The best laid plans of mice and men . . .

jakabedyAugust 29, 2012

As some older posts found their way to the top, I perused a few of them. One was from 2007, titled "Do you have a garage?" And I responded. At that point we were in the process of selling our 2,600 square-foot 1925 Spanish bungalow and moving to a 2,000 square-foot MCM home on three treed acres. I was quite confident the whole storage thing would work out, despite the new house having neither basement nor attic nor garage. So I thought I'd chime in these five long years later with the actual results (gotta love the interwebz for capturing and holding onto all this slightly dusty optimism).

RE: Do you have a garage?

Posted by jakabedy (My Page) on Wed, Jul 4, 07 at 21:02

We currently have a detached two-car garage and a full basement. The basement in this 1925 home is accessed by twisty interior stairs, or one outside door that opens into the dog pen. So, although there is tons of room down there, DH doesn't like to use it. It's a hassle to get things in and out, so tools wind up in the garage and scattered around the house. I've managed to maintain room for my car in the garage, but the other side is full of junk, as well as the lawn care stuff that I agree, it would be a hasle to get it in and out of the basement.

At the new house we've got a two-car carport (integrated into the house, which is a '50s Eichler-style) and then a separate "barn" that is about 20' x 20' with a full upstairs loft area. I think I'm going to like the arrangement. The carport will have to stay fairly neat because it is on view as you come into the house. The daily drivers can park there and stay out of the sun and rain (no snow here). And the rest of the "junk" can stay in the barn, which will also be DH's workshop.

The house has no basement, which is good. We have always had basements in the past and have grand ideas about using them as workshop, storage, etc., but they just wind up being repositories for junk as my house slowly starts to accumulate drills, tool boxes and sanders stashed here and there. "But I don't want to have to go down to the basement to get them . . ."

At the new place, DH can walk 25 paces from the front door and be in his own barn/workshop with tool benches, lights and a concrete floor. No more whining about inconvenience! And with it all right there, it won't get dragged out of its "inconvenient" place and get set up in the carport or driveway . . . or dining room. At least I hope not!

There is actually another small shed that holds trash cans and what-not, but it is not fully enclosed. I can see hanging the rakes and shovels in there to keep them out of DH's way.


What has actually happened:

The carport has remained unsullied for the most part, mainly because two cars are always parked there so there is no opportunity for unwanted things to camp out. The small open shed has held rakes, etc. and other lawn/shrub/tree stuff, as well as a little rubbermaid cabinet that has some sort of tools in it, and which we have now moved twice without ever looking inside. It also holds our giant trash bin. We actually tore off and re-roofed this shed with metal last Labor Day weekend, lest we lose the leaky, leaning thing entirely. DH also built me some little "corrals" to hold the rakes, et al. It is now clean, dry and truly functional.

The barn/workshop is functional, and the big tools stay out there. DH will have a project and leave it a mess and then seek to (subconsciously, I think) avoid it because of the mess. That means furniture is clamped and refinished in my dining room. Yes I understand it is hot/cold/humid/football is on/etc. But you have a 20 x 20 WORKSHOP, dude! So about once-twice a year I go out there and clean it up (the man is unclear on the steps involved in sweeping up sawdust, it appears) so it is appealing to him again. I also get a chance to throw some things away, so it's win/win.

But as little projects wander to the house, so do the little items that go with them. Like dremels and drills and clamps (O, my!). Like little shims and bits of wood or cork or half-full-yet-dried-up tubes of caulk and glue, that get tossed in the (admittedly) underused top drawers in the kitchen. Like little cans of stain that end up on the top shelf of the entry closet, which then come tumbling down when I pull out a towel to wipe down wet dogs.

The storage closet in the carport was originally designated for things like coolers, cushions for patio furniture, and car washing/maintenance and window washing things. Those are all still in there. As well as quilts and blankets he uses when moving around furniture he is working on for people, more cans of stain(!), and other things I can't quite identify. Oh, and a pile of slats removed from the blinds we installed in my office last summer. "Those are good, I can use them for something." I know they're there, because they skittered out on my head when I took something else off a shelf.

So, all that to say that when you think you have a storage or utilization problem, what you might really have is an occupant problem. Don't stop being optimistic, but pepper it a bit with reality. Happy organizing!

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Jakabedy - could we possibly be sharing a husband?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:10PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

LOL, kali615.

jakabedy, my late DH was much the same. He had no objection to things being organized--he just didn't want to be the one to do it, or to keep it done. He had the run of the detached garage, but it was damp and dusty, and he had allergies, so he usually opened the door, shoved things in, and called it good.

I've spent the past couple of weeks organizing all the smaller tools and hardware in what was supposed to be a bathroom in the addition, something I should have done before the kitchen remodel, but honestly, I didn't know what to put in which pile back then. I took every tool, emptied every drawer in the rolling tool chest, laid out every box of nails/screws/etc. on tables in the multipurpose room, and separated and sorted into plastic bins. Now, I can sort basin wrenches (BTW, who needs 2 basin wrenches?!) and palm nailers with the best of 'em. I built a corral of my own last week-end, for all the cabinet doors and trim scraps that I can't let go of--because, of course, I'll need them someday. ;)

I may never get the bathroom finished, but until I do, I have a rockin' tool room!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I have been on a super organizing kick myself. jakabedy I understand your husbands brain. I try not to drag my mosaics out of my studio work room but some times I just can not help myself. Especially when I was working on the kitchen. Now I do not have that excuse. Still I have a small bag of computer things that need to go up in my loft sitting on the dryer for the next trip.

LOL at kali615.

My husband is a total neat freak when it comes to his shop. Spotless. Nothing out of place. I am not allowed in there much and I MUST always clean up behind me. Now what fun is that??

Mama_Goose loving your Rockin' tool room. I do need to sort my glass tools. Bought the three drawer box to do so. Just need the ambition.

Fun post jakabedy. I remember the old one. I just did not realize so much time had passed. WOW

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 9:18PM
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huh. you mean all that stuff ain't supposed to be in the house? well, I do have some spread out around the land, steps, next to steps, front steps, back steps...

mama g - is there any good reason to have 4 wrenches 9/16? If not, I'll give 1 or 2 to my BIL. I found a bag of 'em.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:35AM
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As a perpetrator of said messes- Ouch!

I am hoping that we have gone way overboard at our new place concerning storage and work space. Our house in FL is decidedly lacking in this area, so steps have been taken. First, I built a 28 X 48 barn, with a 28 X 32 loft. Next, we have a full basement. Finally, there is an attached garage solely for my wife's car. There is also an 8X12 shed where I will keep flammables and chemicals. If we can't manage with all of that space, we deserve to be on some reality show. Ironically, I am reaching the age where I am scaling back on projects anyhow, so there is no excuse for having a mess. We'll see how it plays out in the next few years!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:31AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

desertsteph, one for the house, one for the land, one for the front steps, one for the back steps... <:>

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:37AM
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LOL-Jakabedy thanks for the laugh !!!
I had to post...
When we were first living together I bought my sweetheart a waffle maker for Valentine's day.... I love whole grain waffles so it seemed like a great way to get them. He uses it all the time. :) well except when we didn't have a kitchen...

This past birthday I bought him a handmade broom(see link--as far as I know this is the only person who stills does this in america). Well DH was not impressed(he does 99% of the cleaning here)but I told him for many generations women have received "cleaning instruments" for gifts and I just wanted to turn the tables. Plus I thought he would see the humor in it--his brother got his wife a mop one year.

However in defense I must say that I did find a man who makes the brooms BY HAND. I thought it would great since we have a Shaker Kitchen and exposed brick wall. I live in such a small space that I have no "cleaning zone" for brooms etc. I refuse to buy a cheap piece of garbage broom from china. The Shaker style broom is beautiful and is great for sweeping up the new porcelain tile kitchen floor. I plan on hanging it on a shaker peg board along with my wooden soon as I buy the wood & pegs.

I say get your DH a really strong shop vac & a book on organizing workshops. for his birthday.

Here is a link that might be useful: handmade brooms

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:44AM
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LOL EATREALFOOD- it is funny you should say that about women usually getting those types of gifts. Hubby and I have been together 11 years. 2 years ago he asked what I wanted for Christmas. All I really wanted was a Kitchen Aid mixer. I wanted one forever, and finally decided there was nothing I wanted more, so I told him that was the thing I wanted for Christmas. He kept asking, I kept telling him. I even picked out the colors (gave him 3 options in case he found it on sale somewhere). Christmas morning comes and NO KITCHENAID!

"Really?" I ask. "why on earth would you ask me so many times what I want if you were not going to get it?". He informed me that there is no way in hell he was going to fall for buying me any type of appliance, cleaning, cooking, or homemaking gift of any sort for a gift and "be that guy".


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:46PM
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should I mention that he bought me a henkel bread knife as part of my birthday gift one year. He admits he bought it b/c he just wanted to see the expression on my face. We did need a good bread knife since he was brought up with pan loaf bread and that's all we buy...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:45PM
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"desertsteph, one for the house, one for the land, one for the front steps, one for the back steps..."

oh mama g! you are so smart! now that I know where to keep them... I just need to know what to do with them - lol!

I guess I can let my BIL 'borrow' one if he hasn't already bought one.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:17PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH that I know where to keep them... I just need to know what to do with them...

Well, use them to open pickle jars, of course--much better than using the handles of MIL's vintage silver dinner knives! :]

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:53AM
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LOL, Love these stories. That stuff has worked its way into my kitchen too. But today I am decluttering. Big pile of stuff at the curb and an ad on CL. Hope someone comes to get it so I don't have to haul it back in.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Since my DH's first wife died in October 2003, through our marriage in 2006 and even today, DH has piddled with getting rid of his stash of tools up north. Now he is getting down to business, and has made inroads--because I told him I was through waiting on him to get his house ready to sell, and I would NOT go up there any more. So I am surprised and mostly pleased by his activity in that direction.

He is an engineer with a tool for every purpose. He also confiscated my PERSONAL tools here in Mobile, and I found them among his out in his garden shed. THAT was a nono, and I started bringing them back. Some of those I kept in a Snoopy yellow plastic lunch box for 30 years, and I depend on them being available quickly when I need a screwdriver or a Vicegrip or a small drill bit. I miss the Snoopy tool box.

I think his first wife must have left all tool-associated chores to him, and he does not quite know how to deal with my very independent take-hold do-it-myself history. Heck, when I tore out the bathroom, he should have known I did not wait for anyone to do what I could do for myself! Southern woman I am, but not the helpless variety. More like Steel Magnolia! (one of my favorite movies)

So pleased that MamaGoose is on board these days, and Jay, and now that the fall is almost upon us again, maybe there will be a surge of activity on the forum. I really look forward to catching up with what's been going on while I was out gardening for about 4 months. Sometimes we all need to take a break to come back refreshed.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:17PM
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well I've missed you! you coulda posted some pics of your garden - I didn't even manage a tomato plant this yr. made myself so mad at me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:33PM
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EatReal, I love the Henckel knives, you got a good brand. I had their Twins series or at least a couple of them, and they make great steak knives too....with wooden handles or what LOOKS like wood, and they cut steak or other meat like it was buttahhhhh. Plus, I got their 8" chef's knife and learned how to use it. Dear Julia Child always wielded good knives, and she is my kitchen heroine.

In fact, after seeing the movie JULIA AND JULIE, and then reading the new biography of Julia Child, DEARIE, I realized that I HAD, MUST, incorporate features of her unique kitchens into mine. I'm wondering where I can put the pegboard with the outlines of the pot/pan/kitchen tool drawn on the board, so everything is in its place. I consider the tools of a kitchen beautiful, and worthy of display or exposure.....not just displayed, but USED, I mean to say.

Steph, thank you for noticing I was absent, I was too tied up in gardening plans and learning how to grow hosta in a climate on the frontier of their tolerance. I think I took 5,000 plant/garden photos, and uploaded 1,500 to my Flickr albums....They are about to go dormant, and it feels like I am too. But back to the drawing board with the kitchen plans.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:01PM
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