The Great Garage Reorganization of 2020 is under way.
Of course, garage reorganization has been an ongoing process for the 20 years we’ve lived in our house. As a homeowner — and as a somewhat avid recreationist and typical Alaskan — I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff.
One of the challenges of home ownership is finding places to stash all that stuff. (My wife has some suggestions, but that’s another column.)
In any case, when we first moved into the house, it was easy. We didn’t have much in the way of stuff, and compared to the apartment we were renting, the house was huge. And, it was the first time we had a garage. There was plenty of floor space for everything, with room to spare.
Once the floor space filled up, I built some shelves and added some hooks on the walls. That worked for a while, and when I ran out of wall space, I added some racks hanging from the ceiling.
However, this summer, I reached a tipping point. While safer-at-home mandates were in place, I made enough progress on the canoe (which I started building shortly after we moved in to the house) that I could move it off the floor and onto a rack. That’s not to say that I’m anywhere close to done, it’s just that there’s finally enough to it that I can move it around.
There’s one problem, though: I didn’t have room anywhere on the wall for another rack, never mind space for a 17-foot canoe.
And so, the great reorganization project began.
It’s been an interesting process. For one thing, it’s a total reorganization. I’m able to organize things the way I use them, rather than just finding a space where they fit.
It’s also been a little bit like opening a time capsule. For example, I knew I had several cans of paint — but I only vaguely remember any part of the house being painted some of the colors I found on the shelf.
I’ve also found a few things I never got around to installing (or, when I did get around to it, couldn’t find), as well as a few things that I don’t remember the reason I got them in the first place. And to be honest, that’s still not reason enough to get rid of any of it.
There’s also the dilemma of trying to figure out just how small a scrap of wood should be to be small enough to throw away. In my case, that’s pretty small. You never know when you might need that half-inch-long piece of 2-by-4.
The one spot that’s got me really nervous is a large standing cabinet I got several years ago. I know it’s got some ski wax, oil change supplies, and a bunch of random bicycle parts. But beyond that, it could be a door to Narnia — your guess as to what’s in it is as good as mine. I would just ignore it for now, but the cardboard backing that comes with not-so-high-end furniture is coming apart, so I better deal with it before the contents end up on the floor. That’s what I’m trying to clean up, after all.
When it’s all said and done, I should be back to having a little bit more floor space, which will be great. I can continue working on the canoe, which might be done in another 20 years, and I’ll also have space to work on all the other stuff I’ve accumulated. Who knows, I might actually figure out what I got some of it for.
On the other hand, more room to work might also mean that I create more stuff that needs a place to be stored.
I wonder if I can find a spot in the shed …
Will Morrow lives in Kenai. Reach him at email@example.com.
• By Will Morrow, For the Peninsula Clarion