Friday, September 6, 2013

An Unexpectd Labor Day Opportunity

The most exciting thing happened on Monday.

I pulled my car into my garage.

It will probably be the most exciting thing that happens to me this week. And yes, my kids did start school this week. I am sure that you are all wondering how my car in the garage out ranks my kids being gone.
Well, I'll tell you.

Do you guys remember when I did the Luckett's Spring Fair this last May? I posted about it here. Once the show was over, I needed a place to put all my stuff. You know, exciting stuff like wet white tents with bird poop on them and boxes of vintage copper vases and wooden spoons. So I put it all in my garage. Now this usually isn't a big deal. I store it there until I can get it put away, usually a few days, and then in comes the van.

Well this time, I got an idea. My husband always worries when I get ideas, because no one can really predict where one of my ideas will go.

This particular idea was actually pretty reasonable. I decided that I wanted to post the blue dining table that didn't sell at the show on Craigslist. Reasonable, yes? It was a great idea in theory. In practice, it started The Pile.

There must be some kind of natural law that states that all flat surfaces will eventually become unusable due to being completely covered with debris, unless there is a consistent force acting against the debris accumulation. We'll call it The Law of Clutter Collection. It is the bane of well organized women everywhere. And the master of the rest of us.

So, back to my great Craigslist plan. I take my pictures and write my little post, just sure that hundreds of people will flock to buy my nicely painted, reasonably priced, previously used table. Um...Not so much. I was actually shocked at how completely and totally my listing was ignored. The only person who even contacted me was a scammer asking if I'd lend him $1000 and he'd pay me a $1250 money order for my trouble. That was week 1. It was a Memorial Day Weekend, so I just figured that people were at the beach or barbecuing rather than pining over hand painted Duck Egg Blue dining tables. So I posted again.

This time, the only response I got was someone promising all kinds of unmentionable fun involving  ostrich feathers and maybe some chocolate. It took me a little while to realize that the message was from DK. You have to love a man that goes to all the trouble to answer a Craigslist add for a table, just to pick up on his wife. As entertaining as that was, it still didn't get the table out of my garage.

So I gave up on Craig and his mighty List. The table stayed, nicely covered, and started collecting. By this time I had started painting again. But I couldn't paint on the blue table, so I set up another table in the garage.

 This second table was so handy, that I just left it up while I did all the pallet breaking down for the workshop I posted about here. And it's the table that I did this to:

This is it's own exceptional story. You can read about that little adventure here in section 3.
(Author's note: I do not recommend using a borrowed circular saw to unintentionally cut a table you borrowed from your girlfriend in half).

So you add table and pallets and workshop prep and what you get is a garage that looks like this:

It was actually worse after the workshop. This is the "Before" shot.

Notice my car in the driveway. It was there every night for the next several months. I kept writing "clean out the garage" at the top of my priorities list for the next 6 weeks, but I could just never make it happen.

So I decided to try something different: Reverse Psychology. I figured that if cleaning out the garage had been a top priority, but hadn't happened in a reasonable time frame, then I would just simply lower it's priority and lengthen the "Complete By" date. I decided I was good if the car was in the garage before it snowed. Here in Northern VA, that usually means mid January. Plenty of time.

Labor Day morning, I walked through the garage to get something. I looked at the tools on the floor and thought, "I bet Travis is home today. I could take these back to him." I gathered the tools and walked up the street to drop them off. When I got back, I watched my family all engaged in things that didn't require any intervention from me and decided to keep working on the garage. 3 hours later, I was filthy, but the garage was clean! Cue the angel's singing..Ahhhhhhhh!

And everything that had been everywhere is put away, where it actually goes. Even the blue table. Sadly, it is in my basement again, wrapped in its now very dirty blanket, waiting for my next show. So if you are in the market for a really spiffy Duck Egg Blue table, be sure to come to the next barn sale, Nov 15-16. I promise I'll make you a deal you can't refuse.

The moral of this story is not , "Lower your expectations, and your goals will be met", although I think that might be a good lesson for those of us who are massively over involved. Rather, the lesson here is "Take advantage of the opportunities you don't expect." It really was the first 3 hour block of time that I had to myself in 3 months. It still makes me giddy to think I used it to FINALLY clean out the garage. 

What unexpected opportunities have you all had lately? 
And what did you do with them once you recognized them?

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! I'll let you know when I can park in our garage again. Don't hold your breath.