Spring is here, and now is the best time to go around the house and determine what you really need. One of the biggest hot spots in most homes is the garage. Today I am sharing easy was to declutter your garage for a neat, tidy, & functional space.
I think we all can to relate to having too much stuff. And then not letting go of the stuff once we have it. You know: “I might need this again someday” or “What if so-and-so wants it?” Part of it is, we probably paid money for all the stuff, and it would be like tossing it all in a fire.
But what if it brings you no joy? What is the purpose of keeping it? Here are a few tips to get you started.
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First thing to keep in mind is that a garage declutter is different than decluttering your kitchen. You need to plan better than when you do general decluttering of your home. The nice thing about decluttering the garage is that is a great way to step away from some of your indoor Spring cleaning tasks.
Know Your “Stuff” Philosophy And Work With It
My intent was to toss as much as I had forgotten I had. Of course, that didn’t mean everything I didn’t know I had. After all, I wasn’t at war with myself or my stuff. I just wanted less hanging out for “someday” and more inside being used and appreciated.
But perhaps you have handed-down items that just haven’t found their own space outside of storage. Perhaps you anticipate a move or you are storing things for older children or family? Maybe you are sporty active family and have less being stored and more gear actually being used but it is just thrown everywhere. It might not make sense to enter the space armed with 30 trash bags.
Make A Plan For What You Want Your Space To Look Like
Before heading into your garage for your first decluttering session, take some time to plan what you want your space to be. Do you need shelves? Or do you need to hang sports equipment or gardening tools on the wall? Decide first what you want.
Make a rough sketch of your garage area and decide where you want your storage items to go, and decide what is your #1 storage solution is and what you want it for. Keep that paper with you, you will need it.
Next, before you do anything else, go to your local home improvement store to purchase and put together your storage items. Remember that #1 item? Tackle the assembly of that item first. Now you are ready for the next step.
Divide Your Garage Area Into Quarters Before You Start To Declutter The Garage
Let’s be realistic, you are not going to get everything done on the same day, unless you have an army of people working with you. So you are going to work in quarter spaces. Remember that #1 piece of storage equipment you want to put up? Wherever you put that on your map, is going to be the first place you start.
Take the time to completely clear out that section, sweep and clean the area, then place your storage unit in it’s new home. If the items you removed belong there, put them neatly away. If they don’t move on to the next step.
Start With A Goal Of Two Boxes When You Declutter Your Garage
So often the garage door lifts and we are defeated and exhausted before we’ve even begun. Think small and work in chunks, 2 boxes before noon, take a break and see about 2 more boxes in the next hour. Chances are, you’ll blow through the 4 boxes before knowing you’re even hungry.
The key is to pace yourself. That is where the quarter section comes in handy.
Have Empty Storage Boxes Or Garbage Bags Available
Have empty boxes or storage bins by your side for easy repacking and organizing. Take the time to transfer items from broken boxes to new ones, if necessary. And sometimes items in a box need to be resorted and again, having the containers empty and available make it so much easier.
That way, you are handling things as little as possible so you don’t get yourself overwhelmed and give up. I am sharing some great ideas for storage boxes below.
Declutter Your Garage One Step(Or Box) At A Time
Take a peek, toss what you can and relabel the box so the contents are visible. A great way to label the boxes are with chalkboard stickers and chalkboard pens. You can easily erase the label, and update it if you reuse it for other items.
Complete that box before moving on to the next.
Beware Of Your Garbage Piles
The “good-bye” pile, as we call it, goes right into the car to be dropped off for donation. The trash pile goes directly into the can for trash day. It can be very disappointing to see all the newly cleared space and feel like you’re done, only to turn around and find items waiting to creep back in.
A garage takes progress, so be mindful of your capabilities and time, and pace yourself.
Never Throw Out Or Donate Items That Belong To Your Spouse
Just don’t do it! Instead, find a time to sift through one box at a time with him or her. Sometimes it is easier to do together, and in some cases he or she needs to make the time on their own. People are weird about the stuff they keep, about what brings back a memory and no matter how much we think we know a person, there’s always that chance of one of these items has untold story.
Be respectful of their belongings, regardless how messy, disorganized, broken or mix-matched it may seem, it is theirs. I will say this, when I came across my husbands belongings I collected like items in one open box, relabeled several other boxes and created a corner to stacked most of his boxes so that his items were somewhat more organized and ready for his review at a later date.
Repeat The Above Steps Until All 4 Quarters Are Completed
As I said earlier, the best way to declutter a garage is my doing it slowly. Having your garage separated into sections will set you up for success, and, most importantly, a clean garage.
Final Thoughts When You Declutter Your Garage
Our items, whether awesome yard sales finds, prior gifts, spill over from combining households or whatever, are our things for one reason or another and deserve the respect of such.
If you know for instance that holiday items will continually be stored in your garage, invest in the proper organizational containers especially since year after year you are dragging these items into your living space for use.
Books, fabric and clothing soil and spoil easily in moist dark spaces, my favorite storage secret are the vacuum seal bags that shrink the storage of items in airtight bags. Love them!! Outside toys and sports equipment should be placed closest to the door to allow easy access (and clean up).
Don’t worry about what anyone else does, you need to do what’s best for you and your family, and your garage!
Organizing Tips You Will Enjoy
- Tool Bench Organization
- How To Organize A Room In One Day
- How To Declutter A Messy Garage
- How To Organize A Garage The Right Way
Organizing Tools You Can’t Live Without
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