Home Improvement—Vivian Unearths Her Garage Racking Up Progress

Home Improvement—Vivian Unearths Her Garage Racking Up Progress

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t get discouraged when you think you’re nearly done, then find more to clean. A hidden surprise may bring you joy.

Ten weeks in, I saw real accomplishment when I entered my garage for the weekly purging/organizing day. What’s the next step? painting racks.

I have several painting racks, all in a third part of a 3-car garage. A smaller portion near the house is perpendicular to how you’d drive into a garage and the larger portion opens to the driveway. The racks are wood studs, two by fours which vertically holds the paintings upright and I can pull them out to display them to potential clients. I hadn’t touched them in years and instead of neatly holding works of art, they were stuffed with all additional art from my daughter and sundry things to keep out of the way. This may have been the first of my storing and I had way more assessing, organizing and purging to do.

I felt eager because I am eager to inventory my paints and brushes and really want to complete this garage-unearthing so I can paint already! So, I dug in. By my side was a bright red hand brush and dust pan for sweeping out detritus. My husband choose the color hoping I won’t lose this broom set like I did the last one.

Still, the other garage door—the single door—were my massive paintings hidden behind building materials, leftover laminate flooring pieces, screens and roof tar sheeting, not to mention works my daughter made from pre-K through High School. I told you she’s an adult who lives and works in Texas, right? Apparently I over-saved her creations, sticking what’s now mostly trash into any nook and cranny available. I was able to toss most of her one-time treasures into the trash along with most of those house-related doodads, including her high school art magnet final project, dresses she made from items that affect our environment or health. She wore them and posed in the environment that would be detrimentally affected. So, not exactly junk but the photos were the final product. Purging is hard so the photos will have to do.

I couldn’t send the dresses straight to the dumpster, but I did fix them up. I removed broken beer bottle glass woven into a burlap dress with wire. It wasn’t safe to the touch. Then, ironically, I felt obligated to dispose of the glass appropriately—into the recycling bin—so the meaning of the dress wouldn’t be a farce. Another dress was made of balloons. That shouldn’t have spent a decade in a hot garage. The balloons had literally melted into the plastic bin that housed it. That one is now headed for landfill, irony be damned. I had no choice.

She also had beautiful self-portrait drawings in this area of the garage. I did not even recall them but they are true treasures. Which means I kept them. The self-portraits now live in a section for her to receive when my son can finally on campus for graduate school in Los Angeles.

Speaking of treasures, let’s get literal. I also uncovered a box of old coins my late father had saved over many years. Hmm, graduate school money for my son? Let’s start counting.