Updated: Oct 11, 2020
You have a kitchen that fits a table, an office that fits a desk, and a bedroom that fits a bed. Even though the garage may serve multiple functions, its primary purpose is to house a car. Does yours fit?
If your answer is no, you are not alone-- but you can take action. It’s getting colder in the Northeast, so now is the time to kick the clutter and park your car in your garage! Here’s how.
Hydrate, get some rest, and put on some comfy clothes. Don’t forget to snap a “before” picture so you can be proud of your progress!
1. Take account of what’s in there now: Look around. Your garage may serve many purposes. Perhaps boxes from when you moved in are still in the garage. Or you throw everything in the garage and rarely take an inventory…from sports equipment to garden projects to paint cans to skis. What’s in there? How long has it been there? And, most importantly, what needs to stay?
2. Focus on one area. Whether you have a one-, two-, or three-car garage, the space can be overwhelming, especially when it’s full of stuff. Begin by sorting through one area at a time. One set of shelves, one corner, or one tiny section.
3. Divide and conquer. Examine the first shelf or the first box. Divide the contents into one of four piles: 1. Keep in garage, 2. Move elsewhere in your home, 3. Donate/sell/gift, or 4. Recycle/trash. Maybe those old skates can go to your neighbor with a younger child; old tires can be recycled. No longer into soccer? Bring the items to a local used equipment store. Want to make some money? Snap a photo and post on OfferUp*.
4. Give yourself some time. Depending on how cluttered your garage is, this could take some time. Set aside a day, a weekend, maybe more. Be patient. As you move around your garage one area at a time, you will make progress!
5. Set up a new system. Now it’s time to maximize your storage. Set up a system that is functional for your needs moving forward! Maximize vertical space, use labeled bins, invest in some closed cabinets. Feel like you can’t go it alone? Grab a family member or friend and don’t be hesitant to enlist the help of a professional organizer for ideas, assistance, best practices, and accountability!
6. Pull your car in and let it snow!
*OfferUp is just one example of an app that easily lets you sell items locally. You can also post on your local Buy Nothing group, Craigslist, or your method of choice. If the item doesn’t sell in a week though, it’s time to turn it into a donation!
Photo credit: OrganizedLiving