Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tackling the Garage

This weekend I have been attempting to clean out the garage, a task I've been dreading and hoping my husband would do.  Digging around in the garage means dealing with black widow spiders, mouse turds, lost of dust, tripping over things, getting scratched, and dripping sweat.  I have contemplated just boxing up what is in the house for the movers, and leaving everything in the garage behind for some hired hand to dump or sell. 

However, what scared me was that I really didn't know what was in the garage.  There could be something important, personal or valuable in there.  We have boxes upon boxes lining the walls, and many of these boxes contain items from the last time we moved 18 years ago that we never unpacked.  Unbelievable, isn't it?  No, we aren't lazy.  We're just busy, and after a while things become out of sight and out of mind.

I haven't had the time to obtain some form of dumpster yet, so I filled the back of my truck with garbage, made a trip to the dump, and filled it again.  Once some paths were cleared, I was able to locate many boxes of old files.  I was shocked to find that I had saved all of my high school and college homework assignments.  Sheesh!  What a waste of garage space. 

I contemplated that perhaps, in my younger years, I was a hoarder and didn't know it.  Either that or I was just innocent and ignorant, actually believing that my adult life would be slow-paced enough that I would have the time to re-read all that crap.

However, I did find some fun stuff, like money in an envelope I collected when selling my poetry chapbook at a writer's festival a long, long time ago.  I also found teacher and student critiques of my poetry and short stories.  I found several autographs from famous people, including several of those colorful radio station bumper stickers from the 1970's and 80's that everyone in L.A. had stuck to their cars.  I have a Fleetwood Mac bumper sticker that's still in perfect condition.  Maybe I can sell it on eBay.  I also have a "Too Hip" bumper sticker and a radio station sticker signed by "Disc Go Rilla".  Defintely 70's.  I hated disco, so I'm surprised I didn't throw that one in the trash.

I found my 6th grade class panorama photograph.  The upper right corner was chewed by my guinea pig, and my head was almost bit off.  It was sad seeing kids who have since died.  I saved every card given to us on our wedding day, and for the births of each of our children.  I was amazed to discover that three of my grandparents were alive when I got married.  For some reason I remember them passing on while I was in college.  I guess I'll have to revise that memory. 

I saved every negative of every photo I've ever taken.  I doubt I'll ever need to redevelop any of those again.  As is, we've got more scrapbooks than we can store, especially since I saved all the scrapbooks I found in my parents' house from my childhood, and each of their childhoods.  I've contemplated transferring everything into digital format, but it's too big of a job.  I'd have to pay someone else to do it.

I found some poems that a young man in college wrote to me in geology lab to try to win me over.  We went on one disastrous date, and then ended up being really good friends after that.  I found my little black book containing all of my sorority secrets, most of which were so stupid that I promptly threw it in the trash.  I even found a poster that someone put on my dorm room door in college welcoming me to the hall, and everyone signed it.  Why the heck would I save something like that?  I'm somewhat embarrassed that it took until my own daughter graduated from college for me to find it and throw it away.

I found a lot of interesting things, and barely put a dent in the work that needs to be done in that garage.  Countdown:  10 days until the movers arrive.  I'd better get cracking... but first I need some sleep.  Maybe I could arrange for a flash mob to come to my garage and do a well choreographed dance that involves lots of movements that result in cleaning, kind of like when I used to trick my kids into cleaning their rooms by making a fun game out of it, only this time I'd be tricking other people into cleaning my room.


fernvalley01 said...

interesting finds, a little time to reminisce too? hope it goes well with the packing

Cheryl Ann said...

HA! Your garage sounds like ours. Every two years or so hubby rents one of the HUGE dumpsters on rollers and we tackle the garage. I remember the year he threw out my writing coach's notebooks (I was a writing coach for two years for my school district) and I saw them in the dumpster and went to get them and fell down and cut my arm and back. Needless to say, I had to go in for a tetanus shot! His college writings from his days as an intern at the Riverside newspaper are still out there and I found a box of my newspaper clippings from the 1960's!!! It's pretty empty right now compared to how it has been because the kids came and helped two years ago and a LOT of stuff is now my slides from 30 years ago!

Breathe said...

OH god, it sounds like my attic. I haven't even hit that room yet.

Sentimental people should not move. Lol!

It's getting exciting!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cheryl Ann - So far we've handled the sensitive manner of what to throw out and what to keep by only addressing our own stuff. If I find a box of my husband's belongings, I point it out to him and he goes through it. Likewise, he leaves my stuff alone. Tempers can get hot when someone else tries to decide what stays and what goes, so we've been careful not to step on each others' toes.

The hard part for me is that I want to throw out all my materials from my teaching days, but now my daughter has decided that she wants to be a teacher. So, I'm sorting through the masses of books and notes, trying to sift out what might still be of value to her. I also found some baby stuff, which I thought we sold years ago, and there is a very good chance we could be grandparents sometime in the near future, so I'm hanging onto the good stuff just in case.

Ms Martyr said...

I am addicted to the "Storage Wars" television show. You've got your very own hidden treasures without having to bid on a locker.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like an amusing trip down memory lane. Now throw away all that useless junk, free your mind and your future and move on.
You will be much happier without all that stuff.


achieve1dream said...

Aww you're making me feel dumb for saving some of the stuff I save lol. Surely it's fun reminiscing though right? I'm glad you're making such good progress. Hope it goes quickly.