Finding Order Amid Chaos


I have discovered the secret to marital bliss.

My wife and I share, among other things, our two-car garage. In our previous lives, I had a woodworking shop that was separate from my garage, so I never really learned to share it with anyone. At her house, Leigh Ann had a combination workshop and garden shed that she never had to share with her car.

For the past five years, however, our two-car garage has had to serve both as my workshop and as her yard-and-garden center. Just to complicate matters, and to add a little stress to our arrangement, it has also housed my 1973 MGB in various stages of operation and, when necessary, her more reliable Volvo.

(“Necessary” being defined, by me, as an F-3 tornado or a category three hurricane, confirmed by no fewer than three certified meteorologists. Otherwise it sat outside with my old truck.)

Every few months, or as my projects gradually crept into her space, tempers would flare until I would select a Saturday morning to organize the garage, rearranging everything from cardboard boxes of Arts & Crafts conference materials to television props to various woodworking and restoration projects awaiting completion.

This past month, however, the garage had become so overrun with conference materials and television props (plus a new Porter-Cable table saw) that simply reorganizing them would not appease Leigh Ann, or give me the space I needed to, naturally, start my next new project. It was then that I discovered the ancient secret to marital bliss.

Plastic storage tubs.

Gentlemen (and ladies), if you would invest just forty dollars on seven clear, plastic storage tubs, the type that stack snugly atop one another, you not only can organize your entire garage in just one morning, you can save your marriage.

To start, all you need is one clear section of garage wall, then scatter your new empty tubs out on the floor. With marking pen in hand, you simply begin by picking up loose items, determining which tub they belong in, and labeling the tub as such: bird feeders, MGB manuals, MGB parts, extension cords, painting supplies, masonry tools, electrical supplies, ropes & chains, garden chemicals, and whatever else you find.

By noon your partner will be so impressed with your progress she might even go grocery shopping alone while you keeping working on the garage.

And, as an added bonus, you not only will find all sorts of great stuff you forgot you had, you will save money on tools you would have bought had you not uncovered the ones you already had.

Like a table saw.

Until next Monday,

Go buy some plastic tubs!


PS – Interested in buying a 1973 MGB?