Thursday, August 27, 2009

Halfway House

Residentially, a halfway house is a place for convicted criminals to transition from prison back into society.

Garages are halfway houses in reverse. If something is in the garage, it is halfway out of the house. How long stuff stays there depends on your garage’s size and how anal you are about a clean garage. Cobweb, rat and cockroach fetishes might be a factor as well.

We have a three-car garage but only have room to park two. We need the third stall to pile stuff. Basements and attics store our past lives. Garages store stuff just passing through, whatever won’t fit into the weekly garage pickup, and stuff that starts smelling enough for the neighbors to launch an eviction petition.

Aside from the cobwebs hitting you in the face on your way to a car, you know it’s time to dump the pile when you can’t see over it, reach your tool bench, the needles have fallen off the Christmas tree, or when the rats are building apartments in your Christmas boxes and their droppings are soiling the bottoms of your shoes.

And where do all of those boxes come from, even six months after Christmas? Every time you think you are cutting back buying stuff, save your boxes for a month. You will need a box-cutter. Granted, my monthly Costco run contributes 2-3 boxes, as does buying wine by the case. My reading habit spins off a monthly Amazon box. But I keep those in my office closet. They are the perfect size for small Christmas packages and sending items to our daughter in Europe.

We dump the dump every 4-5 years. PJ always has lots of advice, like contacting the Goodwill and the children’s hospital thrift shop. Their rejects could be parceled out in the weekly trash collection. And while we would have to stare at the reject pile for a while, it would all be gone in a month or two.

Since I don’t own a Ford F-250, I let my fingers do the talking and make one phone call to a haul-away service. They come the next day. Done. When I hate a task and finally get around to doing it, I have to get it done—fast.

In our neighborhood you can tell the messy garages. The door is always closed. People with clean garages frequently leave the door open just to rub it in. I hate them. These are people who clean their windows after each storm. Their cars, desks, and homes are always immaculate. Their houseplants never die. We, on the other hand, once managed to kill a fake Fichus. They probably have their clothes organized by season and occasion in their closets, and keep their cash organized numerically. Oops, I do that.

After our last dump dumping, I could reach my tools again. The downside—I was out of excuses for my lengthening “honey-do” repair list.

On the upside, the neighbors stopped their petition drive, and the spiders adopted the Christmas tree. We have started a new pile.

1 comment:

Linda McCabe said...

Closed garage doors denoting messy garages? I think the marker is more of cars parked in the driveway.

Heck I have neighbors with three car garages and they cannot park a single car in their garage.