It’s time to clean the garage

IMG_0660My husband and I have a definite difference of opinion. I am a purger who assumes that at least half of what we own at any given time (if not more) is dispensable. He saves scrap wood.

And other stuff. And not in an organized fashion. His is the work bench so disastrous that when he needs a nail it is easier to go buy a new box of nails than search for one the right size.

I routinely go through closets, drawers and storage areas. I throw out the kids’ artwork. Pass on books that I loved and could probably reread. Discard family heirlooms. He keeps the user’s guides from the technology training course held so long ago it is like the Model A of technology.

All this, in the garage. Because I won’t let it in the house. Once something is deposited in the garage it would take an act of congress to get me to bring it back inside. And we all know how unlikely that is given the current state of Washington.

When my husband and I disagree about whether or not to keep something, it goes to the garage. To him, it’s convenient storage. To me, the garage is a staging area for the stuff we can someday discard, when the mood is right, when my husband is so sick of banging his car door into that box of junk that he is seized with a temporary urge to purge.

When he hits this point, all sentiment falls away from the man. He will discard boxes without looking into them first. He will throw out toys the kids are still using, practically removing them from their hands. I take full advantage of these liberating moments, when they arrive.

Today, a new twist. He called me to the garage to take a look at something he’d brought home. It was a motorcycle. Something he’s always wanted. And needs to park in the garage.

I am not a fan of motorcycles. They scare me. And they cost money. But when I saw it, I did not raise concerns about safety or expense. Instead, my first reaction was, “If you’re going to park that in the garage we will need to get rid of some stuff.”

“OK,” he said, amenably.

Yessssssss! Guess what I’m doing today…

This is a Blogging University Writing 101 post.

Two more tips – and one addresses my pet peeve!

Many thanks to readers who responded to my last post – Three clutter-busting tips from an unprofessional organizer – with their own suggestions. My favorite tip came from reader Kelli Quinn, the owner of QuinnEssential Massage Therapy & Holistic Wellness in Millville, NJ.

Anyone who knows me knows that I despise the endless loads of laundry I am forced to wash as the head of a busy family. But I must confess, it hadn’t really occurred to me that many of you are running businesses that generate laundry. Oh, cruel reality! Kelli writes:

Between washing my own sheets, my massage linens, my clothes, towels, and even my boyfriend’s laundry, I’ve found that if I can JUST get my laundry picked up (that gradually gets strewn over various surfaces throughout the week, none of which are their actual home) I feel lighter because I know where everything is. If I begin with laundry organization, I am much more likely to tackle the next project because I can see “what’s left” — and I’m always surprised that it’s not as much as I initially anticipated.

So thanks, Kelli! You win the prize of granting me undying relief that my business generates little, if any, laundry.

Another tip came from Liz Truesdale, an attorney in Appleton, WI:

If I ever get in a time pinch, I remember the sage advice one of my bosses’ secretaries gave me nearly 20 years ago: If your bathrooms are clean, people will assume the rest of your house is clean. That translates to a lot of situations!

So take that tip into your holidays.

Keep the tips coming! Send them to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.