A couple of years ago my pal Sam talked about fixing the wheel on his garbage can and how that made his life so much nicer. Not that it’s hard to take the garbage out when the wheel on the can is busted, but how much nicer is the chore when the wheel actually rolls smoothly as intended? Since he shared that story with me I’ve used “garbage can wheel” as shorthand for doing whatever small thing is required to make some other small thing in life easier.

A couple of weeks ago I had a good Garbage Can Wheel. We recently moved all three of my family’s bikes out into the shed in our backyard—great news for the inside of our house which now has loads more space not taken up by bike parking. But dang if it wasn’t annoying to walk my bike around back, go inside and get the shed key, walk back out, put my bike away, lock the shed, and walk all the way around back into the front door.

One combination lock for the shed and and a keyless deadbolt for our back door later, and now it’s easier to store bikes in the shed than it ever was to keep them inside. My living room rejoices!

The key to a good Garbage Can Wheel (and the only hard part) is actually recognizing when small annoyances can be completely eradicated with a little money, effort, or time. It’s way too easy to spend the rest of your life dragging the garbage can with the busted wheel out to the alley. You shouldn’t and don’t have to live that way! Just fix the wheel. It’ll take, like, two minutes, tops.