Cleaning the Stash

Long ago, our garage became a sort of dumping ground. Don’t know where to put something? Dump it in the garage. Want to keep something we have no space for? Dump it in the garage. Think we ought to keep something we no longer use? Dump it in the garage.

When I’d get frustrated with the mess, I’d buy plastic storage bins, stuff crap in them, and stack them as high as I could without having to worry they’d come crashing down on Rusty, our outside cat who adopted us and now sleeps and hangs out in the garage.

But then there was the stuff that wouldn’t fit in a storage bins, or the storage bins that would crack overtime having been punished by the heat and dry air. We’d clean around that stuff, ignore the cracked bins, and pile more stuff when we could.

Lots of the stuff is stuff we’d plan to sell at our twice yearly community garage sale. Then we’d miss the date of the sale, or when we did participate, we’d later find stuff we’d forgotten we had. So, we’d save it for the following year.

As someone who likes to have things organized, I was always bitching about the chaos. We had to dig through layers of crap to find the Christmas tree and ornaments; we had to pull out half the crap on one side to get to the table and chairs we use for cul-de-sac gatherings.

For years I’d thought about getting built-in cabinets. Every week or so one coupon mailer or another had ads for the, but I figured we couldn’t afford them or we were saving for something else we really needed.

Then several months ago I tripped over something as I was making my way from my car to the door. Flashes of the months I’d spent in a cast not that too long convinced me. I began saving for cabinets.

But when the coupon booklets came, there was nothing about garage cabinets: NOTHING! And that went on for month; still I saved and saved.

After months with no coupons or advertisements, I turned to the internet. I found several companies, researched what customers had to say about them, and finally called one to come for a free estimate. The next day a coupon booklet arrived with a discount option from the company I called.

A guy came to the house, we talked a little, he did some measuring, and gave me an estimate. It was much less than I had imagined. I signed some forms, and a week later I had these:

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and all this crap to put in them:
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It doesn’t look like much, but there are dozens of plastic storage bins, boxes, and misc loose stuff . Although I’ve yet to be able to get it all in the cabinets, we did manage to find a lot of stuff to donate or throw away.

I’m pretty happy with the garage now.  Yes, we have some bins to go through because we have no idea what’s in them and some rearranging to do, but walking through the garage is no longer a hazard.

There is someone who isn’t very happy, though. Rusty’s cat door is where the cabinets now end, so her food, water, and litter box had to be moved. And while re-arranging some things, we moved her favorite sleeping set up and the ladder she used to get to it.. We’ve tried to recreate the spot as best as we could, but she’s not happy. I say we give her a month, and she’ll be fine.
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