Tuesday, May 31, 2011
"Our house looks a mess," Dad announced. "Look, we've got furniture all round the outside."
It was true, outside the garage stood a chest of drawers and round by the front door was a mini trampoline.
"We need to clean out the garage," he said firmly.
So, later that morning, I found myself alone in the garage faced with the herculean task of creating some sort of order out of all that chaos. There were mounds of bags, most of them never used but kept 'just in case.' Bike and scooters were strewn around the floor, waiting to trip you up. Papers lay in drifts and a sprinkling of toys, dumped on the floor rather than in boxes topped everything. In short, it was a disaster zone.
With a sigh I rolled up my sleeves, threw open the roller doors and started work. Fifteen minutes later I had managed to remove two armchairs, most of the bags and several of the bikes. My jumper now sat inside, the hard work being enough to keep me warm.
Then a little golden head peeped into the garage.
"Can I help?" Gemma-Rose asked.
"Of course you can, but it's hard work. Are you sure?" I asked.
"Oh yes!" she grabbed a broom and started sweeping dirt and leaves off the floor.
Next to arrive was Callum and his girlfriend Casey. "What can we do to help?" they asked. I set them to work at once. It was wonderful to see how much faster everything got done with four people working.
Someone else entered the garage. It was Duncan, ready to help too. Sophie joined us a few minutes later. It was like a big party. Everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun, especially the little girls, who darted here and there, sweeping, picking up rubbish, and generally enjoying themselves.
Now half the garage was neat and organised. I opened the other door and set everyone to work on the worst side. School books littered the floor. The little girls' toys lay everywhere. It was hard to know where to start.
We waded into the mess, garbage bags and plastic boxes at the ready.
"Duncan, can you put these soft toys in a box?" I directed. "Callum, these boxes have to go down the end of the garden. Sophie, that rubbish has to be picked up."
After a quick lunch we headed straight back outside. Now that the toys were away we could put everything back in the garage. An hour later Duncan and I lifted the last item, the chest of drawers, into the garage. We were done!
"Wow," Dad said that evening. "You've done a great job."
Just then Gemma-Rose came in, looking for a rake.
"There's one in here somewhere," Dad said uncertainly.
"Oh," I said. "It's in the corner with the other tools." I darted over to fetch it. "See, you can actually find things in here now."
Now we can walk through the garage without having to jump over boxes and squeeze past bikes. How long it will stay like this I don't know. Probably not long. But, when it does become messy again, we'll have all the fun of cleaning it up again.