There is an old saying that says a long threatening comes at last and so it happened to me and my garage last week. I had been promising for years that the garage/ shed needed tidying , but it took a pandemic and lockdown to give me the time and spur me into action.
Our garage has been in a chaotic state for nigh on 24 years. It was a great place with quite an array of stuff out there including the fretwork saw my late father gave me about 60 years ago. Now it is only a shadow of its former glory and it’s a real museum piece, but I treasure it nonetheless because it is full of memories.
I also have a nice array of saws gifted to me by my father, a lovely bushman saw, wood saw, and many hack saws. They were all useful implements in their day. Over the years they have lost their lustre and are now just rusted relics of themselves . They have overstayed their welcome and are deemed expendable. Their next port of call will be either a skip or recycling centre.
Next in view, hanging up in the garage, was a top of the range 11 year old bicycle, so down it came to be examined . It was decided to bring it to the local bike shop . The local bike man said he could possibly sell it for us so we , latter day bike dealers, await the sales results.
We were also home to a huge array of camogie, hockey and hurling sticks in addition to copious shin guards and helmets left in storage with us by the next generation. These are being kept for pure sentimentality and will never again be used and so the consultation process with the next generation is about to commence.
The walls were also well adorned with miniature goals and miniature trampoline hanging from the roof. These had just gone too small for our juniors’ usage. We showed them all to a man who was doing an odd job for us. He had 5 young children and he was delighted to take them. It was like Santa Claus arriving in October.
When we began clearing floor space, we found a front for an old fire grate which we threw out many years ago. It was a lovely piece about 24 years ago but if was suffering the same fate as the saws and was a sorry looking sight rusting away to its hearts content in the corner. And so, it was decreed that it was no longer fit for purpose and it should be exiled into permanent banishment to the scrap yard.
Then there was the usual paraphernalia of used household goods which we kept in case we ever needed a spare part. These were all carefully examined, and all sentiment was put aside and finally a unanimous verdict was arrived at. The old toaster, old kettle, old frying pans , broken down barbecue ,old coffee maker and cables and fittings for god knows what were surplus to requirements and should be permanently banished to the recycling centre.
At long last we were beginning to see light and space in the garage .
But we still had a problem. There had to be another way of storing shovels, spades , rakes , all 6 brushes , garden fork etc which were thrown everywhere.
On visiting a family member’s shed I noted the order of the garden weaponry along the walls with each category neatly held back by a semi-circular bracket. Very conveniently he had some to spare which he offered to me.
On arrival home I set about the task of attaching said brackets to the walls of our garage ,with borrowed electric drill and screwdriver. I also got the rawl plugs , screws and washers. I was quite amazed at my dexterity and skill in boring the holes, affixing the plugs and screwing in the circular brackets. Maybe I could develop a new career for myself in minor DIY, but on second thoughts, I think maybe I should desist because I would not make it past the back door patrol.
We also have a motley collection of chisels, hammers, planes ,scrapers, 5 tins of de icer .Also discovered were an assortment of garden sprays, fertiliser, rooting compound etc. some in date, some long beyond use by date and so the sorting process began.
All that remain now are all in date and properly displayed for all the world and me to see.
All cans of old paint were examined, and some samples had hardened rock solid and are now winging their way to pastures new in the recycling centre. Other leftovers are now neatly arranged on a shelf with names clearly displaying colour and date of purchase.
Today I got a present of a new tool- box , courtesy of son in law who was getting a bigger and better one. Now I can put all the spanners , screwdrivers, pliers, vice grips and other accoutrements together. Whenever I need one of these in future, I will only have to go to one source instead of having a treasure hunt every time I wanted some implement. I think that useful gift was a pretty broad hint.
Also gifted was a special box to keep an assortment of screws and plugs in. I am beginning to get the idea that there was a concerted family effort to bring order to the chaos that existed in garage al la Miko heretofore.
As I was working away tidying up and listening to radio in my new evolving den, I hear a tapping on the door which I open, and I greet senior management in the recycling field .She had the car reversed up to the garage door . I was duly informed the recycling centre was open that evening and she was going there. She donned a pair of gloves and so it came to pass that all my relics of the past were being loaded up and prepared for permanent exile
In the recycling centre and beyond. There was a palpable sigh of relief all around that this phase of decluttering was complete
Now as I prepare to further tidy my new play pen [reformed garage space] I think of Marie Kondo and her decluttering programmes on TV . There is a great feeling of ridding yourself of what I loosely called sentimental pieces while others rightly label them as clutter and rubbish.
It is a seriously very rewarding lock down or any time therapy when you know :
1. What you have in your garage
2. Where to find everything in the garage
3. You have a nice warm space for yourself to dream, to work and doodle and declutter your mind. I found two very nice electric heaters in working order during clean up.
If you haven’t already tried it start to declutter some space today. I tried it during lock- downs and I must say it was mighty therapy for me. It is a great project
I can recommend it most highly. Go on. Be brave and try it.
Finally, I give you a quote from Patanjali, an Indian teacher and often called the father of Yoga.
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
What a pay-off after a few days spent clearing up the garage.
Mick O Callaghan
October 21st, 2020