I am fortunate enough to have a double garage and an extra single garage. Over time the single has become that place you never want to enter — a storage room. When I moved from Philadelphia to Florida I cleared out containers full of the extraneous junk that many of us acquire but there were many things that I couldn’t part with. And of course one can’t forget the Christmas decorations that need to be stored all year.
Having lived here in my new Florida home for five years, my “storage room” has become a place I seldom enter as the contents seem to quadruple each year. I dislike untidiness, my home is always kept ultra tidy and most of my friends are shocked when they see my little garage. Most of my neighbors keep a golf cart or a sports car in their single garage. Me — I’ve become a hoarder.
Last year I closed my interior design business. When you have a design business there are always odd pieces of furniture, art and accessories that somehow never get sold, are damaged and the vendor doesn’t want it returned, or the client simply didn’t like it. So you end up with an awful lot of things which have minute damage. Lots of us in the industry laugh about how we furnish our own homes with client rejects. It’s true.
As an interior designer you also end up with tools, light fixtures and even a miter saw. You need to have every spare part for hanging blinds and curtains, dozens of light bulbs for lamps, recessed lighting and chandeliers. You need a lot of stuff!
So here I am on a Sunday morning, waking up to beautiful weather with a whole day ahead and nothing to do. But my wife Ashleigh is missing. I call and she’s not within earshot. Where is she? My Yorkshire terrier and I drag ourselves out of bed and start calling and a faint noise is heard on the other side of the house. “Ashleigh, where are you?” “I’m cleaning out the garage.”
Ashleigh has decided that now that I have stolen her home office for my new fledgling business, she needs a new place of her own and what better place than the single garage. Some of our neighbors have converted their garages into playrooms, home gyms, and other useful spaces. We have already had the garage insulated, carpeted, and air-conditioned so it is an ideal space for her to set up a very comfortable office except… what do we do with everything that’s in it?
It’s not totally disorganized. Two long wall are shelved and are full of boxes and plastic containers. Then there are all the items I insisted on buying after the last hurricane — paraffin lamps, bottles for gas, first aid kits, and much more. The floor space is the main issue and of course, first you have to get in and turn around.
On TV they tell you to organize things into sections so we’re trying that. It seems that half of what we own can be sold on e-Bay or Craig’s List. So that is my task and I’ve spent all day photographing everything from fake plants to DVD’s because we no longer have a DVD player. I have enough to sell, that I could start an eBay business.
Then there are business papers going back to 2005 – that was “easy” as Ashleigh took the whole lot to be shredded and it cost $300.00. That was a shocker.
So here we are at the end of the day and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. She has a space for a desk and chair, and her computer is in situ. But what about the normally tidy house? My office is full of boxes containing all the office stuff that came home from the old business. My living room is full of things to sell on eBay. My kitchen has all the things from the old office kitchen. The garage appears to have moved into the house. Best of all, everything that is going to the garbage on Tuesday has been put into the double garage as apparently it’s going to rain. I’ve been told that my car will have to sit outside until Tuesday.
Tomorrow is Monday. I’m so glad I can go back to work.