THE PURGE – A Good Job Done!

Triumphant. That’s how I feel today.

My garage has been the bane of my existence for some time. I used to be able to park my truck in my garage but it has been years since that truck has seen the inside of the garage. Someone who hadn’t been to my house for a while came over when I was working in the garage and he said “You used to park in here, didn’t you? What happened?” My answer: “Life happened.”

Yep, life and STUFF. My garage became the dumping ground for all stuff that I didn’t have room for in the house. Projects, remnants of businesses, antiques, collectibles, memories, keepsakes … all stored in my garage.

How did I let it get so bad? Well, it became all so overwhelming. I would stand in the middle of my garage and look around and didn’t even know where to start. I’d rather go in and crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head instead of dealing with the outrageously huge job of clearing through all that had piled up in that garage.

But I did it. I made a decision to plow through. I started with the boxes of antiques and collectibles that have been in my garage for years. I had a business where I would go to antique shows and sell my wares. I stopped doing that and instead put all of my treasures in an antique store on consignment. Well, the store closed down and I had to go collect all of my stuff that hadn’t sold. Everything came right from the store and was shoved into a corner in my garage.

I forgot I had some of that stuff. It was like Christmas going through those boxes!

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I listed everything on Craigslist and a local resale Facebook group. I gave everything a week or more to sell. A few items did, I gave some away, some I kept and the rest went to Goodwill. I vowed that I wasn’t going to hold on to this stuff waiting for it to sell. My goal, after all, was to empty my garage.

That took a few days to get everything posted. Then I uncovered thousands of beads, which I ended up selling, all for $50. But it was a HUGE tote full of beads so I made some serious space getting rid of them. Everything else I just started tossing in the trash and recycle bins. That went on for the last two weeks and this past Saturday my ex came over with a 16 foot trailer. We loaded that baby up and took everything to the dump.

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Going to the dump is quite the experience. I can’t describe how incredible it felt to just be grabbing stuff off the trailer and tossing it into a pile, knowing that it was all going to be rolled over, crushed and flattened by some big yellow hunk of machinery (called a SheepsFoot Roller, I think).

What freedom! I’ve always been one who likes a lot of space, wide open space. I can breathe and I no longer have the stress of that unbearable job hanging over my head. I did learn that an overwhelming job can be conquered by just doing a little bit at a time. It’s August in Austin Texas so it was incredibly hot. I would go through a box or two, then have to go inside to cool off in the air conditioning, then when the spirit moved me, I’d go back out to the garage to go through another box. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and let the dogs out to potty. While I was waiting for them, I’d go through another box. I’d be watching TV at night and the garage called to me. I’d go out and empty another box of stuff. My trash bins filled up, so much that I had to borrow my neighbor’s cans for my overflow. Anyway, this strategy went on like this for a week.  It is doable, for anyone out there who is facing the same overwhelming task.

I spent the rest of this week organizing everything in my garage. Now I have a bunch of empty totes (I sold four of them) and EMPTY SHELVES in the garage! I feel soooo free!

There is so much space in the garage now. I don’t know that I’ll start parking my truck in the there now. With all the space, it’s like a romper room for the dogs! It is carpeted and vented for air conditioning so I just leave the door open and the dogs run in and out so it gives them one more room to run through. But the bottom line is I CAN park in the garage if I so choose.

open garage 1 open garage 2

Now I have to clean out the spare rooms. That’s not near the job that the garage was. Mostly I have a lot of books and art and I have to figure out what to do with it all. But that’s for another day…when the spirit moves me.

Do you have an overwhelming task that you’ve been putting off? What shape is your garage in?

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23 thoughts on “THE PURGE – A Good Job Done!

  1. Nodding my head here! 🙂 Our basement furnace room sounds just like your garage! Every time I go in there I say “One of these days…” About a decade ago, we actually rented a dumpster and cleaned everything out. That lasted a couple of years. Sigh….Hubby and I are both incurable packrats, it seems. Closets and drawers aren’t that much better. 😛
    Congratulations on completing this gargantuan task, Michele! Gives me encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the office! That was one of the worst that I did a few years ago. I fixed that problem: I turned the office into another spare bedroom…but then that’s how a lot of stuff ended up in the garage! One thing that helps is I don’t buy anything anymore. I already have everything I need so I’m no longer contributing to the madness in that way.
      Good luck with your office and closets. I need to do my master bedroom closet again. And the spare room closets. What the hell? How does one person have so much stuff???!!!!
      I’ll be your cheerleader! You can do it Lana! ❤

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  2. Congratulations. My garage is half full where I can only park one vehicle, but I rarely park either of ours inside. I need to get back to my purging efforts when I get home. There is still a lot of stuff I could stand to rid myself of.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – this is so inspirational, and I’m so impressed with you! We have the same thing in our garage. We used to park BOTH our cars in there. Then my dad was moved to an assisted-living facility, he sold his house, and we went through the house, taking what we wanted. Every time we went there, we took more stuff. And, of course, it all ended up in our garage. There’s a tiny path through the garage leading out, otherwise you can’t even walk in there. It’s been at least 6 months, and I need to go through that stuff. And yes, it’s super hot here too (southern California), and I would love to get my car back in the garage. So you have inspired me – one box at a time. I will do this! Thank you! 🙂

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    • That’s how my garage was! Just a little walkway through the middle. Enough to get a trash can through and that’s it! Now it is so nice to walk out there and have all this SPACE!!! So nice! Let me know when you get started and I’ll cheer you on! ❤

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  4. Oh Wow-Congratulations!! I know what this feels like. My mom came from a time when you save everything. The first time was a huge room filled almost to the top with stuff. She had already moved twice and we would have huge arguments when I wanted to get to that room. Finally my brother took her our for the day and I attacked the room. I organized it and when she came home she was so happy but then she went through the garbage and started pulling things out like used file folders(ughhh). When I bought my home she moved in with me since I owned a duplex. So much of her stuff went into my small garage. Finally I did a yard sale and told her nothing will go back in. There were no such beautiful antiques like you had, just junk. Thankfully she had laser surgery on her eyes so she could not come out. I sold a lot but I also had a huge amount that went to Goodwill. She couldn’t stop me this time. Now the garage is my hubby’s art studio. I have to say I love that gold purse or powder purse-so very pretty

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    • Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it for someone else. I bet she doesn’t even miss any of that stuff! That’s what I’m finding. I don’t have any regrets.
      The gold compact is a vintage Coty powder compact. It is so pretty. Now I do regret giving that away. That accidentally went. I forgot to take it out of the Goodwill box. It was gorgeous! Oh well…

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  5. Great job Michele.. Looks nice. I think we all have a tendency to store and save things. If its not a garage its a spare room, I try to not save too much anymore and it does make it easier to clean that way. I stay away from yard and garage sales even though you can get pretty good things that way for cheap. Our problem is we have a lot of pool equipment to store in John’s big garage every winter and cushions for all the chairs get put in our basement. My Car has to be in the Garage. I do not like going out in the cold to get in a vehicle, so John was told years ago do not load my garage up that I can’t get my car in.. I am spoiled I know!! Spring and fall I go through things and things we don’t need goes to Goodwill. Love all your little stories Michele.. Keep on writing kid.. Love you!! Hugs to you and doggies too!!

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    • Hey Mattie! I owe you a phone call! I’ll give you a call this weekend and catch up. I want to find out how your doing and how you’re feeling. You are so lucky to have a basement! I’d give anything to have a basement. They don’t have basements here in Austin because of the rock in the ground. Oh how I would love to have a basement!!! But I guess that would be just one more place where stuff would accumulate. You’re right, if it’s not the garage, it’s the spare room. I’m tackling both my spare rooms next… 🙂
      Love you and miss you. Just got off the phone with Mom. Will catch you up when we talk. ❤

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  6. Congratulations! When I bought my house five years ago I didn’t even bother to look in the detached garage. It was just a garage, or so I thought. After I moved in my son opened up the garage and it was completely full of stuff that the former owners left behind! They had even stored stuff in the rafters. Fortunately I live in a neighborhood where everyone sets out stuff they don’t want at the curb. People gradually took everything I set out. I’ve been able to park my car in the garage for a couple of years. I always have overwhelming tasks that I can’t quite bring myself to do, and then somehow I get through them.

    Love,
    Janie

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    • I can’t believe that a seller would leave a garage full of junk for the new homeowner! Wow, that’s just insane! The realtors should’ve gotten involved in that deal. How does someone have the nerve to do that?? Too bad they didn’t leave you treasures! But glad you got through all that. In the rafters even?! Crazy!

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  7. Wow! It looks great, congrats! We just recently cleaned our whole apartment, which is probably double the size of your garage. Got rid of a lot of stuff! It is very relieving once all the stuff is cleared and you actually have room!

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    • Congrats on cleaning your whole place out! It feels so good, doesn’t it?? Now if we can just keep it that way, right? 🙂

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