Friday, July 5, 2013

The Joys of Homeownership: Cleaning the Garage

I spent one recent Sunday doing something I'm really good at. I cleaned and organized the garage:

This is my new "fun and games" section.
I don't know what a lot of those tools are for,
but I sure can hang 'em, can't I?

Isn't it pretty? I don't understand why I can't keep my garage neat and orderly like this. Chaos tends to take over around Halloween. Then Christmas piles on top. Then it snows. And finally spring comes, and we need to get to all of the crap I've buried over the previous six months. The garage also seems to serve as a purgatory for things I'm not ready to throw away. Our broken Keurig, the bags of clothing meant for good will that have been sitting in the garage for so long that they either fit or have come back in style again. But buried in the chaos were a few more relics. Evidence of what once was. Of how far Peanut has grown.

In addition to putting the Keurig on the curb and bringing the clothes to donate, I had to cut the cord on some significant pieces of Peanut memorabilia. Her first bike, a little tricycle she received from My Director's brother one Christmas, now sits in our attic:

Her first bike. Christmas 2008
Sadly, the alphabet play mat that served as the cushioned floor in her playroom, and the "play corner" in our condo before that, was not as fortunate as the mini-trike. It finally found its way to a trash can, along with that Keurig. This is how I will remember it:

Luna sunning herself on the old ABC playmat.
The umbrella stroller also joined its friends, and the old Peg Perego deluxe, up in the attic as well. "When was the last time we used it?" My Director asked when I suggested we keep it somewhere more accessible. "Disney World," I answered. Nearly a year and a half ago:

We both looked thrilled, don't we?
This keeps happening. Her baby stuff keeps becoming obsolete. Dusty and useless. Retired to that museum upstairs. Perhaps this is why I avoid cleaning the garage more often. Perhaps this is why it gets so messy so quickly and easily. Denial. There is, however, no denying the passage of time. I recently told Peanut that I don't want her to grow up. I love how she is right now. So cute and innocent. Carefree and funny. I love watching her learn and discover, challenging her to find things out on her own. "Me neither," she told me. 

Peanut didn't even put up a fight when I told her what I was putting in the attic. Even she acknowledges the passage of time. Even though she might not like it, deep down. There is one thing I didn't retire to the attic, but I could have because Peanut didn't protest. Her wagon. It was a gift from us for her 2nd birthday. It's been to the beach, Halloween parades, walks with the dog, and so much more.

Halloween 2010: Jessie and Woody.
I couldn't do it. "Maybe we can use it as a planter near her play area in the backyard," I suggested feebly. My Director just raised her eyebrows in disapproval of what I thought was a rather clever idea. Part of my decision to keep the wagon in the garage was nostalgia, but most of it was laziness. I didn't want to lug that bulky thing all the way up there. So it sits, in the garage, waiting to be useful again. Maybe it never will be. For us, anyway.

I do love a clean garage, even if the decisions that come with it are difficult for me to face sometimes.

When I put her big stroller in the attic last year, that really hit home for us. I wrote about that HERE.


  1. I know the feeling, my friend. I am a sucker for nostalgia and, honestly, I am afraid if I get rid of something I will also lose the memory - it's the main reason I blog. I can't seem to get rid of our wagon either, it's a Radio Flyer with those rail side pieces. It's full of balls now... and memories.
    Nice piece, I'm a sap for heartfelt and you do it so well.

  2. I know exactly what you mean! For years, we've been on the schedule of reclaim in spring, slowly begin to amass chaos by Halloween, complete and utter destruction by Christmas and too cold to clean it up. I kind of gave up this year and just let it go to Hell. I really, really need to get out there and purge.


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