A Clean-A-Long (c’mon, it’ll be fun!)

It’s been hot in Oregon. It gets hot every once in a while but this is a sustained hot that is unusual for us (I know many of you are saying, “Oregon isn’t hot! MY state is hot!” I know, I know. I was raised in Arizona so I truly know hot but when you are used to a certain temperature, even the mid-80s can feel really hot).

I had planned on doing a lot of painting this summer. With the consistent heat we have had, this will absolutely be a perfect summer for painting and I’ll be doing a lot of it. A. Lot. Of. It.

One of the biggest challenges I face when tackling a DIY project (if not the biggest challenge) is the dependency chain. I mean the things that need to get done before something else can be completed before something else can be completed, etc. It may just be me but this is the kind of thing that goes through my head when I’m working out a project I need to do:

“I need to put away the clean towels > They just aren’t going to all fit in that linen closet, I’d sure like to get that closet all cleaned out > When I clean it out I’d like to take advantage of having it empty and paint it and update the doors > I need to paint those cabinet doors in the garage where they can stay for a few days drying > The garage is such a mess, I don’t really have the space to set up a project like that. I need clean out the garage to make space > I can’t really clean out the garage until I can hang some shelves and hooks to get things up and off the floor > I can’t even get to the walls to get things hung until I take everything out of the garage > If I take everything out of the garage it will take days to get things done so it can all come back in”

And now I’m completely overwhelmed with what I have to do so I never put away the towels!

I think this kind of thing prevents a lot of people from tackling DIY projects. The logistics around it are often more overwhelming than the actual work.

This kind of dialogue has been running through my head for weeks now. Just about everything comes back to needing my garage in order as a working space and so I can easily access all my tools. So I put on my big-girl pants (I don’t really like that phrase but it is pretty appropriate here) and I’m going to tackle the garage.

Believe it or not, until the kitchen cabinets were in here, I was able to park in my garage! In my defense, some of what you see is due to the renovation.

To avoid analysis paralysis I’m setting a time limit for the entire project. I’m only going to accomplish what I can in only a weekend. I’ve identified my priorities. I need to come out of this with:

  • Space to work on projects and for projects to dry
  • Organized tools and workspace
  • Space to store more stuff coming out of the house

My workbench is back there somewhere.

That’s it; just those three things. If I achieve more, then it’s a bonus. By creating realistic and achievable objectives and restricting my timeline, I don’t create a project too big for myself. I can always go back at another date with some new objectives.

So the project list for this weekend:

  • Hire a dumpster from the garbage company
  • Take things waiting to be donated to the donation sites
  • Pull everything out from the walls
  • Sweep everything out thoroughly
  • Paint the garage walls
  • Hang shelves and hooks already purchased
  • Put as much back on the shelves and hooks as possible
  • Weed out more stuff to be donated (have I even thought about it in 6 months?)
  • Clean off existing shelves of stuff that can be donated and re-organize how they go back to create more room
  • Replace air filter (mine is in the garage)
  • Remove clutter around work bench
  • Organize the work bench so tools are easy to see and access

So who wants to join me this weekend in a big clean out? If you need to do your garage you can probably re-purpose some of my project list. If you do join the clean-a-long, send me pictures and I’ll share. We need lots of before and afters to inspire other folks who are stuck in analysis paralysis.

Seriously, if I can tackle this, anyone can!



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