Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cleaning the Dang Garage

I posted a couple few months ago about my list I'm working on before I turn 50 and have been fairly rotten about updating you on my progress. I swear, I haven't forgotten!  My computer time has been restricted by me working so hard at getting through the list!

OK, I can't even say that with a straight face. I've just not done it. It's been a little hampered by my son monopolizing my laptop and then not realizing that computer cords have a severe allergy to yanno... candle wicks.  LIT candle wicks to be precise. Mama needs a new charger cord for her MacBook Pro. It's on my to-do list, I just haven't gotten to it yet. That's the truth.

But back to the list. I have made progress!  I truly have!  One of the things on my list was to clean out my garage. Sounds simple, I know. Clean the dang garage. My garage has been the dumping ground for the last year, since I began the process of living in our new home. Moving is a pain, which is an understatement. It's hell. Seriously not fun. I knew I was moving for several months before I moved, so I thought I was doing a good job of sorting and pitching and going through my stuff to make sure that what I brought to the new place was only the cream of the crop... the things I truly wanted to keep. That plan was working beautifully... up until about two weeks before moving day when I hit the "oh-my-gosh-I-will-never-get-through-all-of-this" stage of packing followed by the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" stage. I left most of the basement for the end, because much of it was already packed... since I never unpacked the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" boxes from the last move... heh, heh.

Anyway, we were full in to Moving Day and I had one of my boys help me move a bunch of things up from the basement. It was raining, so rather than load up the couch, we threw a small load in my SUV and ran to Home Depot. There I received the kind of call you dread getting... my oldest son telling me the basement was starting to flood. We'd had a small flood in the past, and it stayed pretty much to one end of the basement. I wasn't too concerned, and told him we'd be home as soon as we could... and I meant it!  I really did have a sense of urgency about myself. The next call about ten minutes later from said son was much more disconcerting, as he stated there were several inches in the basement. The.whole.basement. It's moving day, and my basement is flooding. Not good.

If I thought I'd been in the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" stage previously, I was now in a level 10 "for-the-love-of-God-just-GET IT OUT OF THE BASEMENT!!" emergency. The drying time between getting things to dry land and having to get them out of the house left quite a bit to be desired. The last loads out of the house were haphazard, which is a nice way of describing a complete frickin' disaster. The stuff of moving nightmares. It was bad. Really bad. And then? It was over!  I was done moving!  All of my stuff, some organized, some dry, some wet, some a complete mishmosh of stuff that should never, ever be packed in the same box... all of my stuff... was at our new home. And by home? I mean garage. It was all in my garage. :::sigh:::

I wasn't worried about this garage situation, truly I wasn't. Them that knows me know I'm a hopeless optimist. I took the first full week in the house off so I could unpack and get all those things crossed off my list that we usually wait to do. Painting, cleaning, organizing, drying... etc. It was all going to get done in my week-long staycation. I did pretty well if I do say so myself, and got a lot done in that week. I was no slacker and was proud of myself. That being said, a week is only a week... and my last few weeks of cramming random acts of crap into random boxes packing extravaganza had done a serious number on what my garage looked like. I wasn't worried, I had the whole rest of the summer to get things done.  And then my boyfriend spent 45 days in the hospital and my life turned upside down. And some other events happened that threw me for a loop. And school started. And I had a full time job. And oh yeah, I have kids! All these things collectively pushed cleaning my garage down to a very small priority.

Small priority, yes; forgettable? Not so much. The mess in my garage grew in width and depth and crapth as the months progressed... I would dig through to find that last box of Christmas decorations and then shove the box back in "wherever" because I would clean the garage "sometime." This, dear reader, weighed heavy on my soul. Every time I went in to my garage, I wanted it clean. Every time I shoved something else in to my garage, I wanted it clean. Every time I had someone lay eyes on my garage, It was with this in mind that when people asked what my plans were for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend I told them I was going to clean out my garage. Without exception, everyone took this information with pity on me. I would have none of it. I told them I was looking forward to it and couldn't wait to tackle the beast.

Saturday morning tackle the beast I did... and by Saturday night I had a beautiful, clean, organized two and a half car garage that could actually fit... two cars. It was a beautiful sight and I was very proud of myself, to say the least.

The next day I went to help a friend who had found out two weeks prior that her landlord wanted her to move out. She was given two weeks to find a new place and pack. ACK!! This is the stuff of nightmares!  No one should be subjected to such torture as having to pack up all the stuff you and your kids have accumulated over the last many years in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!  She luckily found something, but there was a two week lag between the new place being ready for her and her moving day. Several of us showed up to pack and move her and as I was leaving for the day she mentioned that the storage unit she had was full and she was going to have to rent another, adding to the cost of this already expensive (and unanticipated) venture. I offered my support and condolences for the circumstances, and then drove home. And pulled in to my beautiful, clean, organized two and a half car garage that was primarily empty. And I knew what I had to do. I let my friend know that she wouldn't have to rent that second unit, she could store her things in my garage until her new place was ready.

I think things happen for a reason. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to help a friend and be a solution for someone who really needed it at the time. Even at the expense of a clean garage. Because, you know what? In my mind, that garage is clean. Others may see a garage full of boxes, but I see a garage serving a purpose it couldn't have a week ago, and that's more valuable than an actual clean garage. It will be clean again soon, but for now it's full of boxes and full of love for a friend.