TIPS OF THE WEEK:
1. Consider refiguring shelving systems if what you want to store does not conform to your current set-up.
2. Enjoy the memory journey, but don’t let it paralyze you. Continue to move on with the mission of downsizing.
I have turned the corner. My garage is starting to look like a garage instead of a dump site.
Revved by my progress, I decided to attack my painting racks. But what to do with them, and where?
I honed in on a small vertical space between the garage back wall and the first vertical studs. The area had been where I plopped items we rarely use. Read: Skis. In Florida. And those skis? Their boots’ plastic bottoms are dried up and cracked. They’d completely fallen off. Trash! That same wedge of space was loaded with camping gear, crutches, stadium seats, beach chairs plus an umbrella, and three bunches of golf clubs. (Three! We last used even a single club on a vacation in Martinique. More purging underway.)
Once we skinnied down that bunch of bunk, we had to be creative about finding a logical, usable place the remaining items. My best bet, it seems, will be to build a horizontal shelf in another part of the garage, perhaps several feet up a wall. I added that to my post-purging to-do lost.
Now that the vertical space is empty, I will organize the items I intend to save and find the best placement for them within that location.
In the meantime, I also have to deal with the overloaded boxes of photos, cards, letters and other memorabilia that I brought into the house from the garage earlier during this project. Luckily I can sort through decades worth of paper products in the air conditioning. Still, it’s taking a lot of time.
One Sunday, I spent the whole day reading the cards and letters, one by one. I found many I did not remember. I enjoyed the day immensely, traveling back in time to my days as a young artist with my first shows in NY and LA, and reading letters from close friends and relatives who are not here anymore. But, no need to save paper! I took pictures of some letters; images will be easier to find on my computer than in a box. I almost cried when I saw my daughter’s baby feet printed from her birth and my son’s sonogram photo. Some of the boxes had been my step-mom’s. Those were easier to pare down. In fact, I quickly reduced six boxes to three—and I’ll forward one of those to my daughter.
I’m not done. I’ll need to cull through them again. I’m sure I’ll toss more in the trash when I go back through. That will need to come much later. First I need to get back into the garage.