I’m all set to change into a pair of old blue jeans and t-shirt to tear into a job I started a couple of weeks ago. My late father’s garage is my latest on-going clean-up project. His packrat ways have given me plenty of artifacts to sort through. I don’t think that garage has been thoroughly cleaned in perhaps a decade.
Sure, the floor has been regularly swept and the workbench has been tidied up, but there are some large, unwieldy things that must be assessed, moved, and disposed of in one way or another. Along with all the shuffling of stuff will be accumulated dirt, cobwebs, and mysterious substances. Also, dad’s old car will need to be vacuumed out, washed and detailed.
Since this is National Cleaning Week, I’ve been motivated to not only clean, but to do so with minimal environmental impact. That means I’ll find ways to recycle materials that can be repurposed, sell or give away stuff no longer needed, and safely dispose of the hazardous substances I discover. I’m glad this week happens before the intense heat and humidity of summertime settles in.
My goal is to completely clear out all of the corners full of clutter that have accumulated over the past few decades. Useable items will be sold or given away. The recyclers will get stuff like the old, worn out car and mower parts. The potentially unstable and toxic pesticides and herbicides will go to the hazardous disposal center. I want as little as practically possible to go to the landfill. Once the garage is cleaned up, all that will be required is regular sweeping and touch ups.
The garage is just the starting project. There are also two smaller outbuildings to take care of. One of them contains two worn out riding lawn mowers and rusty attachments, a couple of old walk-behind mowers, plus assorted broken stuff that has no known purpose to mankind other than to take up space. Most of this will have to be taken to a scrap recycling center.
The other building is an old one-car garage that contains all manner of broken down junk parts. Most troubling, is a dilapidated antique upright piano that is the home of field mice families. The piano was “generously” given to dad by his friend during one of his own decluttering projects. It’s in such poor condition that it would be impossible to restore without spending thousands of dollars to do so. It’s a heavy, dangerous item that will be difficult to recycle.
There is a deadline to complete all of these cleaning projects in order to clear the way to finalize dad’s estate. So, I appreciate that National Cleaning Week is giving me a leg up on these big chores. Thankfully, there are already plenty of brooms, scoop shovels, and work gloves on site for use.