Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Trash, Be Gone!

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My garage is a mess. It's filled with stuff. Lots and lots of stuff! It's been that way for a long time...too long! I am embarrassed at how bad it's gotten, but I'm going to share before pictures anyway. 

(Warning: Messy and disorganized pictures coming up! Look away if you can't handle it!) 

I have bags of clothes and books that are ready to be donated. Christmas decorations. Books and binders and school supplies. Empty boxes. Grocery store bags. A dresser. Chairs. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Everywhere. It's become a dumping ground for everything. I dread walking through my garage. It represents chaos. UGH! 

I just finished an amazing book by Rob Bell called, How to Be Here. In this book he talks about cleaning and organizing. He says, "Clutter is the all those possessions you've got piled in the garage just in case you might new them someday. Even though it's been seven years since you first made those piles and haven't looked in them since." His advice about this is, "We are integrated beings, everything in our lives connecting with everything else...clean out the...garage...Be ruthless. If you don't use it, toss it." That's what I'm doing!

Cleaning feels good. As each item gets moved, I feel better and better. Cleaner. More in control. There's a lot. I get overwhelmed, but if I take it step by step, it will get done. Today I spent a few hours on it and this is what it looks like now...

Lunch bags are organized on the hooks. My cleaning supplies are organized, and I still have to return the booster seat I borrowed from when my niece was visiting. The piles in the front left need to be packed for donations. Half done and it feels good!

"It's extraordinary how even small changes in your exterior environment can deeply shape your interior life. Clean, intentional physical space can dramatically affect how calm your mind and heart are." 

All quotes from "How To Be Here" by Rob Bell (pages 160-162)


  1. Good for you to face the dreaded "monster". It is so easy to ignore these types of things, but they start to ware on you after a while. Nothing like pictures to show the journey.

  2. I bet this feels so good! My motto is "When in doubt, throw it out." I say this, but living it is much more difficult. Keep going, friend! You are making progress.

  3. I love that you always have a book for me when I stop by! Thanks! Our basement looks like this. It's where we take things to forget about them. I'll be adding this book to my list. Thanks! It also made me think of the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Not my favorite read, but shifted in how I thought about our stuff.

  4. We tend to be savers but have learned in recent years that the clutter needs to go. It is a freeing experience to clean through an area and to see everything in it's place.

  5. You are inspiring me Michelle!!!! Good for you that you were able to declutter!!! Thank you for sharing this journey with us. As always, I love the way photos enhance your writing!!

  6. We did the garage purge last year and it felt SOOO good. The purchase of a shelf and kayak straps has helped us keep it clutter free for a year. Who knew peace could come from a clean garage?! Well done my friend!

  7. Cleaning out is my favorite thing to do. While I am cleaning out, I stop and wonder why I keep buying. :) Good for you!

  8. As you know, I wrote about 'stuff' too, Michelle. This is what I had to do when I moved, clean out the garage and the basement. I no longer have a garage and I share a small basement space with my neighbors. We are in a kind of duplex, former junior officer's quarters in this former base. I do miss the garage sometimes, like when it snows, but I can't "put stuff" in one anymore, and it helps immensely. I know how you did it, and now celebrate that it's clean!

  9. Wow! Lots of progress! We made a trip to Goodwill yesterday and unloaded 6 pairs of shoes and two bags of clothes. Felt great!

  10. You had a productive day!!!
    Would you be free on Friday??
    I could meet you at the Panera by the Leesburg Outlets.
    I'd love to meet you in person!!
    Let me know what you think. I can be reached at 703-307-6689.

  11. Ahh! Spring cleaning is the best, isn't it??! I had a time hop come up today of last year when I took apart the linen closet and totally cleaned it out. The picture was of everything on the floor though!!! hahah :) I'm glad you got things cleaned up!


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