Nosy neighbors, unwelcome comments

janrozeJune 17, 2011

I keep the garage door closed unless I am moving tools, garden carts, etc. in and out. Regardless, my neighbor said, "What a mess you have in there." Well, it may be a lot of stuff that looks like a mess to her, but we use nearly all of it and it is organized - it is not a mess.

It is the only place I have for everything. With the loss of balance,it has become too difficult to carry much up and down the basement stairs.

Her garage is neat as a pin. She has nothing in her large garage, but then she has only one Christmas wreath decoration, no hobbies other than computer/reading. She has all her yard, garden and cooking done for her.

She doesn't complain when I pull some of her weeds and tries to entice me to do more.


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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Sounds obsessive and rather sad to me. Ignore her.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:15PM
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linda_jo(Raleigh, NC 7b)

Maybe she would like to help you declutter by letting you use her garage as well!! You should see my little shed! I know-it's all good stuff! Poor lady-she doesn't know the joy of gardening and owning all that stuff (and wanting more). Linda Jo

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:25PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Jan! Where have you been?

I once posted as natvtxn. We have missed you.

Maybe it just came out wrong?
We used to say we did not want the job of cleaning out Mother's sewing/junk room.
Now my patio and garage look like that and I am sure my kids say the same.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

years ago our garage also held the washer/dryer and when the big door was up, there i was doing laundry in full view of the neighbors, and also they could see the incredible mess my DH and sons had stuffed it with. it is needless to say there was no room for a car. finally when i couldn't bear it anymore, i had a small door cut in one side, and after that we left the big door closed. maybe you can do the same thing?

ps: every time i have seen a perfectly neat garage, i have discovered that the people who live there aren't much fun because they are way too busy keeping all their stuff just so. sure sounds like your neighbor.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I just can't believe she would have the nerve to make that kind of comment. I agree with Flora.

We have nosy neighbors too and I'm sure they probably find our shed a little unbearable when it's left open (much of the time since we're always in and out of it) but they are polite and would never say anything. They once mentioned to us that they keep binoculars in every room. We're their only neighbor so we are sure to keep our curtains closed at night now!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:03PM
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I would say what you told us. "You know, you're right, it is a bit of a mess. With the loss of balance, it has become too difficult to carry much up and down the basement stairs. If you like, I'd appreciate some help getting everything organized. Are you free this Saturday?"

Smile and get ready to watch her run back to her own house. She may not even try to entice you to pull her weeds, anymore :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:21PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

"If you like, I'd appreciate some help getting everything organized. Are you free this Saturday?" Heh heh. Dang funny.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Hey, I once knew a lady who completely cleaned her house every week, even to taking the mattress off the bed to vacuum under it.the light switches got cleaned every day. She would have a heart attack if she saw my garden shed.I always felt sorry for her, no friends and even her kids couldn't wait to get away from her.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:13PM
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Oh dear this is when I am glad we live in the outback.

Meddling in all forms is so annoying to me. I don't really understand it but I guess it's a brain type thing.

My garage is perennially a mess. I clean it out and sweep and straighten and pitch and in a few months it is all back again.

Enjoy your home garden and garage and ignore the neighbor. Better uses of energy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Tell her that one day your filled garage is going to win you a free total home/garage makeover courtesy of some TV show, and that she doesn't stand a chance. She'll just be stuck with her boring ol' empty garage and you'll have both new toys to play with and the newest gizmos to store them in!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:39PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Were do you live, Jan? Sounds like the small MN town I lived in where everybody knows all about everybody else, LOL. Now I live in the big city were one is anonymous. I tell people when they come through my garage in the spring/summer that I know it is a mess. There's empty pots and bags of soil, mulch, etc here and there. In the fall, when I have time, the garage gets cleaned and everything is put away and re-organized. Course, nobody walks through my garage then when it is neat as a pin.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:59PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Hello again Jan, nice to see you posting here again. :-) We left the Bemidji area about a year ago and moved to Alaska. My standard reply to comments about my home/yard/car is "Genius is always messy!" said with a cheeky grin. I figure it is totally justified to mess with outragousness in kind. Nothing like fifteen years or so of building/renovating and muliple moves all entailing the former to put things in perspective!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 3:33AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I'd ask if she could have her cook fix double amounts, so you would have that extra time to clean/organize-ha. Actually, I would just love to have someone do my cooking-I will take care of the yard and garden. We are at the point when I say, "I am having Cheerios for dinner dear, what are you having???" :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:36PM
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"Genius is always messy!" I like that better than "dull (or boring) women have immaculate homes" altho either might be appropriate depending on how much one wishes to offend! ;-D

IMO creativity and complete neatness are difficult to combine. My garage is a disaster right now but will eventually be cleaned/organized, as soon as the weeding and house improvements are finished and I have some time.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:52AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

"Genius is always messy" thank you, I've just been vindicated :).


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:24PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

:-) Genius is always messy was what my pops used to tell me when I was a little girl.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:02PM
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I would love to have a neighbor with just a "messy" garage. We have neighbors with messy back yards--dead appliances, old cars, discarded couches and furniture. We are building tall fences and encouraging lots of trees on our property lines.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:32PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Ouch mosswitch! I feel your pain. I didn't realize what an entrenched cultural MN (midwestern?) bias regarding yard/home work I had until I moved to AK. It was pretty shocking to see homes without siding, uncared for yards and "stuff" accumulated openly in yards. My head understands the reasons for the differences but my heart cannot fathom it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:43PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)


    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:14PM
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I come from a l-o-n-n-g line of GENIUSES: horders, savers, stashers, accumulaters, recyclers & know the type: even a broken umbrella might have a use at some point down the road. And if you do throw something out, chances are the guy next door will find it at the dump, bring it back & proudly hand it to you saying, "LOOK what I found!! Can you believe someone actually THREW THIS AWAY???" I'm learning to be sneaky though--now I throw anything I REALLY want gone into a trash bag rather than a recycle bin. Cuts down on returned items.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:42PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Ha Gardenweed! That's what we call "country basics" in our house. Reduce, reuse, recycle, recirculate-long before it was polically correct. Our parents lived through the depression so habits of a lifetime stick with us.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 3:48PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

im caring for an elderly aunt who is that way I think it is a sickness. REALLY.Anything out of place or crooked is not up to her standards. Even if I put the garbage cans out for her she will bring them in because they were crooked. She kept saying her garage was dirty and needed painted even though I clean it. So we hired someone to paint floor,walls and ceiling and THEN she asked me to take her car home.(We had taken her keys away not long ago) She said the car cluttered the garage. Ok don't mind if I do! :~)
PS she is always complaining about the neighbors especially on recycling day. She just think that stuff out at the road looks TRASHY. Imagine that.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:25PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

goldenpond, that's called OCD. It can be tied in with old age and other things.
Gardenweed- a naked umbrella at my house is housed in a container of soil (with a cement housing as the umbrella stand) and planted with morning glories! Another late start this year, but we'll see if it climbs to the end of the "arms"
this year!
Genius here also, married to a genius artist who makes hand carved furniture, etc etc etc!!!!
Luckily, we live at the END of a very long driveway! The neighbors planted the trees 20 years ago! LOL

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 1:57AM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

nancy- i hope you will post a photo of the morning glory umbrella this summer, if it is successful. it sounds like it will be beautiful.

it's also Genius to live at the end of a long driveway with lots of trees blocking the neighbors' views of your place because (imo) artists of any kind don't benefit from the random uninformed comments of nosy neighbors. min

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:12AM
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