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!
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.
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.
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?