Home Improvement - Vivian Unearths Her Garage Sentiment and Sensibility

Home Improvement - Vivian Unearths Her Garage Sentiment and Sensibility

TIP OF THE WEEK: Make the final push, and pave the way to a new normal! Pandemic aside, the new normal for you could simply mean sticking to the plan going forward.

It was time to wrap up the garage-cleaning project. What steps did I need to finish this three-month undertaking? Sheesh, several.

First, I found new homes for all the empty boxes and storage bins remaining. They weren’t all so empty though. I’d hoarded so much stuff that two still had contents. Here’s the good news: I found some lost jewelry!

Second, I had to confront remaining items I’d essentially ignored, such as small household appliances my son had collected when he lived in a college apartment. Max is in grad school now and won’t need his stash for at least two years. Do I keep his treasures in some out-of-the-way section of the garage? Or do I go full-on Marie Kondo and sell, trash or give them all away and let him start fresh when he gets his degree?. I decided to try to sell most but maybe keep the exercise trampoline because it could be a great way to get in some exercise movement while watching a movie on TV.

Clearing the floor space was exhilarating and gave me the chance to concentrate on my art supplies. Still, I had to comb through those for space-wasters. Happily clad in the disposable masks and gloves we now keep around for COVID-19 safety, I dug in—to the tune of three sets of throw-away gloves a day. I wanted to keep my newly polished nails pretty, after all, and some of those art supplies are so sticky that they ripped holes in the gloves. Hey, better than ripping skin. I wore a mask when transferring pigment from brown bags into plastic containers. The cobalt blue was simply mesmerizing—which is why my vlog post about it garnered 100 views in a single hour. There is something special about that color.

As I suspected, even much of my beloved art supply trove was destined for trashland. To figure out what to keep, I buckled down to the painstaking process of opening each plastic container and tube, and assessing which are usable and which aren’t. Once I whittled the acrylics and oils down to the paint that still was viable, I organized them. I clustered colors in a rainbow-like order, and labeled the container tops so I can read the name from above.

Labeling—now that’s helpful, so I went on a binge. I labeled the bins on shelves themselves with paper and permanent marker attached with clear strapping tape. The heavy duty wire metal shelves were set up years ago to organize materials and still were as good as new and a great purchase.

One item I refuse to part with is my oil paint box I’ve had since my first art lessons at 9 years old, but the wood was cracked. I glued and clamped the wood to repair it. It was covered inside with foil and the paint tubes with oozing oil medium stuck to the foil. I removed the paints, took out the old foil and relined the box with new foil. Then I replaced the viable paints and once I fill in with the missing colors, it will then again be useful for my tubes of oil paints.

My watercolors have always been a mess in their plein air watercolor painting box, an ingenious contraption that turns into an easel with a space to hold a palette. I fixed that. To keep the paints from flying around during travel, I bolted them down with strapping tape to keep them in place. It’ll be easy to remove once at a destination.

I’d like to tell you that’s it it garage-wise, but I’m not quite finished yet. I still have albums, photographs and coins to go through. But, I can happily say my garage is cleared and organized enough for me to draw and paint in. The transformation is complete enough.

Next I will be painting and vlogging/blogging about an artist-slash-Realtor. Stay tuned.