Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Organizing a Garage Full of Junk in Three Days

You thought I was going to say in three easy steps or something like that. Nope. It took us three days, five hours a day, to get things in order in my mother's garage. When she, my step-father, and youngest sister moved from Illinois to Kentucky two years ago, the folks who helped her move just stashed all the overflow in their garage. Unfortunately, the cats in the neighborhood and a leak in the roof ruined quite a bit of the things stored there. With my mother's poor health, my step-father in a skilled nursing facility, and my sister working over time and all the time, they were really in need of some quality time from my children and I.

Lydia, Andrew, and I seem to be the disaster control team for our family. We are really the only ones available to do the work which requires getting your hands dirty for several days at a time. Everyone else either has small children, is home schooling full-time, or has other family members to care for full time. I am thankful over and over again that Lydia and I are at home and not working a job which would keep us from being a help to those who are in need in our own family. There have also been times when we have been able to help those in our church and in the greater community. If there were more women thus available, just think how much we could accomplish! :)

Since you may be wondering how to organize a garage full of junk in three days, I thought I'd share our methods. Andrew originally had a quicker method which involved matches and a flammable liquid, but Grandma just wasn't too keen with that idea. ;)

First, I set up a chair for myself and put a bath chair in front of me where the children could bring me boxes to go through. I had a box of large lawn waste garbage bags next to me, a box for garage sale items, a box for metal and breakable garbage, and a box for keepers. At first, we emptied one corner of the garage toward the front where we could put boxes of garage sale items. Then, as we worked our way toward the back, we put keeper items along the back wall.

I made sure the children had sturdy gloves for this chore since there was some dirt, mildew, and cat urine on most of the storage. With those gloves, they had no qualms about touching anything.

As we emptied boxes, Andrew broke them down and stacked them in one area. The neighbor man came over to see what we were doing and offered to take them to the recycling center when he makes a run next week. Sweet! As the garbage bags were filled, I tied them off, and Andrew took them out to the road side where the waste removal folks kindly loaded them up for us.

My great-aunt, Carol, came over to help on the last day and organized everything into complete neatness. As we swept up the last of the leaves and debris, it just felt really good to have accomplished such an overwhelming task in so short a time. We just got up, ate breakfast, got ready for the day, and got busy. Work usually started around 10 a.m. and finished around 4 p.m. with a half-hour break for lunch.

Once that work was done, we were able to help Mom find a better house to rent (lower rent and better condition), visited a myriad of my extended Kentucky relatives, and even spent an afternoon at the Shaker Village. All in all, it was a very profitable and rewarding trip. Thanks be to God for health, happiness, and holiness through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the Lord,
who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Psalm 68:19