Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Clean-Up Time

Well, the YF (ham-speak for "wife") and I started a "little" project last Saturday morning that's still going on. We have an enclosed are at the back of our garage, about 4' wide, that runs the width of the garage. The roof of the garage was extended, a concrete pad was poured, some 4x4's anchored to the pad with 2x4's to tie them together, and sheets of corrugated fiberglas nailed to the studs and stringers. One end has a discarded door from somewhere, and the other is blocked off with some large wood planking. Voila! Instant storage area that's out of the rain and sun, and fairly secure because of the location. It hadn't been cleaned out, sorted, or organized in at least 7 years, and going in beyond the first couple of feet got pretty scary. It looked like something from a Wes Craven movie, and the further in you went, the worse it got. As we pulled things out, I'd go in with my shop vacuum and remove all the cobwebs, dead bugs, and other debris. When we finally had the movable stuff out, I went in and pulled out the shelving that was in there, and then we cleaned the concrete pad and walls. One of the shelf units is really sturdy wood, so we kept it, and the better of the three metal shelf units. Two of the three metal shelves were *really* cheap, and bent up as I was moving them! I picked up some Plano plastic snap-together shelves on sale at Lowe's, and then we reloaded the storage "shed", setting aside all the worn out and broken things that were in there. We wound up with so much nicely organized extra space back there, that I was able to move some of the larger items I had in the garage into it, along with a ton of smaller rarely-used items.
Then I attacked the garage!
The first thing I did was to hang two new shop lights, and move the existing light to over the work bench. I'm still running them off an assortment of extension cords (yes, I really do know better!), and now there's more than enough light to work out there after dark. I had dozens of large, medium, and small boxes full of stuff that are now sorted, stored, or tossed out. Weird stuff, like serial cables with one end cut off (wonder what I used it for?), dozens of old Ethernet cables ("Cat5 Network Cables" for the non-geeks), half-boxes of hardware (I had SIX boxes of 1/4-20; now I have ONE!), broken stuff that people had given me ("If you fix it, you can HAVE it!"...uhhh...then if I can't fix it, you want it back broken??), obsolete stuff good only for the salvage value of the metal, HUNDREDS of old software CD's that came with long-gone hardware, dead motherboards, bad CPU's and CPU's out of machines I upgraded for people, a HUGE box of old memory ranging from 1-Meg 30-pin SIMMS to high-end server memory, and on, and on, and on.
And that was just MY stuff!
Then we spent a couple of pleasant afternoons going through all the boxes, milk-crates, and old, rusty tool-boxes from her oldest son and deceased husband. I still don't know why they needed TWENTY-FIVE staple guns, multiple sets of El-Cheapo sockets and screwdrivers, and other assorted "Harbor Freight Quality" tools, but there they were.
We now have a huge pile of "stuff" stacked up in the driveway to get rid of, and a reasonably clean and organized garage. We're still not finished, but it's much better than it was.
The next big project will be to organize the dozen or so boxes of Star Trek, Star Wars, TMNT, and various Action Figures to list on eBay so we can get rid of them.
And we haven't even started on the TWO THOUSAND comic books her husband had acquired over the years......


  1. Obviously you don't move enough... :-) Try moving every three years for 30 years and you 'learn' to trim down to the minimum.

  2. Hah! I hear you! I lived out of a suitcase for about 6 years when I was doing field service work. All of my stuff was at my Dad's house, and I didn't have to worry about moving it until I moved out here to Kaliforniastan in the early 80's.

  3. Yeah, I did that too, but I LEFT...LOL

  4. Oh, yeah....I wish we could move to a more friendly state like our buddy The Wandering Minstrel is in the process of, but my YF works for the LBUSD, and with only a few more years to retirement, she aint movin' *anywhere*!


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