Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk … But For Heaven’s Sake, Wipe It Up!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a fantastic start.

When you need an obscure item around the house, one of those things you almost never need but when you do need it nothing else will do the job, where do you look for it? You know the things I’m talking about. Tweezers, safety pins, screws and anchors, batteries – okay, we use the batteries a lot, but they usually get stored with all the others. Where? In the “junk drawer.”

Don’t act like you don’t have one. EVERY house has a junk drawer. We have four – one in the kitchen and one in the living room. The other two go by different names. You know, “garage” and “basement.” Don’t know what to do with it? Throw it in the junk drawer. Drawer’s full? Put it in the garage.

I would venture to say I have enough hardware and scrap lumber in the garage to build a small spaceship. Clean out the basement and you could furnish it. And in those two small drawers – you know, the ones that only open three inches because something in the back is jammed against the frame – I could completely wire it up and run the lights for a year.

Then, maybe, I’d be able to get the drawers open the rest of the way to see what we shoved in there in 2006. There are keys in those drawers that have never fit any lock in this house. They were there when we moved in, and I still have no idea why. Of course, one of the drawers is in a table that came with us, so at some point they went to something I owned. I think.

Basements and garages are easy to overlook if you don’t spend a lot of time there. And even when you do pay a visit, you look around and think, “One of these days I need to clean this up a little.” Ten years later, a little cleanup would barely put a dent in it. Now you’re checking into the cost of renting a dumpster. They’re not cheap. Don’t ask how I know that.

Like a lot of things, it starts off pretty simple. You buy a new TV and the box has to be stored somewhere until trash day because it’s too big to fit in the can. So, it goes in the garage. Right next to the toaster box that could have been thrown away, but it was snowing that day. So you put it on top of the table saw that never gets used with all the other boxes.

You notice a pile of sawdust under the table saw and remember that you didn’t have time to clean it up before you put it away. Now, where’s the shop vac? Oh yeah, it’s in the basement, right next to those bags of old clothes you’re donating to a homeless shelter when you find time to carry them upstairs and put them in the car. But not today. It’s raining.

I know some of you are shaking your head and saying, “How on earth can anyone live like that?” Well, if we’re being completely honest, it happens to most of us at some level. It’s not because we’re slobs. It just happens. One little thing is left unattended and before you know it, fifty more are piled on top of it. After a while, moving is the only viable option.

If it were just messes around the house, we could deal with that. But life is full of messes, some a lot less visible than others, and they all share one thing in common – they take on a life of their own and continue to grow without any care and feeding on our part. It’s like pulling weeds. Sooner or later, they’ll come back even stronger. Constant attention is the only cure.

Whether those weeds take the form of household messes, financial problems, relationship issues, or just putting down roots of your own in a pattern of mediocrity, they will continue to reproduce and grow all on their own until we do something to interrupt the cycle.

If we take action at the first sign of trouble, it’s usually simple enough to keep things under control. But once it builds a head of steam, you’re faced with a monumental task and possibly some irreparable damage. All because it was raining that day.

Take care of today’s problems today. Sure, tomorrow is another day, but tomorrow will bring messes of its own. It’s easy to wipe up a spill or throw away a box. But cleaning the garage is a big deal. And make no mistake – sooner or later, you’ll clean it. Invest that time today and you’ll have that much more tomorrow. Maybe even enough to do something fun!

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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