Dad told me he’s finally making progress organizing the garage.

Since my father has been working on the garage for decades, it was hard to imagine what could constitute a significant development.

It turned out that he had labeled his tools.

The garage was now festooned with handwritten notes identifying everything from a sledgehammer to a metal rake.

Helpfully, the notes included sizes to differentiate the 23-inch crow bar from its 12-inch cousin or specify that the pipe wrench was an impressive 24 inches.

To make the labels more visible, dad applied yellow caution paint around each one.

It was the same paint he used for a previous project to “brand” his tools with a circular band. The hope was that if he lent any out, they would be returned.

I found it hard to see the urgency of this new endeavor, but I understood the utility.

The labels eliminate any confusion about where things belong. Everything has its place.

It will also help his grandchildren who would not know where to begin were they to be asked to fetch the grub hoe or cat’s paw.

More likely though, the project arose from dad’s restless energy. What we call “puttering.”

My father has been retired for 35 years, but he still has a long list of projects.

One lesson: it is salutary to stay busy and rewarding to make steady progress.

I can honestly say the garage has never looked better.

All it takes is the commitment.

And sometimes that means calling a spade a spade.

(Part of a series based on conversations with my parents about how to manage life.)