My Garage is Not Clean Swept

I used to watch shows like Clean Sweep and laugh when the host, Peter Walsh, would confront the homeowners about all their 'stuff' and force them to get rid of most of it. When the homeowners were relunctant to do it, Peter would pull them aside and confront them about WHY these things had such a hold on them. I laughed at people who clung to their CD's, video tapes, shoes, collectible figurines, any number of too many of something, as one by one Peter wore them down and forced them to let go and sell off their treasures.

The difference between them and me? First, none of these items would be what I consider treasures, as I don't own a lot of CD's, DVD's, shoes, etc.

Second, I'd never invite Mr. Walsh to come into my garage and help me organize it. He'd take one look at the pegboard with the garden tools hanging on it and begin to question me, starting with the basic question. "Do you use all of those hoes?"

Absolutely, Mr. Walsh, of course I do!

Then he'd swivel around to the other side of the garage and find the clay pots. "How about these?", he would ask. "What are you keeping all of these for?" Planting! Honestly, you need to have few extra clay pots on hand so when the urge, the need, to pot something up strikes, you've already got the pot. And that stack of plastic flats that's a foot high? Occasionally, you need a flat to put some smaller pots in or, well, you know, you just need some flats.

All that old garden hose? I've cut some of it into small sections and laid those sections around the garden thinking that the rabbits might mistake them for snakes and stay away. (Just another "trick" I've tried to keep away rabbits. I think it works as well as the plastic owl in the garden, which means "not very well".) Good garden hose sections just don't grow on trees, so you have to keep some on hand.

I've never thought of my self as a collector. Collectors seek out specific items, they spend their days at flea markets and auctions looking for new items to add to their collection, they acquire their collectibles just "to have them". I don't do that!

I just buy garden tools and keep the pots and flats that come may way to use them in the garden. Yes, I refer to my hoes collectively as a collection, but it is hardly a collection, more like the essential tools of the trade, don't you think?

(By the way, um... if you know of a type of hoe or any garden tool that I don't have, that I should... um... have, let me know, okay? I might, um... want to get one, not because I collect hoes or garden tools, mind you, because I'm not really a collector, okay?)


  1. Your garage sounds like mine ... a stash of items that you never know when you will need them. Old hoses, yes, I've got those. Have you made a wreath out of an old hose? I'll have to post the directions on my blog.

  2. Ha ha,Carol, we have you "pegged" now. But of course you're not a real collector. Anyway, who in their right mind would let Peter Walsh into their house without first hiding away anything that means something to them? I can just see him doing a little hoe therapy with you. Poor man!

  3. Crafty Gardener... I've seen wreaths made out of old garden hose for sale, but haven't tried to make one. I recall you posting instructions before.

    LostRoses... I knew you would understand! Of course, finding some place to hide all those hoes... maybe under the bed would be a good place? Hiding the clay pots would be a bit more difficult. I guess before he came I'd have to put up all kinds of plants in them to make them look useful.

  4. carol - i can't watch those clean up shows. Every time I've tried I find myself wanting to scream at the people DON'T DO IT! DON'T LET THEM MAKE YOU GET RID OF THAT! I'm not a pack rat but I have pack rat genes so I try really hard to keep it in check. My pack rat grandma recently gave me some drawings on faded construction paper that I made in kindergarten. I'm sure they would have made her throw it away.

  5. I think plants are amazing too. The little begonia that could post is lovely.

    Your list of ten made me grin.

    This one is the best I too always wonder what possesses people to allow someone like Peter Walsh into their home. Really!!

  6. Yeah, I'd want to throw my garden (or other hobby) related stuff out like I'd switch to "more stylish shoes". That's the other TV makeover show thing that makes me cringe.

  7. Since we don't have cable, I tried to look at the website for Clean Sweep, but it was really clunky. If it's like any of the other makeover shows you would not want those people near your stuff, Carole!

    What is stored in a garden shed is not junk, but potential... who knows when something will come in handy.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Good article, Carol. I loved the part about Peter Walsh going through your hit that dead on and it made me laugh!! have struck a cord of dissent with your definition of a collector and their motivation for collecting, and would with any collector..which I am one! Collectors don't aquire things "just to have them". There is always a passion and love attached. Sometimes it may appear to others that they are just collecting to be collecting, but that is rarely the case and if it is, the collection will be abandoned/sold in a a few years or not really be one of the lifelong ones most collectors have. Keep in mind that pack rats also collect things just "in case they might use them someday". Just face it Carol when it comes to gardening, you are a "collector" of sorts, if only enough so you can tap into a little of feeling a true, passionite, collector has about their hobbies and collections!

    There is the investing and selling side of collecting. Many collectors do this only as a means to bolster their true collections of the things they really love and wouldn't think of selling. If they only collect to buy/sell and turn a profit at some point, then they may not really be collectors. True collectors truly love what they collect and wouldn't sell their prized collectibles for any amount of money unless maybe they were starving on the street corner!! I have some items like that in my collections!

  9. Ya know, those show hosts never seem to wander as far as the scary basement. ~nudge~ lol.


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