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How To Clean The Garage July 20, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More.

Mickey-Ta-DaaaLife is journey.  Enjoy it.

Sure, there will be things that you have to do, either for yourself or for your loved ones.

But there is fun to be found in even the simplest of chores.

Cleaning the garage, for example.

Even if you’re cool with tools, debris, and dead rodents cluttering your workbench,  you will need to clean the garage on  occasion to satisfy more discerning family members.  To avoid being asked to do it on the wrong day, be proactive:

1.  Wait for a gorgeous day.  Preferably a day when you were going to be roped into helping with other more onerous chores.

2.  Set the stage:  “Hey, hon, the garage is looking a bit like the town dump.  I think I’ll head out there and straighten up.”  You don’t even have to see her face to know that she is smiling.

3.  Gather the essential tools that you will need: lawn chairs, an empty cooler, and a small TV.  Set up the lawn chairs in the yard, close to the garage.  Fill the cooler with a few brews.  Unplug the garage refrigerator so you can defrost it  and use the chunks of ice to keep cooler cold while you work.   Don’t worry that the TV doesn’t have a remote ~ you’re close enough to the screen to change channels as easy as pushing buttons on your cell phone.

4.  Speaking of cell phones, call your friends.  Invite them over to help you clean the garage.  Assure them that each of their garages will receive the same time and attention in coming weeks.

When your pals arrive, offer them a beer and sit down to watch some golf.

5.  During commercials, instead of switching channels without a remote (which has quickly gotten old), head into the garage and straighten things up.  Move the clutter around so that it’s more organized.  Get your friends to move the heavy stuff.   If they protest, remind them that you fed their fat cat when they went to Florida.  Sweep up the leaves and debris.

6.  Give your friends’ stuff back to them.

7.  As the garage floor begins to emerge, and shelves stop sagging under the weight of clutter, take longer and more frequent breaks.  If your wife or kids come to check up on you, head for the garage the moment you hear the door squeaking on its hinges.  Never oil those hinges.  They are an alert to get back to work.

At the end of the day, your wife is happy because the garage is clean, and she didn’t have to vacuum around you.  You’re psyched because you didn’t have to spend the day inside cleaning toilets . . . and you found your missing  ratchet.   Your friends feel like kids who got out of school for a snow day because they spent the day outside drinking beer and watching golf.

As your friends leave, hand them each a bag of garbage, and remind them to call you when they are ready to clean out their garages.

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Clearing Clutter * Want Less Clutter?  Buy Less Stuff * Simplify Your Life * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter * Enough Already!


1. misswhiplash - July 20, 2011

Absolutely Fan-tas-tic. That was a really great post and I enjoyed every single word.

Now I know what goes on in the ‘ clearing up the garage’

Very clever

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

Thanks! I enjoyed writing this. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.

Here’s to finding the FUN . . . even amidst the clutter. 😀

hugmamma - July 22, 2011

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Is that something Mary Poppins said? Funny you should be talking about cleaning garages. Have you ESP? It’s almost as though you were peeking into my cluttered garage. Christmas bins still need to be put away on shelves; I need to gather items scattered here and there that should be hauled off by St. Vincent de Paul; there are tag sale goodies begging to go to other homes. But here I sit…blogging…

oh my…hugmamma. 😉

nrhatch - July 22, 2011

What would Ms. Poppins say? 😉

2. Richard W Scott - July 20, 2011

Love it.

Allow me to add: The Samurai Desk Cleaning Process.

Sit down at your desk with a pad and pen. Without opening any of the drawers in the desk, think about what is in each. Write down these supposed contents on the pad.

When you’ve finished your list, open each drawer in turn, and throw out everlything that isn’t on the list.


nrhatch - July 20, 2011

I love that, Rik! We would not miss much of what we have squirreled away in nooks and crannies. 😀

3. SuziCate - July 20, 2011

As much as we really didn’t want to do it, we tackled ours a week before vacation….glad we got it out of the way!

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

Good for you! BFF keeps ours fairly tidy (except when he’s in the middle of a project), but we still have some stuff just begging to be jettisoned.

4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - July 20, 2011

Ha, this is great. I wish my neighbors would read this. I swear everyone in our neighborhood has a two-car garage, parks their trucks in the driveway and fills up their garage with junk. I mean a man cave is one thing, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

As George Carlin pointed out, people don’t need HUGE houses to live in . . . they buy BIG houses to store all their STUFF! 😉

Even though we’re pro-active about clearing clutter, we still have Too Much Stuff for 2 people.

5. Rosa - July 20, 2011

Brilliant! I need to start handling more things in my life this way! And I love the part about enlisting friends to enjoy the work with me!!

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

And the added bunus to enlisting friends to help us is that we’ll be too embarrassed to hang on to “junk” with friends watching. 😉

6. Tilly Bud - July 20, 2011

Would never have guessed you were so sneaky. Or a man 🙂

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

I learned by watching my brothers. 🙂

7. Carl D'Agostino - July 20, 2011

And as soon as you’re done everyone within a radius of 15 miles has a garage sale full of “I can’t believe this is just $2” stuff and within 5 days you are right back where you started.

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

My days of combing yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, and flea markets for “bargains” are behind me at this point.

For the most part, if I don’t have it, I don’t need it. 😀

8. Maggie - July 20, 2011

I always feel like I have too many things, but the moment I give something away, I realize that I needed it.

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

With all the STUFF we’ve given away, I’ve only missed one or two items . . . and then only briefly. For most things (from clothes to decorative accessories), it’s been “out of sight . . . out of mind.”

You have not been acquiring for nearly as long so you might still need your stuff. 😀

9. souldipper - July 20, 2011

I have a car port so it’s uncluttered. However, I nearly snorted my tea when I THOUGHT you wrote in #3 “close to the garage”. In my speed reading, I anticipated, “close the garage door”.

Nancy, if husbands cook and vacuum, do wives have to help clean the garage? (I can hardly wait for your answer!)

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

My BFF cooks, vacuums, does laundry, AND cleans the garage. His wife does next to nothing. 😉

10. Cindy - July 21, 2011

Better yet, tell the gardener it’s that time of the month … clean the garage please. Then, invite Nancy Hatch over, open a bottle of wine, cook up a storm and have a wonderful afternoon. South African style garage cleaning.

nrhatch - July 21, 2011

That sounds LOVELY! And if the gardener is in the garage, then we’ll have the garden all to ourselves! 😉

11. eof737 - July 21, 2011

We have a garage project coming up soon… I will keep your tips in mind. 😉

nrhatch - July 21, 2011

Get your friends over . . . pour some sangria . . . laugh . . . play . . . have FUN . . . and get the job DONE! 😎

12. Yulia Yudith - July 21, 2011

I don’t have a garage yet cause I live in an apartment here. I one day I have a house with garage, for sure I will use your method 😀

If you don’t mind, please visit my blog and I am more than happy if you are willing to share your thought


nrhatch - July 21, 2011

Thanks for stopping by . . . definitely check out Vivian’s blog, Positive Parental Participation. It’s perfect for parents of young kids. 😀

13. ceceliafutch - July 21, 2011

What a FUN way to tackle a “yukky” job!!! thanks for the post.

nrhatch - July 21, 2011

Cleaning the garage is a wonderful motivating tool ~ you really SEE the improvement you can make with a few hours of effort. Just sweeping the floor is a “morale booster.”

Aah . . . that’s better! 😀

14. flyinggma - July 21, 2011

We used to have “cleaning parties” as I called them with my husband and our kids when we got home from church on Sundays. I set the timer for 15 minutes and everyone cleaned while I got dinner on the table. They got dinner and I got one hour, fifteen minutes with of cleaning done in 15 minutes. Worked well 🙂

nrhatch - July 21, 2011

That is a superb idea, Jeanne. Great time of week to do it too . . . when everyone has just been inspired to “be good.” 😀

15. SidevieW - July 21, 2011

LOL this is either evil advice, or the most sensible advice ever.

nrhatch - July 21, 2011

Thanks, Sidey! Enjoying ourselves while doing our chores is merely following the advice of Ms. Poppins ~ find the FUN and *snap* the job’s a game. 😉

16. Naomi Estment - July 22, 2011

Great post, Nancy 😀 Huge hats off to Dave, who has recently cleaned out not only our garage (his primary toy room), but two storage rooms as well – with pitifully little help from me, and none from his friends!

nrhatch - July 22, 2011

Sounds like Dave’s doing well after his back surgery . . . cleaning up his “toy rooms” AND giving piggy back rides to models. 😉

17. Christine Grote - July 24, 2011

That’s my kind of job.

nrhatch - July 24, 2011

As proof that one thing ALWAYS leads to another. Our living room is TORN APART at the moment. We decided to switch things around to get rid of a very cumbersome TV cabinet.

I may be working into the wee hours of the morn.

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