You asked for it. You got it.
Wait. You didn't ask for it? Well, you're getting it anyway.
So a couple dozen posts ago I think I alluded to that special place in the confines of our Quaint Cottage where all things go to die. It has been straightened, but never thoroughly winnowed. It has been ignored and very thoroughly neglected. As of this past weekend, this, my friends, is no more.
Operation Garage Clean Out started on Friday morning. Ma Luffin' Mayun and I loaded up the wee Us-es and took them over to Nana's and Pawpaw's for the day. We picked them up Friday night to let them sleep at home, and then returned them to the Grands' for the whole day on Saturday. We knew that if we were to get the epic task of cleaning out the garage anywhere near done, it would have to be without sweet and/or not-so-sweet interruptions from the kiddos.
There aren't even words to describe the mess we let the garage get into. There were nooks and crannies that had some semblance of order from long ago (i.e. Christmas decorations in their boxes and grouped together, personalized mementos boxes for each family member, etc.). Those little bright spots of organization were helpful reminders that we are fully capable of implementing workable systems, which was nice in the midst of the massive amounts of cumulative disorder we've been building up.
Here are some things that led to such a monumental clean-out job. For starters, owning too much unnecessary, unused stuff (funny how it goes back to that, huh?). Second, not caring well for some of what we do possess. This second thing shows itself especially in the haphazard way we have maintained the interior of our vehicles. Let me explain...
If we leave to go anywhere there is nearly always an accompanying sippy cup and bottle. Most times a toy is also added. Now that Brilliant Beauty emulates being a grown-ish type gal, there's usually a pocket book thrown in. Possibly a jacket or sweater. Maybe a snack. Of course there's my purse and a diaper bag. Then, no matter where we go, there is the undeniable urgency for my kiddos to remove shoes and socks and fling them about. Add to this the occasional junk mail envelopes, miscellaneous school papers, fast-food wrappers (gasp), random rocks plucked out of parking lots by tiny hands, and the cornucopia of CDs rolling around in the floor board from a frenzied effort to find the exact music to calm the savage beast(s). Stir in a couple of bedraggled parents and three kiddos who've been crammed into a backseat where no one has even pretended to maintain their own space bubble or their inside voices (our family doesn't actually come equipped with inside voices...I blame Ma Luffin' Mayun. If you know him, you blame him, too, right?). By the time this party-on-wheels rolls back up to Quaint Cottage, there ain't nobody standing in line to straighten out the fresh mess in the car. So what happens? It's starts over on the next ride. And the cycle continues.
Where the garage factors into all this is when the vehicle has reached critical mass, it's contents are emptied into a box or bag and then thrust into the garage to be dealt with "later". And so on, and so forth.
I've got no sob story. We just own too much; more than we can steward well. And even as I have winnowed within the livable space of our home I would so often just take the winnowed content to the garage. Again, until "later".
"Later" needs to be taken out to the woodshed. "Later" was Friday and Saturday.
And let me just say, we were some winnowing fools. We spanked it.
How about some pictures?
Disclaimer: Ma Luffin' Mayun would rather willingly ingest long-expired honey buns laced with pesticide than show these pictures, but in the name of catharses and for The Greater Good, he's consented. Besides, he's already had that type of honey bun, you only live once, and he needs to try something new.
And it's okay to gasp in shock and awe. Really. It is. We'll never know you did it.
Sidetracked Home Executive system I had borrowed from KakiBlack. I thought hubster and I were going to bust a gut laughing at the irony. Classic.
We took all loads of giveaway and trash IMMEDIATELY. Not "later". That felt so good. I really do think the two of us enjoyed working together on this. We made a great team and shared a unified focus and vision. One day soon, this garage will be renovated into more livable space for our family, a Family Room. We don't know when, or exactly how the financing will happen, but we know it will. We need it. And now we are about two bazillion steps closer to it being reality.
Are you ready? I don't think you're ready. Are you? You sure?? Here it is...
So, here's a couple of side-by-side, before-and-after comparisons...
Not too shabby.
God willing and if I have my say, never again will that kind of anarchy hide in our house. It felt so good to get all that stuff out of here. We didn't know what we had, and realized we didn't need most of it. And the best thing is that now we can see what is to come in this space. In so many ways, it can already be used right now before the first renovation happens.
Did I learn anything? Oh, yeah. Enough to fill another post or two. Mostly, that "later" is certainly an enemy of a truly peaceful "now". Things shouldn't be left lurking.
Winnow we did. And, boy, that feels amazing. Now on to bigger and better things...but not more stuff.