Why cleaning in small increments wins this race.

A messy garage workshop about to be purged, part of Why cleaning in small increments wins this race. | funkyjunkinteriors.net
We recently had a little mini heat wave in our area… and boy, did this Canadian made out of wax not manage so well!

Yesterday I hibernated inside our little travel trailer parked beside the house. Until I got chilly. Then I went out and started all over again.

I’ll admit though, evening bike rides during hot summer nights are the best! The forest really draws away the heat. Gorgeous.

That said… while I was in full out suffer-mode, I decided to get up and do something to pass the heat time away in the much cooler garage.

Every so often, I gut the garage workshop in order to clean it. So this seemed like a good time to do that. 

A messy garage workshop about to be purged, part of Why cleaning in small increments wins this race. | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Because it always ends up looking like this.

WELL! This would be a big task indeed, so I did put it off until I knew we’d have a streak of nice weather. I imaged the worst… everything would be on the driveway for DAYS on end, much to the neighbour’s delight.

But as I started to dig in, I realized the scale of this task and that drastic stance to gitter all done wasn’t really necessary nor possible. Would have been nice, but since I didn’t have a week to do this right, small increments would have to suffice.

Red metal dumpster find for storing reclaimed wood | funkyjunkinteriors.net
The first place I wanted to tackle was the work table and wood storage.

So…. here’s the red metal storage rack full of reclaimed wood seen in better days complete with a freshly painted wall.

Aren’t just painted walls the BEST?

How to store reclaimed wood in a garage workshop | funkyjunkinteriors.net
My wood collecting has changed over time. I use to collect ANY kind of reclaimed wood I could get my hands on. However so much of it was just junk not good enough to build anything with, so it was the first to get piled up and hauled out.

How to store reclaimed wood in a garage workshop | funkyjunkinteriors.net
EVERY piece got taken out of the metal storage rack, then all the stuff I hadn’t touched in the last year or knew I no longer held interest for went into the back of my truck.

My poor truck. It was so full I was concerned the tires would pop!

Which also highlighted another thing.

There is no way I COULD clean this up in a day. And if I had plunked everything on the driveway, it would have taken many days, causing more work.

Small increments was the key this round. It left me with the feeling of accomplishment, without leaving a big mess elsewhere.

It’s really the sorting that makes an overwhelming project work.

Things that went inside the house or on the curb were placed by the front door. The rest was tossed directly inside the truck canopy without hitting the driveway at all.

Kinda like throwing things in a garbage can…

You know the analogy of only touching paperwork once? (file it right away and you don’t need to touch it again)

Same with purging in this case.


Once all the garbage wood was out, I used the shop vac to clean up any cobwebs, leaving the area spotless. Then the wood I did wish to keep was stacked back into the metal rack.

Remember my red barn wood haul from my childhood farm? Now I can find it!


I’m still not certain how I wish to store the wood, but as I do more purging, I’ll figure it out.

Gotta ditch stuff first.

And because there is NOTHING like a good before and after…


Giddy! That there is one clean table! Now I wanna paint it again!



One part down! With many more to go.

HERE is the workshop at its best. I hope to get it back there again, and perhaps even better!

Eventually…

Are you doing any cleaning this summer while the weather is good too? What are you working on?


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Categories: Blog Series, From Crap to Clean, Junk Drawer
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  1. My garage is terrible right now. It took me 5 minutes to get the trash cans out yesterday. 🙁

    Right now I am doing some inside projects, so the garage will wait. But when fall rolls around and it is cooler I will tackle the mess. I work out there a lot in the winter and I need the space to work well for me.

  2. You go girl! One step at a time works best when it can be done that way. When I repainted our pantry, which is the size of a broom closet but filled to the brim,I HAD to pull everything out an like it for DAYS. Oh well, got her done. I love seeing the stuff you do whether it9 cleaning, purging,creating or bike riding. Keep up the inspiring work.

    • Ohhhh you are so right, there is NOTHING like a true gut and purge! I adore the feeling after the fact! Mine felt more like a pat on the back, but yours would bring up a full out Oscar party. haha

      These types of pictures sure aren’t as pretty as a junk project, but they’re real life all the same. Thanks for being so appreciative with whatever comes your way!

  3. Hi!
    Good gravy Donna….don’t I remember reading something like this a few years back? What this tells me is…you are sooo normal! Everyone I know except one person…does this very same thing! Clean it up..then clean it up later on..again.this is very gratifying, sister! And you also get so many more things accomplished . A nice feeling…eh? 🤗❤️

  4. I can completely relate to tackling things in smaller areas instead of going at the whole thing at once. My natural instinct is to go full steam ahead and deal with the whole clean up project at once. But, I am finally realizing I just don’t have the energy to do that anymore. So, I am breaking things up into much more manageable increments as well. That way I still get the sense of a job well done and can admire my work. LOL By the way, I am totally impressed that you were able to put all the unwanted wood into the bed of your truck. That’s an area I need to tackle soon. My truck bed is filled with “I’m not sure I really want that, but I might” and “I’m going to get to that project soon and I have no where else to keep it but here in the truck”. Thats on the list to tackle soon! LOL

    • Ohhhh Diann, I forgot to take a picture of the stuffed truck. I think there may be some on my phone… but it was a pretty impressive haul. That took a LOT of time to collect! haha

      Too funny on using your truck for storage! I may have done that a time or 30… : )

  5. Great work!

    We just moved house for the second time in 10 months (and the 7th time in 8 years) and agree that it’s better to break that hard work into little chunks.

    Tomorrow’s job is our new and smaller garage, the phrase “how to fit a quart into a pint pot?” Comes to mind!

  6. Looks nice, Donna

    You asked about cleaning…hubby and I are in the process of cleaning out a property that has been in the family for 75 years. Talk about finding gems. I have second chance stuff in a pile deciding what I can do with it. You are my inspiration.

  7. I need to clean my garage, too. BUT…first we must paint the living room, which will probably be this long weekend. Some of the stuff in the garage is decor that I have saved from our previous house. So, I’ll go through those boxes, and what we don’t need now I will price for a garage sale. Hopefully, it will be cooler then! We’ve been in the mid to high 85s into the 90s and heat indexes into the 100s!

    • Ugh… working in that heat is the worst! Hope it breaks for you long enough to gitter done. Your new living room is right around the corner sounds wonderful! Clean garage is next! : )

  8. You might laugh when I say this, but I cleaned out my chocolate supplies this morning and I feel very productive and pleased with myself for doing it. I bake a lot and we also nosh on chocolate chips kind of constantly, so we had a LOT of stuff in that pantry bin…four kinds of chips, some mini M&Ms, caramel bits, Scharfen Berger and Ghirardelli baking bars, a bag of See’s chocolate pieces. Everything! And all jumbled together with items that don’t belong in the same container. It seems like nothing compared to your wood sorting and garage project, but it gave me a much needed sense of order, satisfaction, and progress in an otherwise chaotic pantry. One step at a time!

  9. Just purged, painted and organized our bedroom closet yesterday. Thought about it for at least a year. It’s done and I’m in the mood to purge moor. Look out!