All In A Weeks Work
Well, as planned I took advantage of the good weather and a week’s holiday and did the major clear out, tidy up, restructure and fix up of the garden buildings. It was a major job, involving 8 car loads of rubbish going to the recycling centre, the whole of the back garden being taken over by the contents of the garage and 8 new shelving units being assembled. It also took every ounce of energy and willpower that I possessed to get it finished, before the rain came. Actually it’s only almost finished, with a little exterior woodworking still to do when I can grab a spare pair of hands to help.
Like any clear out I found so much stuff that I didn’t even know we had and even more stuff that I have no idea why we kept. The day after the last drive to the tip I lamented the first thing that I wished I had kept, but had no idea why I would need only the day before. Although I’m a big fan of simple living, I’m not the sort of person who can live with only 100 things. There’s too much utility in having a workshop full of all those odds and ends that can be bodged together to fix almost anything, and when you have a large 1930’s house there’s plenty of opportunity for bodging. Keeping all these random bits and pieces also helps nicely with my commitment not to buy anything new, as I have most everything that I need already.
Having sadly lost both my Dad and Debbie’s Dad we also have an excellent collection of inherited tools, many of these actually from grand and great grandparents. I wouldn’t want to be without these as I have very little to remember my Dad by and many of these tools I remember using when we worked on projects together when I was a youngster.
The objective of all of this work was to create 5 dedicated spaces:
- A household store room, next to the house, that acts as a pantry, utility room and general overspill area for the kitchen. This is also where my bike goes as it provides easy access to the drive and the easier it is to get my bike out, the more I use it. This room also has a work bench for arts and craft work.
- A workshop with a good sized clear work bench and lots of shelves, everything with a place, neat and tidy. Good lighting and lots of sockets to charge power tools etc
- A garden furniture store, with easy access to deck chairs
- A garden tools store, which also has garden toys for when we have toddlers visiting
- A greenhouse
Previously all these spaces were mixed up, meaning that no one took any ownership of keeping them tidy and managing what we kept and what we tipped. As I mentioned in a previous blog post it had got to the point where the option for resolving the mess that I had latched onto was pulling the whole lot down and starting again but twice as big.
It’s amazing to me that I was considering such drastic action when all I really needed to do was confront the problem head on and put some real effort in, it strikes me that there are lots of areas in life where this same issue applies. Apparent blockers in life that seem impossible, but in reality can be solved by confronting them, changing assumptions and working hard. In my own life some examples might be:
- Fixing my diet, particularly eating a lot more vegetables after 50 years of hating them
- Dramatically reducing my cost of living, so that I can live on my savings until I retire if I need to
So this is a story of success, although as I write this I am so incredibly weary that I feel like I will need a week to recover, luckily I have another week off work and I started that process of recovery today chilling out on Cleveleys beach.
The photo today is of the prom between Blackpool and Cleveleys, a lovely peaceful cycle route early in the morning, you have the choice of the low route (shown) and the cliff top route, even better views.