TIP OF THE WEEK: Once you start purging, keep going. Don’t let creepy creatures, minor injuries or emotional aches due to junk you like but don’t need stop the momentum.
July 4th is Independence Day, and I decided to dedicate the long holiday weekend to gaining independence from the mess in my overstuffed garage. Boy was I in for a shocker.
The task starting off calmly. Since I’d already made starter progress in the weeks before, this time I focused on clearing out hardware, electrical items and all manner of technological doohickeys—computer parts, handheld devices and other gizmos my family and I will never use again. I even placed my beloved Polaroid camera in the giveaway pile. To be honest, it just took up valuable space.
My husband shares my penchant for keeping outdated items for years too long. I lined up his contributions to the clutter, then urged him to approve of disposing of or giving away each one. In the spirit of the process, he said yes to ditching the mess. We gained a lot more shelf space.
I felt like a hero, making all that progress. I scraped my shoulder and messed up my hip from all the bending and lifting, but just kept combing through the piles. Next up: I threw away a trophy I won the single time I went bowling with my dad. The marble and plastic statue was broken, and I got it decades ago. It was time to part ways.
I strutted around like a bigshot. Until I spotted a snake under the dustpan. EEK! I panicked like a coward. I recovered, swept the slithery creature into the bushes and carried on. Next up: a board game that is in as-new condition. It’s now headed to Goodwill, where some other family can play it. Aah, progress.
All that hard work earned us a reward, so we made a special dinner in honor of the birth of our country. We grilled a chicken and peach recipe clipped from the weekend’s New York Times, making most of the season’s delicious bounty. We topped that off with red, white and blue dessert cups of strawberries, blueberries and whipped topping.
Happy birthday, America! And happy purging to me, snake, scraped shoulder and all. I wonder what I’ll discover in that out-of-control garage next weekend.
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