Everyone has a place in their house where all of their junk accumulates: a spare closet, under the bed, that one room that no one ever goes into, it’s the place where good things go to rot. For my family, that place has always been the garage. So here are some helpful tips I’ve found to help me (and you!) finally move that junk out!
1. Whenever you’re about to start organizing your space, decide what you want to ultimately accomplish by doing it. Do you want to finally be able to drive the car into the garage so that you can avoid the annual hail damage repair or just know where to find your drills? Knowing what you want to do will help you decide how best to tackle the process.
2. The best way to avoid having junk stack up in your garage is to stop buying junk that you don’t use. Seriously. For instance, my dad has a habit of buying rubbish off of auction websites. So my parents’ garage is now filled with moth-eaten Native American blankets, a wine cooler, a rocking horse, and four giant containers filled with pottery and these awful (read: terrifying) figurines just to name a few. Do they use any of these things? Nope. If you have any inkling that you’re not going to use something, don’t buy it. It will eventually just sit in the garage taking up valuable space.
3. Start four separate piles for your things: garage sale, donation, keep, and trash.
4. We moved over four years ago but we still have boxes sitting in the garage. Unpack them and use this very basic rule: if it hasn’t been used in the last year, you don’t need it. No arguing! Put it in the garage sale or donation pile or the dumpster if it can’t be used by anyone.
5. You know that old desk you moved out to the garage to make room for you new entertainment center and 50-inch flat screen? Yeah, you’re never going to move that back into the house. Do everyone a favor and donate it to a Goodwill or sell it on eBay.
6. Sporting equipment should be stored together in a large tub that is clearly labeled and animal proof. How many times have you wanted to play catch only to find a half eaten ball and a glove that may have a nest of baby mice living in it? No? Just us? Well we do live in the country. By keeping similar items together in one place, you’ll always know where to find them when you need it. This concept can be applied to just about anything in the garage: tools, cleaning supplies, arts and crafts, gardening gear, they all can be organized into one area so you can always find them.
These may seem like obvious tips but they’re good reminders. Once you’ve weeded out all the stuff you’re going to trash or give away, you can start organizing your items by use. You may want to look into buying some stackable bins, shelves, hooks, or other organizational aids to help you finish up; the Container Store and Lowe’s are your best friends. After you’re done, stand back and look at your gloriously clean garage!