Day 9: We Have Tennis Rackets?


I am not sure if you have experienced this, but our garage receives different treatment than the other rooms of our home. The garage of our home feels separate, yet is a big part of our day-to-day life. For one, the freezer is in there which I access daily, as well as my husband's "beer" fridge which he would like to access daily, but tries to show restraint by accessing weekly. Yet because the metal fire door closes so solidly, there seems to be a sense of permission to dump stuff in orderly piles and mark it on the mental list as dealt with. From the mountain of COVID toilet paper to the memorabilia from childhood to bikes and sporting gear to anything else that does not have a place within the house, our garage is full of stuff.

Yet, the garage can also be an issue of contention in our home. My husband and I both have differing views on the purpose of the garage, so while I would like it clean and my husband would like it clean, we can't seem to agree on what clean looks like...other than it probably involves getting rid of the other one's stuff. =) Hence in my continued efforts to stay married happily, I only focused on my stuff or generic family items.

What Went

- Inflatable water circular mattress...See below.

- Soccer ball...See below.

- Curly extension cord...The most frustrating thing in the world...why curly?...How much of the extension do you lose in the curl?

- Battery charger...We discovered Eveloop. Battery charges that do not actually work, be gone!

- Battery cases...Empty battery packaging...why. I blame the children.

- Old garage door opener...Opens nothing.

- Outlet cover...It's one of those cream-colored ones...dated.

- Spray paint x 3...We just don't have time to invest in our graffiti career and haven't evolved past stick people, and we can spell.

- Cleaning wipes...Went from wet clothes to paper towels...time to go.

- Cardboard boxes x 10...Since the discovery of Amazon Prime, we will never be short of boxes. Off to recycling.

- Plastic bucket...Love Nellie's laundry soap. Lasts a full year! Only allowed one large bucket just in case, so the second must go.

- Bird feeder...Hard to keep clean. Not good to keep birds healthy.

Inflatable Water Circular Mattress

When you find a screaming deal for a water mattress at $10, run away. There's always a reason. When fully inflated to its maximum beauty, this inflatable water disc is impossible to climb on unless you are standing on the shore or have something higher to jump off like a boat, log, or rock. Even then, your ability to stay on the mattress is not assured, and chances are you will find yourself back in the water as the surface is slippery. Think satin sheets and satin pajamas with a bathing suit wedgie. Nothing elegant about that!

Soccer Ball

I love the way we accumulate sporting equipment like one day we are going to discover a hidden talent. We are not a sporty family. If we are exercising, we tend to prefer walking, running, or biking...solitary activities. If we have company that we need to entertain who are sporty, the highest we'll reach for is the badminton set or a frisbee. Saying that I was not ready to part with the tennis rackets. Still hoping I can entice a family member to hit the ball around the court and give me a reason to don a tennis skirt. Tennis women always have beautifully-toned arms...not my strong feature. My typing fingers are pretty firm though.

In my attempt to get tough in our sporty equipment collection, I decided to part with one of two soccer balls. Yes, minimalism at its finest.

Cardboard Boxes

Before the days of Amazon Prime finding a box within our home was a challenge. These useful boxes of paper were hoarded for storage, the building of children's forts, and transport for injured birds (window collisions or neighborhood cats). Boxes were precious, and the tougher the box, the higher its value.

Debut Amazon and Costco, now trips to the recycling depot happen weekly with a constantly mounting tower of boxes. Not only do we have the original packaging box which I have now banned anyone from keeping longer than 30 days, but we have the outer brown cardboard box of varying shapes and sizes. My personal theory is the smaller the item ordered, the bigger the box it arrives in with a plethora of packaging.

Oh and heaven help us, my oldest just discovered he could order candy online.

Why Declutter?

My dip in the garage which was just a toe in the water really drove home the idea that if you can replace it for less than $20, let it go. Our workbenches are covered with screws we might need one day, and our floors with plastic buckets. The garage is where "just in case" reigns supreme. The problem is when the just in case moment arrives, you forget where you put said item so end up going to the store to purchase whatever you were missing.

My time in the garage also reminded me of the importance of having one place to store like items. Having multiple laundry detergents in both the laundry room and a cupboard in the garage is unnecessary. I need to take the time to gather like items together in one space. Admittedly, I am really looking forward to the day when our garage no longer has an island of stuff in the middle, but everything has its place along the walls with a bare space in the middle.

One can only dream.

A clean basement, garage, and attic are signs of an empty life.

- Doug Larsen

That makes me feel better.

This picture makes me feel great about our garage!

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