Ultimate Spring Cleaning, Day 21: Garage Wars

by Michael on April 11, 2010 · 0 comments

You're gonna get towed. Go USA. (Photo by CarbonNYC)

Ultimate Spring Cleaning is a project to clean and declutter not only your house, but your life. Each day you’ll get a housecleaning assignment, an assignment that involves the world around you, and a project to clear your mind. You can start anytime at the Ultimate Spring Cleaning main page.

Today we start on the first of two areas that we condo and apartment dwellers don’t have, but which can be a bear of a project for a homeowner.

Your Home: Clean Your Garage

If you have a garage, answer me one question: can you fit your car in there?

For a lot of us, the garage becomes a receptacle for all that gear we can’t find another place for. Camping gear, sure. Tools and yard equipment, of course. But when things like boxes of old magazines or kitchen appliances start encroaching, it’s time to do something about it.

The process for cleaning and organizing your garage is simple:

  1. Evaluate every single item in the garage, and only keep what you actually use. If you only go camping once every two years, you don’t need a deluxe tent, two-burner camp stove and full set of folding chairs. Be ruthless.
  2. Keep some big garbage bags on hand for the items you should toss. Watch out for toxic materials, which need to be taken to a disposal center.
  3. If you have a lot of items remaining, make sure you have adequate shelving or storage boxes. Consider space-saving options like an overhead shelf above the car for seasonal gear, and wall-mounted hooks for your bike. Pegboards are awesome for storing tools.
  4. Sweep the floor and wipe all your surfaces. If there’s any oil on the floor, clean it up and get your car repaired. (No, old cars don’t just leak oil because they’re old.)

Everyone’s garage is different, so look at yours and optimize your space – tomorrow I’ll offer an idea for something to do with it.

Your World: Showcase a Hobby

Do you create? Are you an artist or musician? Do you act in local theatre or collect music or film memorabilia? You should be displaying your talent in your home.

I’ve mentioned before the guitars mounted on my living-room wall, and in addition I have framed memorabilia of both my personal musical journey and other artists I’m fond of. They’re more than mere decoration: they act as a display of higher value. You may have heard of the “DHV” somewhere before: it’s a basic building block of seduction. It also spurs conversation from houseguests who ask about my hobby.

Perhaps most importantly, these items inspire me to create more, and reinforce my confidence by reminding me of my creative achievements.

If you aren’t displaying your talents or passions in your home – why not? Find a good-looking example or reference, frame it, hang it, or put it on a shelf or in a shadow box. Love travel? Decorate with a few unique items from your travels (and make sure to look for interesting decor when you’re on your next trip).

If you don’t have something to display, why not create something?

Yourself: Relax

As we have each Sunday of the USC, we’ll take much of today to just relax. Whether you go outside and meditate in nature, go for a row around the lake, or sit and enjoy your newly clean home from the comfort of your recliner, it’s a day for quiet activities and recharging your batteries.

Meditate, get a full night’s sleep, and we’ll meet right here tomorrow.

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