Now, though the getting the yard clean is still my priority around here, Tara and I (mostly Tara, honestly) have also started working on the garage. The idea being that sometimes it rains, or it's, you know, night time and so it is a good idea to have a dehoarding project that can be done at those times too (especially given the cooler weather and shorter days now that's it's autumn, which will eventually turn into winter. As it does).
I have this scheme to convert the garage into a wood shop. Right now the woodworking tools of the house are scattered all over the place—in the breezeway, the cellar, and the downstairs breezeway. There's not really any room in the breezeway (which really ought to just be a breezeway anyway), and the cellar and downstairs breezeway are really not good places to store power tools as they are very damp and metal pretty much instantly converts to rust. The garage would be a perfect place for a wood shop though—there are a lot of windows in there (six altogether!) and with the two garage doors that can be opened there's plenty of room to maneuver long boards and such.
Of course though the garage is currently full of my father's stuff, a good deal of which are old Volkswagen engines, or old Volkswagen parts, or parts of old Volkswagen engines. There are also two cars in there, though neither of them are actually old Volkswagens—a Saab and an old Triumph. And as is typical of any space that may have once come into contact with a hoarder, it is of course piled high to the ceiling with god-knows-what in quite a few places, though like the rest of everything we've slowly been picking away at it over the years and have made some progress. But it's still, really, quite full of stuff.
I am still camera-less, though I have been informed it is already on its way back to me, fixed. Tara did get some befores and afters with her phone but I don't have access to them just now; instead, again, you will have to take my word for it that we have cleaned. Against the back wall of the garage is this giant wooden bench soaked with oil and grime, just like the hardwood floor, which is caked black with the stuff (the house is built into a hill, so there is a garage on one floor, then if you drive around back there is another beneath it). It runs pretty much the entire length of the garage, something like fifteen or twenty feet. It had been covered with all kinds of stuff—engine parts, cardboard Oilzum cans my dad had cut in half (so as to make two containers, how efficient and frugal!) filled with the usual nuts and bolts, oil-soaked boxes of junk, 'new' Volkswagen parts still in the box, pieces of a bed my father had saved for the angle iron, car seats, as well as more than a few completely unidentifiable things and various frightening oddities like the occasional bottle of oh I don't know muriatic acid.
We got that bench cleared off, for nearly the entire length of it. The very end is a bit hard to get to, as there are wooden chests full of stuff in front of it, but still, Tara got in there pretty well. She filled two forty-two gallon contractor bags just with trash, and then there was the recycling (boxes, cans, plastics) and the stuff put aside for an iron run, which will be another post, since that's a story all unto itself.
So we did pretty well in there, I think. Progress was interrupted for an hour or two when one Sir Isaac Mewton (who is an indoor cat only, and who is very very bad) managed to escape and we had to go out into the night looking for him with an open can of tuna, but still. There is noticeably more light in there, even though we have put some things (mostly my own stuff, which will legitimately live in there one day but for now needs to be out of the way) back on the bench. We swept up, and vacuumed with the weirdest-looking (but working) shop vac you'll ever see, and no I won't describe it just yet because you truly have to see it to believe it.
I don't know how I'll ever get that floor clean, though. The bench I could probably sand down a layer to get to clean wood, but the whole floor? That's a big job, probably one for the professionals. But if it's to be a wood shop it will have to be clean in there. Oh well. We'll worry about getting the floor visible, first.