Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Garage
Spring has sprung and with summer approaching fast, it’s time to start thinking about doing some spring cleaning! It’s easy to let your garage become overrun with junk you don’t need. Here are a few tips on how to declutter your garage and take your space back.
Keep it, Toss it, Sell it
Once upon a time TLC hosted a show called “Clean Sweep.” This show focused on decluttering people’s homes using a fun game of “keep, sell, toss.” The game helps you determine what you need, what needs to be thrown away, and what can be donated (or sold if you’re looking to make some money). While the rules can be changed to suit your needs, here is a basic rundown to get your started.
If you use the item often or have used it at least once within the past year, you should keep it. Focus on items such as sports equipment that you or your kids use on a regular basis (golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball equipment, etc.). Tools and yard equipment should also fall under this category. While you’re going through your items, try to avoid getting sentimental. You want to keep the absolute necessities! This means sports equipment, yard equipment, tools, holiday decorations, etc. Of course if you have some sentimental items stored away for memories sake, you don’t have to throw them out. However, you should limit how many sentimental items you keep in your garage. If you let it get too out of hand, you might run the risk of becoming a professional hoarder.
Focus on items that you haven’t used in a year or more. Are you storing old clothes in your garage? Go through them and determine if you can donate anything to a local shelter! You can even extend this search to you and your children’s closets. Look for clothes that you haven’t worn in the past 6 months or a year and then put them in a sale/donation pile. It’s also helpful to try on some of the clothes you haven’t worn in a while. As much as we hate to admit it, it’s easy to pack on a few extra pounds and outgrow our clothes. Or if you’re one of the few that actually stayed committed to your New Year’s Resolution, then you’ve probably lost some weight and now your clothes no longer fit properly. Either way, there’s no use for you to hold on to clothes that don’t fit you, so why not help out someone in need by donating them? Or make some extra cash by selling your old clothes! This also applies to the clothes your children outgrow quickly. There’s no reason to store clothes that won’t be worn again, so sell or donate them.
Now, moving beyond clothes, there are probably plenty of items in your garage that you never use. Once again, it’s best to use the 6 month to a year rule. If the item hasn’t been used in this time, you should either sell it or donate it. This includes yard equipment you never use or sports equipment that you never use. If you haven’t played tennis in the past 6 years, odds are you won’t be getting back to the courts anytime soon, so why hold on to the equipment?
Now that you’ve separated items you want to keep from the items you want to sell or donate, you should be left with the items that you should toss. As you’ve made your sell/donate pile, you should keep in mind the quality of the items. If you look at any clothes that you plan on selling or donating and you think “I would never wear that,” due to stains or holes, it’s best that you toss it. If you’re trying to sell or donate any objects, make sure that they work. Just because you no longer want it doesn’t mean you should try to just pass off useless junk to someone else. Rodents can also cause issues and ruin items. If you have anything that looks like pests have attacked it, you might want to add it to the toss pile. After you go through clothes and other items that are no longer viable, look for any expired chemicals or fertilizers. When you find chemicals that you no longer need or can’t use anymore, proceed with extreme caution. Chemicals can be extremely hazardous, so it’s best to do some research on how to dispose of them.
Organize Your Space
Now that you’ve decluttered your garage, it’s time to organize your “keep” pile! Before you start organizing, you should think about why you cleaned out your garage to begin with. Are you trying to park your car inside? Are you trying to convert your garage into a work space? How you decide to use the space may determine the best methods of organization for you. To get started with organizing your garage, you should invest in plenty of plastic containers. Avoid using cardboard boxes if you can. Plastic prevents your items from sustaining water damage and helps keep out pests. You’ll also want to label your boxes. Labeling helps you identify which boxes you need to get into, helping you save time and avoid a large mess. Shelving units and cabinets are also useful for storing items in your garage. Installing a few of these can help you keep everything off the floor of the garage!