Archive for July 13th, 2011

Spring Cleaning


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

Because I’m basically housebound right now with Dearly Demented Mom, I must find ways to keep myself occupied or I’ll crack up (worse than I already have.) I’ve canned every tomato in the county, wrestled with a dying vegetable garden and even read a couple of magazines.

Time to do what any good country girl in the south would do when she can’t take the heat; spring cleaning in July. Now calm down ladies – I’m not talking baseboards. I simply focus on an area that is a total wreck and attempt to get it under control. 

Martha Stewart I am not. 

The worst mess in my house at the moment is not in my house. It’s my garage. I’m pretty sure a couple of wild animals have been living out there. With that much junk, it’s a perfect place to get lost – for days. 

To me, there are three kinds of garages: the one where you actually park cars, the one that’s a very expensive storage unit, and the multi-functional extra family room. I designed mine to be the third type – fancy heater/air conditioning unit, ceiling fan, utility room, pool hall, poker den, ping pong arena, winter greenhouse and neat storage area accented by a glowing neon light. Never once did I worry about actually parking a car inside my Woman Garage Cave.

But from the moment the garage was built, junk kept finding its way there. First it was all of DDM’s stuff after her move from Dallas. This former packrat (one of the blessings of Dementia) no longer clings onto her stuff, so over a period of a year and a half, I have slowly sold all her junk. 

Once the garage was clean, I moved a bunch of junk out of my house into the garage. Next the Teenage Eating Machine started storing blown stereo speakers, parts of skateboards and a myriad of sports equipment there. 

Finally, friends and neighbors heard that I had extra storage space and brought plenty of “gently used” items over for me. Add a couple of former boyfriends to the mix and suddenly my garage exploded again. Maybe I had unintentionally built my garage over a former Indian Junk Burial Ground. 

One morning, I went out there, cranked up the A/C and threatened, “I’ll be back later and I’m going to win the battle with you, junk!” The junk just laughed in my face. 

I brought in teenage boy muscle and after a couple of mornings of hauling most of it either to the dump or my storage unit (I know, I know), it was a workable mess. Then I called in my expert – Very Best Friend. Most people have a hobby. Mine’s gardening. Hers? Organizing. 

She almost foamed at the mouth when she saw my disorganized mess. Nothing could have made her happier. VBF assessed the situation and started with the side that I thought was already organized. Of course when she was done with it, it looked like an aisle at the Container Store. 

Then we turned our attention to the side that had unexploded. I followed her specific orders and within a couple of hours it was as neat and organized as it’ll ever get.

You know what I’ve realized? There’s now enough room to also make my garage into a honky-tonk complete with dance floor. I’ve started locking it every night so that no more stray junk sneaks in when I’m not looking.

And no, you can’t borrow VBF. You ought to see my bedroom closet…

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time. Pray for DDM.

Mikie Baker