Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stay OUT of the Garage!

I spent yesterday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - yes ALL day) cleaning out our garage. The girls came out around 11:30 and helped for the rest of the day. Literally took everything movable OUT. Cleaned out years worth of dust, dirt, sawdust bunnies, and mouse poop. Washed the window. Sorted stuff by type/purpose (lawn & garden, sporting goods, auto, hand tools, etc.). Removed one highly under-utilized old dresser (storing auto parts for cars we no longer own). Then moved stuff back in - mostly to original positions, but organized by use.

This is the new part. Moved in a nice workspace for Jay, something he had indicated in prior discussions about expanding the garage that he would really like to have some day. The set includes two cabinets - one with 3 drawers, one with 2 doors that has shelves inside - and a "hutch" piece that is peg board with an attached light and power strip and lots of space to hang tools for easy access. The two cabinet pieces, side by side, create a nice workbench surface and the peg board hutch sits at the back of it. The whole idea behind this purchase was to provide Jay a nice workspace in the garage as his gift for Father's Day. Anyway, move all done, garage back together, four sweaty, filthy, exhausted women.

Jay comes home. He is suitably surprised with our work but trying to figure out where we put everything (most stuff hasn't really moved from original positions). As he is becoming reacquainted with his garage, he sees the location of the snow blowers. Now understand, placement of the work space necessitated moving our two snowblowers (yes, TWO) into a small space in front of my car. Why two snowblowers? Our driveway honestly isn't that big to begin with. But apparently the smaller one is good for snow less than 6", the larger one for over 6" (which happens once every five years? maybe?). No deal. Ugh.

Apparently where I chose to store the snow blowers will NOT work because they are not readily accessible without moving my car back (which of course you can't do unless you open the garage door and back it out into the two foot pile of snow sure to be sitting there). So now he is brainstorming ways to fit his new storage (which can't be returned BTW - it's assembled!) into the garage and have the snowblowers in a place where they can be turned right out into the middle of the garage with both cars in it. Okay, you'd have to know our set-up but this is IMPOSSIBLE! His current thinking is to hang the hutch piece on the wall, stack the two cabinets facing sideways out from the wall, and park the large snowblower in front of them. Which means whichever cabinet is on the bottom will be completely inaccessible unless you MOVE the snowblower. Which is exactly where the under utilized dresser sat - blocked so that you couldn't get into the bottom two drawers - which may explain why Jay didn't know he was storing oil filters from vehicles we owned in 1999!

The point of my rant? Lesson learned: never never never enter a man's domain and try to organize it for him! He hasn't moved things around yet, but I am certain he will. And when he does the entire point of the exercise, that four women spent all day on, will be forever lost. He will not have the workbench surface, he will not have the open workspace we created for him. Guess he didn't want it bad enough to put up with having to reach an inaccessible snowblower once every five years.


Jan Connair said...

Cheri, I think you learned the wrong lesson. I've done the same sort of thing--twice. Got outside and reorganized the garage. My husband was not as appreciative as I'd hoped, to put it mildly. And I had to admit he was right. If he reorganized my kitchen or scrapbooking stuff, I'd probably be contemplating murder. While your heart was in the right place, he should have had some input into the process. Just sayin'.

Hey, could you store, say, the larger snowblower in the spot you and the girls picked out, and keep the smaller one out in a more convenient place? Then you could blow the 6" of snow away from the back of the car and get the other blower out if there's a blizzard coming.

What if you turned one of the cabinets sideways so it opens in another direction? It could still support one end of the new workbench that way, but maybe still be accessed?

Our garage is really tight, too, and not a pretty sight right now. Wish we could get it all cleared out and organized!

Jan Connair said...

I take back the first part of what I said--guess I misunderstood what you were saying, lol. You DID learn the right lesson. No surprises!