These past couple weeks have been tough. I'm so very sad to say that my grandfather passed away Friday night at the age of 85, after several years of declining health. The past few days have been spent in the car, making the long 10 hour trek back to Ohio to say our official goodbyes, pay our respects, remember the wonderful man my Grandpa Tony was, and spend quality time with my extended family. I'm so fortunate to have gotten to spend so much time with all four of my grandparents, and unbelievably at 33, this is the first time I've had to deal with a loss of this kind. 

On a happier note, while in Ohio, Alex and I also had the opportunity to visit with my other set of grandparents to spend time with them and also see their brand new home. They recently moved out of their home of 60 years into a new townhouse closer to my aunts and uncles. Their new digs are beautiful and spacious, especially compared to their humble abode that put a roof over their heads, and the heads of their five children, for many decades. Here's a photo of their quaint old house. I loved it, and have such fond memories there from childhood on.

In true geeked out fashion, Alex and I both have to agree that the highlight of their home tour for us was not their beautiful new kitchen, numerous bathrooms, walk in closets or other features that typically catch a buyer's eye. In this case, it was my Grandpa Cy's workbench in the basement.

My Grandpa Cy has always been a very handy man. He worked as a pipe fitter by trade prior to his retirement, and has always taken pleasure and pride in tinkering with projects around the house. And in keeping with his personality, his new workbench and tool room is a tribute to his amazing organizational skills. Here's my Grandpa Cy with Alex, posing in front of this area that Norm Abrams of This Old House would be envious of.

Each tool has its own designated spot either in a box or storage tub, is affixed to his beautifully arranged pegboard, or has a place on the nicely organized shelf. Just look at all of that beautifully labeled goodness and old coffee can storage.

You can only imagine the snarky comments I threw at Alex when we were viewing this masterpiece, as our hideous basement is a mess of sawdust, scrap wood, piles of tools, laundry and storage. On a good day it looks like we're testing missiles down there. Hopefully someday we'll get our basement whipped into shape in an effort to be more like this shining example, and hopefully that day comes before Matt Paxton of A&E's Hoarders comes knocking on our door. Think I'm kidding about our basement? Here's a sneak peek at the horror of it all from when Alex was doing a little paint stripping a little while ago:

What does your workspace look like? Is anyone's workbench more organized than my grandpa's? Any organizational tricks you can share with us (read: my husband)? Maybe from now on, when I go down into our basement, I'll just picture my grandpa's workbench in a Wayne and Garth's "transport yourself to a happy place" move, and pretend our disaster doesn't exist.

Comments 4

Comments

bfish
9/21/2011 at 9:18 PM
Your grandpa's workspace isn't even something we could remotely aspire to -- he is really organized! We have a large amount of workspace in three outbuildings, two of which are dedicated workshops and tool storage. They're all a way bigger mess than your basement. And the less said about our basement the better (not enough space to have another workspace down there, just laundry and storage)!
Laurie Kazimer
9/21/2011 at 9:49 PM
Love you use of the word snarky!! :)
ryan
9/21/2011 at 10:02 PM
Hey Wendy, sorry to hear about your grandpa. I've got no organizational tips to share... Well, other than that I like to buy multiples of any tool I use fairly often & that way I can store one in each of the places I'm most likely to leave it.

...That's probably not all that helpful, but it's a tip! :)
threadbndr
9/22/2011 at 1:35 PM
You have my sympathy on the loss of your grandfather. You are very lucky to have had him in your life for so long.

As far as organization - well, my basement looks more like yours than you granddad's, that's for sure. I aspire to an organized space with pegboard walls and labeled paint cans - someday.
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