After four years’ residence the time has finally come to do something about this goddamn mess.
This is what my garage looks like right now:
And it’s all like this. A vast, unenclosed expanse of junk and detritus. Enough!
So I should say how this happened. It happened because I am a slob. A disorganized slob. A cheap, disorganized slob. And an impatient, cheap, disorganized slob.
Every time I had something to do, I began by getting out the stuff I needed to do that thing, and then I proceeded to do the thing, losing tools and parts all the way through, until I was exhausted, at which time I would move on to the next thing I had to do using the same technique. You will note there was no step called “put the stuff away.” Oh no, not me. Too busy.
And so this is what happened.
It is the curse of space.
My garage is capacious. It is cavernous. It is luxuriously enormous. And so I have had the luxury–which is really no luxury at all–of squalor. I continually piled things on my many benches and tables, and I would clear off just enough space to accomplish whatever discrete task I set myself. This is the way it looks right now:
Part of the reason Bridget missed this season, I think, is because of the amount of time I wasted looking for tools I just had in my hand, god-dammit! I know a lot of people are like this. But I’ve been ridiculous. Instead of buying a $50 tool cart I have been using an empty cat litter bucket, tipped upside-down, as a table for various wrenches and screw drivers.
So today my wife gave me an early Christmas present. A huge multi-drawer tool chest which can hold pretty much all my mechanic’s tools and then some. I should have bought this years ago. My tool box up until today has consisted of the 1 x 2-foot, one tray carry-all my dad gave me when I was 13. Craftsman wrenches, a hammer, etc. I still have most of those tools, but the box was just about big enough to hold them and them only.
Thirty-five-years is long enough. I get new stuff.
I got the cheapo Harbor Freight tool cart as well. Plus a new and better vice. Today I’ve been putting the new stuff together (and, yup, the top half of the new multi-drawer box won’t unlock and has a big dent in it, so it goes back tomorrow).
And I have been planning.
I am pleased to say that, for the first time ever, I now have a viable plan for how this vast and awesome garage space must and will be organized.
There will be a section for very large tools–the engine crane, engine stands, etc.–at the top of the long former boathouse. Bridget will stay right in front of that, and once I clear out all the scrap lumber and stuff, there will be plenty of room to work on her in this bay.
The east wall will have the new mechanic’s tool tower, and I will remove almost all of the doors from the existing cabinets so we can see what’s in there. The only exception(s) will be for the welding helmet and any other stuff I can’t have dust settling on.
Central will be the welding and metalwork station, with the new vice and the grinding wheel, and a bin under the bench for all the scrap metal.
Fluids and the like, plus the electrical work station, will be around the corner, on the west wall of the boat house (left in photo above).
The South wall will have my cabinet of spare parts, then the wood-working station, with the big bottom cabinet filled with big stuff like the circular saw, the sawzall, the router, etc. and the table saw and table filling in the space toward the wall. The big table that is there right now is going away. The stuff on it will be sorted and put away–or chucked.
West wall will still have the long bench, with the miter saw mounted on it and the existing vice at one end. Beneath that will be the scrap lumber. All of it. No more having four separate and discrete piles of wood scrap in one garage. This area will also have all the stonework tools, tile stuff, drywall stuff, etc.
Finally, the northwest corner will continue to be the garden/yard work area, over which my wife has dominion.
Getting this all squared away will take a few weeks. There’s a goodly amount of crap that just has to go. I might need to rent a dumpster.
The kayaks need to go up on the ceiling so the ladders can go where they are now. I’ll be making the mounting system tomorrow.
After that it will be one step at a time. I’ll get it so I’m not ashamed to be seen in it, and from there the sky’s the limit.