Here is a mystery that I would like to solve: What exactly happens in a garage in the winter? Why is it that the garage can be clean in the fall, but when you start spring cleaning, you notice that somehow, over the winter, the garage was hit by a nuclear bomb?

Toys, old clothes, buckets, wheelbarrows, weights, a punching bag, more toys, and now all of your winter coats, boots, hats and gloves are strewn about the garage. I swear to you that things are multiplying, reproducing, breeding like bunnies in the garage all winter long - which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if everything was organized. Sadly, they are not, which is very bad for me because that means I have a ton of cleaning, organizing and throwing away to do.

Every year, it seems that the giant petri dish I call a garage grows massive amounts of a contagious virus, the symptoms of which are clutter, over-crowding and general filth. I have yet to find a way to prevent this virus from affecting my garage, and I am dismayed at the fact that it is a virus that recurs every year, much like a winter cold. It seems that once you have caught this virus, it never leaves.

The only way to combat this virus is to treat the symptoms. Clean. Clean. Clean.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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