Monday, September 17, 2007

Junk 'n Stuff


My two eldest and I did some clearing up in the garage the other day.

This was not an easy task considering that in order to get to the area to be cleared we had to climb over two huge hockey bags, (five?) hockey sticks, two enormous wooden crates (I would like to smack my eldest on his pointy little head for bringing those home…), about ten empty milk jugs (my bad…) and countless other items that could cause serious injury if you weren’t careful where you stepped. Boing! Rake meets face!

We collected all the bad chemical stuff that can’t put out in the recycle bins. I’ve called Toxic Taxi for pick-up. This is a free service offered by the city. (My tax dollars at work!)

I swear, some of the stuff we gathered up is over ten years old. If we used that old weed killer on the lawn we’d probably kill all the grass too.

I don’t even know what some of the crap is for.

Eldest kept saying, “I think we should keep this – you never know when you might need it.” (Again, fought the urge to clip him a good one.)

Rule of thumb: IF YOU HAVEN’T USED AN ITEM FOR TWO YEARS – OR EVEN ONE – THROW IT THE HELL OUT!

You know what’s scary? Seriously. We also had a old bag of fertilizer in there. I’ll bet if we’d combined it with some of the chemical stuff we found, we’d have had the makings of a b*mb. I’m not spelling THE word correctly – I don’t want to be subject to an investigation as a result of Internet surveillance.

(Hello? Official people? I have no intention of doing anything bad. I’m getting rid of it all…carefully.)

So, there you go. Joe Average (or in my case, Josephine Average) unwittingly and innocently could have the makings of a b*mb just ticking away in their garage.

Way too easy….

26 comments:

Tim said...

I love the Toxic Taxi idea. Why don't all cities do that? I'm getting my city councilperson on the e-mail immediately.

Beth said...

tim:
It is a fabulous idea, isn't it? And it had to be one of the easiest calls and requests I've ever made.
I bet some people (not me!) just stash this toxic stuff in with their regular garbage. It's a far better plan to offer this free service. (I actually would have paid for the pick-up...)

MyUtopia said...

I love cleaning out rooms. I spent all yesterday throwing out crap I have been hauling around for years.

*Check out my big announcement.

psychgrad said...

I always feel better when I go through a room and clean it out completely.

Coffee Mom said...

I find it's much easier to do serious cleaning when men aren't around, they always think of some reason to keep useless things

Beth said...

myutopia:
Getting rid of junk is definitely a "cleansing" experience - gives one quite a lift.

psychgrad:
Wish we could have cleaned out the garage completely - next on the to-do list is 1-800-GOT-JUNK!

coffee:
I needed their muscles and strength to lift so much of the crap - otherwise I would have done it myself!

All Mod Cons said...

I'd suggest the Toxic Taxi idea to our council, but if they went for it then our Council Tax would go up. Again. And it's way too expensive already.

Find any spiders in all that stuff?

oreneta said...

YEAH HOOOOO

I love getting rid of stuff.

Just makes me feel good moving it on to a new home, or at least a safer dump.

Beth said...

all mod cons:
Yeah, I found spiders in the hockey bags - near the skates - squished!

oreneta:
There's a consensus here - everyone loves getting rid of junk. Why do we let it pile up for so long???

Angela said...

I paid a college kid to haul stuff off for me this weekend, too. Must be something in the air. Unfortunately, I can't even tell that anything is gone and am getting discouraged thinking about all the work ahead. I wish we had a Toxic Taxi!!!

Lainey-Paney said...

you're so funny.
when we bought our current house, the previous owner lived here since 1951. He left some things behind, "in case [we] need them"...um, again w/ the old fertilizer. I'm not putting that on my yard!

...and beth, why do you have a bazillion empty milk containers??

OH! that just reminded me---I've been to Canada exactly once. The family I visited---they bought their milk in bags. I was floored. A "bag" of milk. Seems like it would make for less waste...but not recyclable... anyway...why don't you buy your milk in a bag?

Beth said...

angela;
If anyone looked in our garage it would appear as though we'd done nothing. It is still a pit. And we have a cold storage area in the basement that I shudder to look at. It's on the to-do list.


lainey-paney:
I buy milk in large plastic recyclable containers that have to be taken back to the store. To get them out of the way, I put them in the garage and, of course, forget to take them when I head back to the store.
The bags of milk drive me crazy. We drink a lot of milk in this house and it's pain in the ass opening those bags (they don't hold as much milk as the jugs.)

And there you have today's lesson in Canadian milk containers!

Sam-I-am said...

Do you realistically think your ingeniously creative way of changing an o to an * has not been considered a possibility by said "officials"?... Haha, that would be just your luck though, being investigated for that :).

Dorky Dad said...

Hey, can I show my wife this? We never throw anything out. Well, we do, but there are things in our house that have been here for ages. Well, with us for ages. My feeling is that if a calendar year passes before an item gets used then there is no use for it.

Grundir the Implacable said...

Curse you and your toxic taxis! All of that stuff ends up in Mordor!

Beth said...

sam-i-am:
If this is son #3, I'm impressed with both your writing skill and your reasoning. Good point.
As for my "luck" - that too is a good point. (Not so nice, but a good point!)

dorky dad:
That calendar year thing is supposed to apply to clothes too. But I'm counting on the fashion styles from the past decades coming back in vogue. Hence, my vintage look...and full closet.

grundir:
I'm quaking in my flip-flops.

What are you doing here? What have you done with "THE MAN"?

Shari said...

We can't throw throw chemicals, old microwaves, and air conditioners out with the recyclables or garbage. We have to take it to a certain place (don't know what it's called) and dispose of it ourselves. Toxic Taxi!! Lucky you. We have enough taxes already, though. :)

It's a good feeling to get rid of junk, though. :)

patricia said...

Whoa. I had NO IDEA that the Toxic Taxi existed. We've got toxic crap in our shed, and were wondering what the heck we were going to do with it. Thanks for the toxic tip! (I wonder if they could get a theme song...maybe something funkier and edgier than Herb Alpert's "Tijuana Taxi".

I love how you spell b*mb. When I see it spelled like that, I want to pronounce it just like Inspector Clouseau.

Trish said...

I agree, if you haven't thought about it or used it in a couple of years...it's time to toss it.

But then there is always that disappointment when you finally need something and realise that you just threw it out.

*argh*

Beth said...

shari:
We also have a "place" where we go to dispose of items that can't go out with the garbage or be recycled. Toxic Taxi must exist to encourage us NOT to throw out chemicals with the regular garbage - or when we have too much toxic stuff.

patricia:
Just come to me for home ownership advice! I'm an expert on crap, junk, etc. But for beautification, you're on your own.
(Mais, ouis, and I am da' b*mb!)

trish:
There's another rule of thumb when tossing - if the item hasn't been used in years but you're wondering if it might be used in the future - if it's not too expensive (i.e. you won't break the bank replacing it) - TOSS IT!

Mom of Three said...

Oh Canada! Hockey equipment in every garage! Here, it's football shoulder pads and helmets.

Don't you feel better, though?? If we ever get that master done, I predict a similar day upstairs in our attic...we just keep moving stuff from one stack to another while we construct. It's driving me nuts!

Beth said...

oh honey, there is NOTHING average about you!!!!

My garage is scary!!!!!! Don't go in there!

Beth said...

momof3:
And thank heavens all sports equipment does get stored in the garage because it reeks!

beth:
"Nothing average about me." I like that. I'm going to take it as a compliment. (It was one, wasn't it?)

Eileen said...

I want a toxic taxi in my neighborhood. What a great idea, I have never heard of that.
I love purging, but I do it better alone, by kids never want to through out anything!!
Don't you just love your new new clean space?

Princess Pointful said...

Aie. I don't even have a garage yet, and I'm still scared of it in advance. My tupperware drawer is scary enough!

Beth said...

eileen:
My new clean space? We've barely started!

princess pointful:
And how many tupperware containers are in that drawer minus lids?

(Yet another chore around here - and one so easily put off...)