Sometimes, the simple solution staring us in the face still eludes us.
I’ve had a mini-van for over 7 years, and for at least 5 of those years, the placement of the plastic garbage cans has caused me a problem: they get in the way of my sliding door. I have long, unsightly white scratches on my van door from frequent collision with the cans. Until today, it was a problem without a solution.
There’s simply no better place for the garbage cans than where they are. Slimmer cans are not to be found. My van won’t fit on the other side of the garage without MAJOR rearranging, and there are sliding doors on both sides anyhow.
But this morning, I came home knowing I would be leaving twice more. I usually crawl through the front seats from/to the passenger side to get in and out, but in the winter THAT becomes a major pain with drippy, heavy boot on my feet. So I decided to back into the garage for today. That’s when I noticed that when I’m backed in, the garbage cans are not in the way at all!
My front door clears the pole, the sliding doors are obstruction free, and the problem is solved!
I know why I had never considered this solution before. Somewhere along the way, I picked up the impression that backing into the garage wasn’t as safe as pulling in forward because exhaust fumes get trapped in the front part of the garage instead of being vented out the large open door in the back. It probably does increase the amount of trapped fumes, but cars today emit a lot less exhaust. I don’t ever idle my car in the garage so I bet the “increased risk” is minimal, if measurable at all.
Just to be safe, I posted over in NPR’s Car Talk forum to see what others had to say. But at this point, I’m pretty sure the increased blood pressure I experience every time my car door hits the garbage can is a larger health risk than the exhaust fumes.
From now on, I’m backing in. Problem solved!