Making a Difference in Your Garage
***** Before deep cleaning in the garage, set off an insect bomb—especially one that is good for spiders. Brown recluse, black widow, and other spider bites can do major damage to your body and they like the dark, undisturbed areas of closets and storage area for their homes.
The garage is my husband’s domain and I try not to mess with his systems. BUT
- There are some principles that apply no matter what area you are dealing with and the first is to remove anything that doesn’t belong in that area beginning with laundry, dishes, and trash. Somehow I do find dirty clothes especially socks in the garage. Dishes also migrate to the garage and I know that some stainless flatware is hiding in the cushions of the chairs and couches in Roy’s kingdom. Trash is a given anywhere. So—remove dishes, laundry, and trash as a first step.
- Our garage is the one area of our home afflicted with the “for now” syndrome. There are things that are left in the garage on the way out of the house or on the way into the house.
- Gather up the things that you have been meaning to return to friends and family, or take to your favorite donation site and make sure they get the rest of the way there.
- Do a treasure hunt for things that belong in the house and got trapped in the garage on the way in. Rescue them and return them to their rightful homes.
- If you are removing the things that do not belong in the garage and avoiding repeating the practice—you will make major headway in the garage. In other words—take it all the way in and put it away or take it all the way out. This includes not leaving it in your car but taking it to the charity drop off or returned to its owner.
It’s important to honor the spaces that principally belong to another person in your home—that principally being your husband. His organizing and storage systems may not be yours. Roy’s systems are not mine. I do not have to have my way in everything. In honoring his space, I am honoring him. Different isn’t always wrong. Sometimes it’s just different.
I try to be available when Roy does want my assistance in the garage. I try to check my attitude at the door and help. I am very good with sweeping, dusting, and cleaning surfaces. I also like to gather like items and store them together. If he is the one who is going to locate items he uses—he can decide how and where they are stored.
Garages are great places for sealables like storage bins with tops and plastic bags. Items stored in these containers have a better chance at survival. Don’t forget to label because you will not remember which of the identical containers hold what. Also, you may not be the person who is trying to locate an item and the labels will keep them from having to dig through a series of containers.
Garages (and attics) are terrible places for things that cannot handle extremes of heat, cold and dampness. That would be pictures, documents, candles, and anything that is valuable to you.
If you do have an organizing idea you’d like to put in place in the garage—run it by him. Men need unconditional respect like they need oxygen. Kind of like we need unconditional love.