Today, we dove into the mighty task of cleaning our garage. Here are some things I learned:
1. NO ONE needs that many rags. NO ONE!
2. Don’t collect so much crap to begin with and you’ll have less to clean in the end.
3. If you haven’t used it in 6 months or more, you clearly don’t need it. Get rid of it, it’s just taking up space.
4. It can be hard to let things go, but remember, it’s just stuff. Be ruthless in your culling of that stuff. The memories are more important.
5. The kids will play more and clean less. Don’t try to force it, it’s an exercise in futility. Give them small tasks, a game to play, or send them to the neighbors to paint pumpkins to keep them busy while you work.
6. One (or more) of those kids will try to sneak stuff back into the garage. They’ll do it with tears in their eyes (as an attempt at a sympathy win) – even if what they’re trying to sneak back in hasn’t been looked at by them in 3+ years, is broken in 3 places, or is missing half of the necessary pieces.
7. If you’ve decided to get rid of something do NOT put it back in the garage. Take it straight to Goodwill and collect a donation receipt. Garage sales and/or Craigs List require a lot of work and if you’re not desperate for money, are rarely worth the effort.
8. Stay hydrated and stop for snacks, dog walks, visiting with neighbors and rides around the block on your bikes. Make an umbrella fort, draw a sidewalk chalk masterpiece, move some stuff around with the hand truck just because.
9. Try on old costumes while you hang a few Halloween decorations. Just be careful not to trip on the hem of that evening dress.
10. Relish your accomplishment, even if you didn’t get it ALL done. You can always tackle the rest of it another day. Getting rid of the stuff collecting dust is quite liberating, but it’s exhausting and dirty.
We cleaned most of the day. We actually sold a few things to people driving past to the yard sale down the street. Our garage is 80% more organized, the floors have been swept, and I can almost do a spin in the laundry area. It’s pretty awesome, and I can guarantee I’ll never regret getting rid of the clutter.
Some of you may be perpetually neat and organized. We are not. This is a big deal in our household and it felt great to tackle this monumental task.
There were very few thoughts of cancer or epilepsy. Just a normal day in a normal family’s life.
Tomorrow we play.