Tools and Space and Toys and Shit

Not having a basement and, until recently, no garden shed, our garage has steadily closed in on our cars over the years. When we first moved in nearly 12 years ago the garage held both cars, the lawn tractor, spare fridge, chest freezer, tool box, power tools and all the seasonal and infrequently used items such as the chafing dish, turkey roaster, holiday decorations and various other crap you just don’t want to throw away because you may use it someday (yeah…right). Still we had enough room to enter both cars from both sides and even had a table and chairs to sit at when we went out for a smoke.

Once a year we would take a weekend at the end of summer and straighten things up and find room for the newly acquired items. We put in a workbench, shelves for the garden supplies and smaller power tools. We bought a tiller and then a smaller one for the small flower beds, we bought a table saw, a stand to hold a supply of wood, a have-a-heart trap for the ‘raccoon relocation program’, a table to hold the large bins of bird seed and dog food, large pots for canning, cases of jars, and various other sundry items. Things were getting tight and accessing the shelf with the wiper fluid always culminated in new perspectives on the world when I’d next check my side view mirror.

With only a little lean-to of a woodshed, open to the elements on one side, we needed to keep everything prone to rust or moisture damage in the garage during the winter. Soon the smoking table went away because we didn’t use it all that much and it was just accumulating more shit, as flat surfaces tend to do. It was replaced with a smaller table to hold the laundry supplies. Two more shelves were added to hold items that we needed easy access to; propane tanks and lantern as the power was hit and miss, hummingbird feeders and bird houses, the delicate bulbs we had to dig each fall. The deck furniture had to come in during winter and the concrete we used for art projects. Ice chests, lumber, shovels, rakes and tree saws and before you knew it we had to pull the car out of the garage to access to a second person.

Finally, with the addition of the new garden shed/wood shed I saw the walls widen. This past weekend we moved all the garden equipment and tools to the shed. Two of the shelves holding painting supplies, garden supplies, car cleaning supplies and bulbs now reside in the shed. All the planters with delicate perennials or bulbs are now in the shed. The rakes, shovels, post-hole digger and hoes are in the shed. The deck furniture and spreader and saw-horses are in the shed. The sprinklers and hose fittings and barbecue and spare ladder and tree saw and weed eater are in the shed. Virtually everything we won’t need for the next 6 months are in the shed.

Better yet, we identified quite a few items that we no longer need and can either donate or give away. We also arranged the work area in such a manner that the toolbox is immediately adjacent to the workbench. Novel idea! I don’t even have to move the table saw to reach the screws and nails. Whodathunk? Best of all…you can now access both cars from both sides without whacking the door against the tractor or rearranging the side mirror.

Last night, looking at all the extra space in the garage I felt sad that we had accumulated so much shit but when I went to lock the shed I realized everything we’ve added is for the lawn and garden and the house and the wildlife. It’s not unused or unnecessary junk, there are no toys or novelties, no ATV’s or lawn darts (although I’d love me some lawn darts) no, everything in that shed is a tool and I love my tools (get your mind out of the gutter)! I love what they bring to my life and my yard and my table. Then again, being that they’re not used solely for my livelihood, I guess they’re just toys.

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4 responses to “Tools and Space and Toys and Shit

  1. My garage is a total trainwreck. It started about 15 years ago when people decided that I was centrally located and made a good dropoff and pickup site for tools and other items needed for Fen workdays. Eventually folks started referring to it as “Fen central.” We no longer park our cars in the garage- the just don’t fit. I gave up and ceded control over a lot of space in my house to others, many of them who don’t even live there, years ago. C’est la vie.

  2. Gosh, how I long for the life back that I had five years ago, only with the design element replacing my last job. I miss my personal space. You’re lucky to have ‘dem tools and all that yard.

    One of these days. I’m just getting impatient I guess.

  3. I swear, crap breeds. I am trying to get up the gumption to do a purge of the house. i.e. stuff that I look at and say, “Where the hell did that come from? I don’t remember buying that!”

  4. how cool! damn, i wish i could do that. we’ve started going through closets/drawers in the house. took 14 bags of clothes to goodwill. 14 fucking bags and i consider myself an anti-shopper. crazy.

    the garage, basement, underneath the deck, my woodshop next to the warehouse ~ too much to contemplate. i need to die in this house because moving out of it would be a nightmare.

    congrats on your big success! i am envious.

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