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A bit of a pickle I was in. I learned real quickly that I should have had better organization skills in my garage. My garage was a mess and I couldn’t get the minivan in the garage when I really needed to.
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Behind me were clouds of a large hailstorm breaching the outer edge of the town where we live. Reports of hail the size of tennis balls come into my cell phone from family living in close by towns that were hit by the storm. Winds were picking up and as I drove the new minivan up the driveway frantically pressing the button on garage door opener. As the door slowly raised to where I was able to start pulling in the van I realized something…
You see my wife and were horrible pack rats and were not too swell at organization either. Well, earlier that day I crammed just a few more boxes of stuff we “needed” to get rid of as well as a box or two of stuff we “may need” in the future. Yet we seem to always “need” to get rid of stuff but never do and never “needed to use” any of the stuff we “had” to save. As you can guess I realized there was a need for change. It was time to get that garage cleaned out since I couldn’t get the van all the way in! Especially at a time I desperately needed to. So I was about to learn a lesson at the price of a hail-damaged minivan.
After that dreadful experience my wife and I did get that garage cleaned out and organized, and we have kept it that way for years now. All it took were a few simple rules.
Rule 1: Anything we determine we don’t need will immediately be removed. A garage sale never happens at our house (we never “get to it”) so we needed to get rid of the stuff some other way. We decided that charities and the local goodwill stores would be our first stop before the dump. May as well let other’s who really need the stuff have the stuff.
Rule 2: Anything that we “unsure” about, don’t know where to put it, or don’t have room for will also be removed immediately. (See Rule 1)
Rule 3: Only things we determine we WILL ABSOLUTELY USE or MUST KEEPS will be packed and organized and taken to a designated area in the garage or attic. We made a list of certain types of items that tend to fall in this category: hand me down clothes for the kids, memory items, valuables, special tools, etc.
Armed with these rules our task was easy and clear. All of our decisions were made for us. All we had to do is get out there and do it. Let me tell you that it worked like a charm! Our garage was cleared out and organized in a day!
These rules are also applied to anything we want to “store” in the garage, attic, closet, etc. It is like a filter that keeps needless excess from building up in the house.
Hey, before I forget! The storm did hit our town. Golf ball to tennis ball sized hail. I did manage to get the bulk of the minivan in the garage to where a quarter of the van was sticking out. We got lucky. The hail came down at an angle to where the house protected the back end of the van. No hail damage to the vehicle. Sad news is that we had to have the siding, shingles, and a few windows replaced on the backside of the house! Oh well I guess.
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