The secret to jumping from one phase to another in our outdoors pursuits? Having enough room for storage

The first step a person with a problem of some sort has is to admit that he or she has a problem. I’ve always had a problem (actually, a series of problems), and they were always related to having too much stuff.

In my rabbit-hunting “phase,” I realized I had a problem when there were a dozen beagles in my backyard kennels. I scaled back and the phase passed when I separated the mommy dogs from the daddy dogs, sold off most of the puppy dogs and switched to duck hunting.

When I started duck hunting, I had nine decoys and a 12-gauge shotgun. When I gave it up, a good portion of my storage area was filled with nine sacks of decoys, waders (light and heavy weights), packs of camouflage, paddles for my canoe (camo-painted and stored behind the shed), paddles for my john boat (camo-painted and stored behind the shed) and more.

The duck-hunting phase ended when I needed more room to store my tree stands and other deer-hunting paraphernalia as I indulged in a quick passing phase involving whitetails. I quickly phased that out when my Great Lakes fishing phase outgrew the available storage area it was allotted. Actually, that phase morphed into a co-phase era since the deer hunting waxes at the time of year when Great Lake fishing wanes.

I solved the storage problem by figuring how to store most of the deer stands in the rafters above the fishing boat, spare downrigger rods and other gear. Recently, I went into the area of my “guy” space after the fishing season, after the deer season, and looked for some space to spread out some of my winter coyote-trapping gear. All I found was clutter.

There was fishing stuff on the work table. There was venison-wrapping stuff on the fish cleaning table. There was other stuff that had fallen to the floor and items stowed in boxes tucked into corners left over from … who knows? Some of them are unmarked and may have beagle stuff in them.

I’m obviously in denial about my problem, so rather than admit it, I’ve entered a new phase to address the problem. It’s called my shelf-building phase. I’m sure with a little organization and a Magic Marker to label the boxes, my problem will be solved. At least until the shelves get full – or I enter into a new phase.

Categories: Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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