The weather during this evil portion of February forced me to try to think of something to do. That is not my strong suit, but occasionally, I can stumble across a brilliant thought. In that inspirational moment, one of my remaining neurons sends a message across that tiny gap known as a synapse and just like that the old Richardson mind is focused and hitting on all three cylinders. I was encouraged further by Mr. Einstein who once said, “If at first, the idea is not absurd then there is no hope for it.”  

So to put things in perspective, it should be noted that the magnitude of my dazzling idea is not necessarily on par with Mr. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Planck’s Quantum Theory, or Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but it may well border on the absurd. 

After all, what can you really expect from a guy who barely scraped by in high school chemistry, got only half the answers right on the SAT and more recently hit the brake pedal to make my car go faster?

But all things considered, it was still a solid idea — even though I’ve not yet actually forged ahead with any action.

What, you may ask, is this all about? What did this flash of light which illuminated the darkness bring forth? What new scientific theorem has sprung from this beautiful mind? OK, I’ll tell you. I call it Richardson’s Theory of Hygiene and Sanitation, otherwise known as cleaning out the garage and storage room.

Bet you are stunned by the genius of it. Just think of the brownie points — that alone is worth its weight in gold. 

However, there is one small hitch. If you could actually see those two places at my house you might better appreciate the enormity of this feat I was considering. If I could accomplish this goal it would rank right up there with scaling Mt. Everest and walking on the moon. The sheer magnitude of the piles of stuff is staggering, and to any but the bold and highly ambitious, it would be a task that seemed insurmountable. We can barely squeeze our vehicles into the carport/junk room and the vast storage room downstairs is utterly and completely packed, even though it is big enough to hold another car or two. 

So, after that brilliant idea flashed through my head, I decided to take a closer inspection of the wreckage and formulate a plan. I cannot give you a complete inventory of the contents because from the periphery it was impossible to see all that lurked beneath the heaps of rubble. I did, however, notice an old washer and dryer, three mounted deer heads, 15 boxes of books, eight live plants, a fake dead tree (that’s what it looked like), and the arms and legs of assorted furniture.

I actually yanked slightly on the fake dead tree just to test things out but quickly retreated when it looked like any slight tremor might bring the whole pile down around my head. So much for the carport. Next, I headed down to the storage room and took a peek in there. From the doorway, which was the only accessible point, it looked like a major archeological find. There was stuff there dating back to ancient times and if I can extract it without damage will probably be able to sell many of those artifacts on E-bay for thousands of dollars if not hundreds. The hard part would be gaining access to this ancient treasure house without being smothered by an avalanche.

Of course, to clean out carports and storage rooms in this state of disarray, one must be willing to throw stuff away that has no intrinsic or dollar value. Unfortunately, each and every item in both places falls into one of those two categories (according to our home’s matriarch). For example, the washer and dryer may have some future use as a storage facility, the deer heads may one day be mounted on an obscure wall, and the books are being saved for our grandchildren. I’m still not clear on how the fake dead tree might come in handy, but it seems that it too has a purpose even though it has not yet been revealed to me.

So instead of hauling junk off and making these two areas habitable it’s beginning to look as though the job will be more about rearranging and straightening up – and that’s where my synapses and neurons failed me – I have not come up with a single idea on how to do that. After giving the matter much serious consideration I decided to forge ahead and do the best I could but then my synapses and neurons went to work once more and I had an even better idea and here it is in a nutshell.




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