Inside: Learn how to declutter your garage quickly so you can make better use of your space!
When was the last time you decluttered your garage?
Chances are, it’s been a while. Most of us consider our garage to be a catch-all space for the stuff you don’t want to get rid of but don’t necessarily have a space for.
Spotting gear. Camping stuff. Bikes and baseball bats. Lawnmowers and gardening tools. Old paint cans and leftover stuff from your last home improvement project. Boxes filled to the brim with who-knows-what.
If that sounds like your garage, good news – you’re not alone. And with a little elbow grease and determination, you can transform your cluttered garage into a super-organized space you’ll actually want to use.
Before You Start Decluttering Your Garage… What Do You Want Your Garage To BE?
It’s smart to have a goal in mind before you actually start the process of decluttering and organizing your garage. Giving yourself a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish will help you make that your reality.
Alternately, decluttering your garage with no end goal in sight can leave you with a bigger mess than you started with.
So stop before you start. Think about what you actually want to do with your garage.
Is your goal to have enough space to park your car? Store your lawnmower or your family’s bikes? Does your garage serve as storage space for holiday stuff and other miscellaneous gear? Do you use your garage as a workshop or a gym?
Once you’ve clearly identified what you’re trying to get out of your space, you can start the process of actually decluttering your garage and transforming your space.
How To Declutter Your Garage In 6 Easy Steps
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get started? As long as you know what you’re hoping to get out of decluttering your garage, you’re good to go.
If you’re planning to declutter your garage in one day, it’s helpful to have already thought through your goals first. To declutter quickly, you need to be in the right frame of mind and ready to be ruthless with purging your stuff.
Depending on how much stuff you have, you may also need a dumpster or a large vehicle for transporting unwanted items. Arrange to get help from friends or family members if needed. Plan ahead so that you’re ready to make massive progress.
Here are the six steps to get you started.
1. Take A Before Picture
It might feel a little silly, but taking a before picture is a great first step of the process. By capturing your space in its current state – as messy as it might be – you’ll be able to actually measure your progress, stay motivated, and celebrate your success.
Fair warning – your garage will likely look messier before it looks cleaner. The decluttering process can be a bit of a whirlwind, and you might find yourself overwhelmed by the mess in your space when you’re halfway through.
Take it as a sign that you’re doing the right things – and stay focused on the goal of a totally decluttered garage.
2. Get Rid of Obvious Trash
Now it’s time for the real work. Start to declutter your garage by throwing away any obvious trash. Chances are, there’s plenty of it!
Things that are broken? Trash. Stuff you’ll never use again? Get it out of here! Old boxes and junk? Get rid of it. Anything that doesn’t serve a clear purpose can go during this initial garage decluttering session.
If you’re like me and love a good box, they can be hard to let go of initially, but now is the time to get honest with yourself about what you really need and will use. Everything else is just keeping you from getting to the decluttered garage of your dreams.
Now, you shouldn’t throw everything straight into the trash bin, destined for the landfill. If you have stuff that could serve a purpose for someone else, consider planning a yard sale – or donating that stuff to someone who could use it.
And some stuff, like cans of paint, can’t be tossed into the regular trash. Google waste disposal services in your area to learn how you can safely dispose of toxic materials.
3. Focus on Specific Areas
Now that you’ve gotten the garbage out of the way, it’s time to declutter your garage.
One of the hardest parts of the job can be figuring out where to start – so I recommend starting small.
Instead of staring down your whole garage and trying to figure out what to do, pick a spot. It could be a corner, or a shelf, or your toolbox. It doesn’t really matter what it is.
The goal is to give yourself a small section to focus on, so you can see your progress and use that as motivation to keep it up.
Once you’ve tackled all of the clutter in one area, move onto the next and begin again. If your goal is to get this done in one day, you will need to stay focused.
No going down memory lane or second-guessing if you might someday want that box of things you never unpacked from your last move ten years ago or not.
It’s also ok if you want or need to take more time tackling your garage. However, your time will be spent most efficiently when you’re decisive and honest with yourself about what you’ll really use.
4. Group Similar Stuff Together
A big part of decluttering your garage will involve creating new systems to keep things organized!
By grouping like items together, you’ll be able to actually see what you’re working with. If you only have a few pieces of sporting gear to keep organized, you’ll have a much easier time finding a solution for that than a heaping pile of stuff.
So take everything off of your shelves and out of any drawers, cabinets, or closets and get it out into the open – sorted alongside other similar items.
This also helps you to see where you have duplicates. You’ll make better-informed decisions when you’re able to see what you truly own (which is sometimes surprising!).
Then, it’s time to…
5. Find An Organizational System That Works
Once you know exactly what you’re trying to organize, you can make a plan and find an organizational system that works for you, your space, and your stuff.
You can maximize storage in your garage through bins, baskets, boxes, shelving, toolboxes, storage solutions, and more. By leveraging the space on your walls and ceiling, you can get even more creative and come up with some clever ways to keep stuff out of the way but easily available.
Make sure that items you use often are easily accessible. The more seasonal stuff can be stored more out of the way since it isn’t used year-round. Think through what makes the most sense for how you and your family members use your things.
Your garage shouldn’t be a place of frustration, but rather an extension of your home where items are easily located and are returned back to where they belong when people are done using them.
6. Take An After Picture
Remember that “before” picture you took before you started to declutter your garage? I didn’t ask you to do that for no reason. Now that you’re finished, snap an “after” shot.
This serves two purposes.
First, taking a picture of your space when it’s neat, organized, and totally decluttered will give you a benchmark to work with as you move forward. Use that image as a way to anchor your space and keep it from getting cluttered in the future.
It also is a great way to celebrate your progress. By comparing your before and after photos, you can see how your hard work paid off – and how much better off you are for it!
Guarding Your Decluttered Garage Against Future Clutter
Now that you’ve gotten your garage to an organized, decluttered state, you’ve got to keep it that way!
Clutter can easily creep up and take over, especially in spaces like your garage, where you don’t usually spend too much time. It can quickly become a dumping ground for holiday decor, other people’s stuff, broken stuff you’ll eventually get around to fixing…
You know the saying. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Don’t let that happen to your garage! Instead, be vigilant and create the habit of decluttering it regularly.
Give your garage a quick run-through at least once a month and tidy everything up. Toss the clutter, straighten your shelves, and make sure everything that’s in there actually has a purpose.
Have you decluttered your garage yet? Share your experience in the comments!
Let me know what worked for you – and what didn’t! Have you had any luck keeping your garage decluttered after you were finished? Drop a comment and join the conversation!
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