The picture says it all. There are thousands of “finds” in dad’s shop. Just try to find something, specific. You can, umm…eventually. This is what moving onto mom and dad’s place can be like after they are gone.
Dads been gone awhile and everything here was a part of his life. I have siblings that will walk in, look around and then weep. Almost every item is a story and we do not want to forget any of our stories. But, dad is gone and he left a lot of stuff. Do you need a 7/16 wrench? we have about 30 of them, I think, somewhere. When dad couldn’t find the 9/16 wrench he just bought a new set.
It’s taken me 4 months to come up with 39 plans for a useable shop. The hardest part is getting past the clutter and potential inventory to prioritizing what and how we will use the shop. What stays, what goes, where is what? does what work? and, can we walk into the shop and grab it? It’s always been a family shop and it will continue to be that way so it might as well be useful.
When I stare at the image of the cluttered shop, I see life. I see the clutter that builds up in relationships when words are not put in their proper place. Angry words are kept and not thrown away. Broken promises are not mended, they are just put aside with the new promises. Generations hoard and pass on life clutter. Clutter becomes ingrained in culture. Honesty, truth and moral values become lost in the clutter and are deemed unusable in an end-justifies-the-means society. Even our faith can become so cluttered it ends up as a burden too heavy to drag around. Possibly too expensive to fix. Let’s face it, fixing clutter will cost us, often more than we want to pay. Like sin it also keeps us longer than we want to stay.
Clutter can be found everywhere. Imagine trying to have a conversation with someone who keeps looking at their text messages (Oh, you don’t have to imagine). Imagine trying to pray in the morning while thinking of all the things you need to get done for the day (no…not you too?). Imagine… and I believe you have already thought of an area you may want to unclutter, even you neat freaks!
What do you think? It’s a start and yes it’s the same shop. Piles are now gone and the pegboard is full of things that we can walk in the shop and find what we are looking for. New shelves are in place with more coming. Lot’s of intentional work from a vision of what it will be. I’m using tools that can now be found. Constant decluttering will be a new norm. Fixing or replacing the broken, fences, gates, signs, posts, faith, prayer and all kinds of relationships. Decluttering.
Now I can go fishing or sit down and have coffee with my wife. I can get up early in the morning, read, pray, take some pictures from the deck in bare feet as the day dawns. I am at peace as the gathering winds of clutter are dissipating. “Honey, have you seen my shoes?”
“They are on the deck I think…it’s cold out there!” Oh, and that one set of footprints in the frost…they are m-m-m-mine.