There’s a clichéd opening to more movies than I can count, where a wife is reminding her husband to clean out the garage (I chose the word “reminding” after my own wife disapproved of the word “nagging”). These men, who are often big name comedians, are usually comfy in their large leather chair. Or perhaps ready to watch a big sports event – maybe even headed out for a round of golf. It’s as though the director went out of his way to ensure these women were picking the worst time that could ever exist. Who wants to get up off a comfy couch and set down their favorite microbrew to perform a chore? Not this guy.
But more importantly, how is it that men have been stuck with the job of cleaning out the garage? This is a question I’ve been asking myself for years. But, like the men on screen learned throughout the movie, there’s no point in arguing. The best option is to grab a six-pack and get to cleaning. But, with a few organizing tips, I’ve found the task can go much easier.
Start by sorting your tools. Let’s face it, as unmanly as it is to have your toolbox looking neat, it actually helps me find what I need. All the phillips heads go together, the hammers, etc. No more digging for the right bit size or my needle nose pliers that were actually placed in with the garden tools. Every month or so, or whenever my tools are keeping the drawers from closing, I’ll go through and put all the like tools together.
Another trick I picked up was utilizing the wall space. Instead of trying to stack all my shovels and rakes in the corner, I hung a metal rack with all sizes of slots and hooks. It fits the hedge trimmers, power washer, and even the extension cords. (Plus I got to spend a day in the hardware store picking out the best equipment to help hang everything.) Yes, I’d had hooks before, but they were generic and one-size-fits-all. My new hooks came with rubber grips, and I no longer have to re-hang each tool after it falls off the ill-fitting devices. (For ideas on where to buy your very own set, click here.)
My wife even got in on the organizing. She took an old drawer full of screws and nails, and put them into clear jars. We nailed the lids to the bottom of a wooden shelf, and then just paired the jars with their lids. It was a great way to double our shelving space – items like Christmas light bulbs, tacks, and leftover plant seeds fit into the jars as well .
The garage is nowhere near a professional organized level, but after my version of organizing, there’s always room for my lawnmower – something that couldn’t be promised a few years ago. But the best part of having a clean garage is that, whenever a game comes on, I know, with a clean garage, I can sit and watch it, uninterrupted.