I couldn’t wait to get started.
From floor to ceiling rose a tower of moving boxes. To me they were like a siren. Like Mount Everest. Some people get an adrenaline rush climbing to the top of a mountain. I get mine by helping people clean out their garages. It all started with my friend’s garage. They lived in a small home, and had a one year old. She was expecting her second child, and they had very little space. Their two car garage, however, was absolutely packed. Moving boxes on moving boxes on moving boxes. They had all come from her mother’s apartment, who had passed away at least eight years prior. She had never been able to start the task on her own. She couldn’t emotionally handle the thought of going through each box, and the fact that it was all her dearly loved mom’s stuff made it that much worse. She couldn’t trust anyone else to go on the journey with her. Until I came along, that is.
So we went on the journey.
One box at a time, we removed from the tower. We brought the wall down. I brought each one before her and opened it up. I took the time to take out each piece, making sure that she could see what it was. Things went smoothly and quickly for the most part. We had three stations: keep, get rid of, and donate. When she realized she could trust me, that I was doing this because I wanted her to be happier, I wanted her to climb this mountain that existed in her garage, she began to open up to the process.
She was ready to move on from it all. And sometimes she came across some things that made her cry. “Oh, no, close that,” she would say sharply and quickly, sometimes. I would do what she told me. She would be crying, unable to go down that lane of memories for the time being. “I’m ready now,” she might say later, pointing at the box off to the side.
We had a really successful garage sale, and in the end wound up only needing to donate a fraction of what we had started with. By the time the job was done a massive section in her garage had been cleared out, and everything that she had wanted to keep was properly labeled and stacked. She knew what was in every single box.
A couple weeks ago I went over to another friend’s house, and got a peak in her garage. I began to rub my hands together, and turned to her with a gleam in my eye. “So, about your garage…”