next month). I can even see the top of my clothes dryer, which has had Christmas "stuff" piled on it since January (blush...). You see, it sits right next to the "Christmas shelves" in the garage and, well... now part of it is at Goodwill and only what I absolutely adore is back on the Christmas shelves.

I found a few items I had "lost"... like my Spring & Easter decorations. Compared to all other seasons, there isn't much... just one small box. That's how it had gotten lost, in with Christmas "stuff". There is more work to be done tomorrow but I'm hoping by the end of the day to have transformed the garage into a Christian form of a zen garden. Okay, at least it will be clean.


Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) I'm cheering with you for what sounds like a wonderfully productive project - way to go! May tomorrow's work go well, too. Love, Q

Karen said...

Glad you were able to get so much accomplished. The dreaded garage hangs over my head, too -- we haven't been able to park in the garage since we moved here last July. After experiencing the worst winter of my adult life, I'm motivated to get things cleared out. Thanks for the motivation!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

These kinds of days are much fretted over before we begin, but always so worthwhile when done. I know what you mean about the liberating feeling of getting rid of the "stuff." If we have only so much room, every little thing has to pull its weight to be considered for prime real estate. It's tough, but you've done very good work today. I can tell.

Crossroads Cottage said...

I'm way jealous. Our garage is abosolutely horrible - actually way more than horrible. It's downright embarrasing! Like you, we try to clean and organize it at least twice yearly but it doesn't seem to work b/c we just have too much stuff. I think I need to take your advice and de-clutter - majorly!