Clutter-busting … I woke as if in a dream and came up with a plan on how to empty my garage in 4 easy steps

Copyright 2008, Shane Gorski, Flickr, CC-BY-ND, via Wylio

Copyright 2008, Shane Gorski, Flickr, CC-BY-ND, via Wylio

Suddenly I was awake and felt startled.  I had been dreaming – I can’t recall what about now but it felt very real.  Now it was light and I thought I had overslept.  We would be late for school.  I jumped up and looked outside.  No activity.  Gradually it dawned on me that it was Saturday.  Relief swept over me and I relaxed.

Isn’t it strange how, when you get up first thing in the morning, suddenly a problem that’s been hanging over you just suddenly pops into your mind and a potential solution materialises in your thoughts that had never occurred to you before?  This was what happened to me this morning so I quickly penned a bullet point plan in case it flew away as quickly as it had landed.

I have a garage-full of ‘stuff’ that needs to be sorted and have either not had the motivation, space, resources or energy to deal with it.  It has been there in the background on a ‘to do’ list.  Vague discussions with family about taking action one week-end and clearing it, and one attempt about two years ago when we were not quite ready to dispose of the jumbled child equipment and activities, has meant that it still looms behind the doorway.

It is a block to sorting out my life.  The remnants of the past.  Reminders of good times.  At the moment I am on a role.  Despite my inability to go very far, being at home has meant that things are gradually happening, I have had the time to focus, make those calls, and get things done.

My eyes have become clearer since being on the verge of becoming a compulsive hoarder a few years ago while suffering from depression.  I think I stopped in time.  I took stock of the pile of old books that was building before me from addictive visits to charity shops, second hand bookshops and boot fairs.  I became fired up to take them to a charity shop that supported a local church where there are memories of my mother.  I filled bag after bag and there was a feeling of satisfaction when I delivered them in bulk to the charity shop, knowing that they were going to a good cause that in addition had a link with my mum.

One of the problems is I don’t just want to chuck things away that someone else would benefit from but there is so much (though of no particular value now).  We did spend time a couple of years back re-organising the garage.  We got rid of the most useless and discovered the odd hidden treasure.  Nowadays I sort things into rubbish and charity piles and it goes nowhere near the garage (well, to be honest it’s piled too high now) but the boot of my car is full of items ready to go to charity or recycling that has still not got there.

So … the plan that popped into my head, which may seem very obvious but has never occurred to me before, is to hire a large van big enough to take everything and be able to sort it out inside.  We could then take it to a boot fair so that if it could be of use to anyone, then that is an opportunity.  Whatever is left can then either go to charity or be disposed of as recycling or rubbish.  I have tried selling a few bits online but for me it is a long process, with little reward, and not one that I particularly enjoy after the first feeling of novelty.

So, the plan to clear a garage full of stuff is:

1. Hire a large van for the week-end.
2. Transfer the stuff from the garage to the van, filtering out the obvious rubbish.
3. Go to a boot fair.
4. Remainder goes to (a) charity (b) recycling (c) rubbish

I had thought of a having a skip, but I couldn’t deal with creating a heap of rubbish from many past gifts and memories in such a way.  I have seen the delight at a boot fair when a child excitedly finds something that they really want at that moment and my plan encompasses this.  However, I will check out the cost of a skip compared with my plan above and make a decision.

So when my garage is empty? Well there are some things in the spare bedroom that we want to keep … and underneath the stairs … on top of my wardrobe … under the bed … in the garden … NO!!!! it’s not going to happen.  The garage started off as a place to create, floored and walled, with table and chairs.  We even decorated it out and had Christmas Dinner in it one year.  Maybe a new use will pop into my head that will inspire me.   Anything is possible if you focus and believe it can be done.

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