Monday, October 19, 2015

Cleaning the Garage from A to Z

English: A handyman project was to de-clutter ...
 A handyman project was to de-clutter a basement which tends to get filled with things when it's not certain whether to throw or keep them. When a basement becomes too cluttered, it's hard to find things that are really needed. One way is to move clutter to a second location where it can be sorted into two piles (1) trash (2) items to keep. Source of picture: here (see public domain declaration). Questions: write to my Wikipedia page or email me at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       A frequent theme of posts on this Blogging from A to Z Challenge site involves ideas for the April Challenge.   It's a natural topic here!   How often do many of us wonder what we will be writing about come April Challenge time?    Often I read exasperated laments from bloggers who don't know if they can even participate in A to Z because they don't know what to write about.  To alleviate some of those feelings of doubt and fear, let me offer another of the infinite ideas that might spark some creativity in your mind.

        Instead of staring at the computer screen as your mind jumbles up with this idea and that, why not take a break from blogging for an hour or two or maybe even a whole day.   Get up out of your chair and go clean your garage.   Now, you might substitute "garage" with closet, drawers, car, or what have you, but the essence of this idea is to go take care of some accumulated clutter and get organized.

         When I think of organizing one image that comes to my mind is filing papers in an orderly fashion which typically entails separating items into easy to find A to Z fashion.   Using a cluttered garage as an example, you can even take filing to a larger scale organizing everything in your garage in some logical fashion.  Alphabetically might not be the most practical way to organize a garage, but it could be something to think about.   The point here is to clean up and organize.  Get some house work done!

         And once you've started diving into that amalgam of messiness (unless you are more fastidious than many of us) start thinking in A to Z terms.   Your garage might have anything from Ajax to Zap cleaner, old adding machines to non-functioning Zenith television sets, or accordions to zithers.  I think you're getting the idea.

        Your house is a wealth of A to Z inspiration and sometimes digging through the artifacts of what we amass over the years can stir up all sorts of thinking.  Take a look at ten or twenty items that you immediately see around you and consider what each item conjures in your mind.

         Can you remember when you first obtained that item or when you used it?   How did the items affect your life?   Why did they end up where they did in a state of disuse?   How useful were the items then as opposed to now?   Would you recommend these things to anyone else?  If you were going to give the item to another person who would it be and why?

          One cluttered closet could be the inspiration for numerous books, stories, or articles to an extremely imaginative person so it stands to reason that this same closet might be excellent inspiration for the 26 posts of April A to Z.

          Fiction, memoir, how-to's, photo essays, humor--there is no limit to what your clean-up jobs can inspire.  There's no good reason for anyone to come up with the excuse that they don't know what to write about for A to Z.   Your posts in April don't have to be exotic or even something absolutely unique.  Good content is always desirable, but excellence in writing can outweigh the most original ideas that are written about tritely or dryly.

         Maybe give it a try.  Start a household chore with A to Z in mind.   Even if you don't come up with an A to Z idea this time around, you can try again later.   And if the A to Z idea doesn't come from your efforts then you've still ended up with a positive accomplishment--you'll have a cleaner more organized house.   Not much of a downside to that!

         Have any of your A to Z themes been about common items around your house?    What are some great discoveries that you've come upon while cleaning house?    Are there any A to Z themes that come to your mind in regard to this post?


Susan Scott said...

A lovely and encouraging post Arlee thank you. One can't help but feel inspired. No, one of my A-Z's have been about household items or closets ... but many of us have made 'discoveries' while tidying ... it may be just the nudge to get those who feel uninspired, writing.

Yes, I have something in mind for April next year ... I've made a few notes, somewhere -

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

How 'bout the A to Z of common household woes (and what to do about them):

D is for dust bunnies
C is for clogged drains
T is for too tall grass

Or an A to Z of pet names (Yours, family members, friends? I can help you out there with Sneakers, Mac, Dante, Snowball, Brownie, Gracie, Chilihead, Wifi, Router. And those are just the current ones. ;)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Everyone can find inspiration in this!
Great post, Lee!


Arlee Bird said...

Susan S, I've been thinking on April as well. Maybe I should start cleaning my garage!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Arlee Bird said...

LuAnn, those are both great ideas. The household woes could be a great opportunity to help others. Pets are fun for many people and learning how pets got their names might be interesting as well as entertaining.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Arlee Bird said...

Heather, some of the best ideas can be the simplest ones!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's actually a really good idea. You might also find just one item that would spark an entire theme.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - I have decided my theme for next year .. but love this concept - and have just seen another idea too .. and I've one to post about early in the New Year - they are there when you're mind is on April every year! Cheers Hilary

Denise said...

Oh, what a great idea. I am sure I must have enough 'crap' around here to cover the alphabet. Now let me think about this some more.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great post and picture Lee, I know what I will eventually have as a theme for the A to Z and yes they are about objects around my apartment, anyone like to hazzard a guess?

Rob Z Tobor said...

That picture looks just like my garage

cleemckenzie said...

Now you've done it! I may have to clean out my closet!

Arlee Bird said...

Alex, a big imagination can start with simple ideas.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Arlee Bird said...

Hilary, yeah, those ideas just kind of pop out of nowhere sometimes. I'd thought I'd decided on a theme but I keep thinking of new ones.


Arlee Bird said...

Denise, if your house is like mine you probably have enough to post about for 2 or 3 years or more.


Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne, Hmm! Anything like souvenirs or photos? Could be any number of things.


Arlee Bird said...

Rob, it might be your garage. It isn't mine.


Arlee Bird said...

C.Lee, anytime is a good time to tackle a closet. Go for it.


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Lisa said...

You just made a lightbulb some on for me! I have already jotted down ideas for over half the alphabet already!