My Garage is a Wreck

November 14, 2005

Right now, my garage would do Fred Sanford proud.

I find it damned near impossible to keep my garage and shop clean. Some -- including the other resident at my address -- will blame my scatter-brained nature, or my disorganization. But the truth is that my own organizational genius is to blame. Allow me to elaborate.


The garage is small, and extremely full. It is just barely big enough for one car, and it would have to be a small car, and it would have to be mostly empty. Through sheer genius, I have a place for everything that makes it seem orderly. "Everything" includes,

  • Random pieces of lumber, siding, plywood, lattice, etc. There's enough to fill two pickup truck beds.
  • About 25-35 half full cans of paint, primer, or stain.
  • Three bicycles.
  • Two kayaks, and a mostly-finished 18 ft. canoe.
  • Two horses that act as a canoe stand. Four more folding aluminum saw horses.
  • A small refrigerator.
  • Power tools including a large table saw, shop vac, pressure washer, small gasoline generator, and warehouse fan.
  • Two bales of peat moss and at least one bag of potting soil.
  • Two sets of golf clubs and a pull cart.
  • Two tailgate tents, and about 6 to 8 folding chairs.
  • Two doors, used as tailgate tables when combined with the aluminum saw horses.
  • A big stack of bricks.
  • Three big ladders.
  • A shelf full of pots for plants with accessories like trays and that dried moss that you put on there to cover the dirt.
  • Several big cooking pots.
  • Four or five ice chests of various sizes.
  • A box of starter logs for a fire.
  • A television and radio.
  • Various outdoor gear, including dry bags, masks & snorkels, bicycle pumps and parts and cleaners, life vests, a bunch of paddles, golf and cycling shoes, frisbees, a football, a basketball, tennis racquets and balls, and about a million other things.
  • Some random automotive cleaners, supplies, gas cans, and a few old batteries.
  • A trolling motor.
  • A small grill.
  • A trash can.
  • At least two, and perhaps as many as four previously used litter boxes for the cats.
  • A dolly.
  • An umbrella that goes through the center of an outdoor table.
  • The back seat to my Jeep, and occasionally, the bikini top, doors, windows, mirrors, or the full soft top.
  • A big Rubbermaid container with a tent and other camping gear.
  • A bicycle rack that attaches to my trailer hitch.
  • A big metal tray that attaches to my trailer hitch.
  • A large hammock.

When everything is in its place, you can walk through with no trouble at all. Now, you have to admit that there is some genius to that.

The problem occurs when you go to put something away, and it doesn't land exactly where it belongs. Then, it's in the way for the next thing that needs to be put away, which is in the way for the next thing, and the whole mess snowballs out of control.

The big problem this year was tailgating three times in three weeks. We had the whole thing cleaned out for Hurricane Katrina (and had added all of the lawn furniture). But tailgating required the TV, radio, generator, doors, horses, pots, ice chests, tents, and chairs out of that room. It also required the trailer hitch tray be pulled out, which required a lot of other things to move around.

Meanwhile, we spent one weekend planting fall flowers and cleaning gutters, which required a bunch of the pots and dirt, and for me to pull out a ladder.

Now doing all of this and getting everything put back where it belongs was too much to ask, which brings us to the lot that looks like Fred Sanford's yard.

I've got to get it clean during the nights this week in order to have any hope to do fun things next weekend. Wish me luck.