Last Updated on April 20, 2020 by EditorDo you have a messy garage that you can’t utilize? Are you frequently putting stuff in the garage that you don’t know what to do with and it’s accumulating quickly?
You’re not alone.
Only 11% of homeowners say they’re satisfied with their garage and wouldn’t want to improve it. That means it’s likely you have a lot of improvements you want to make to yours and we’re here to show you how to declutter your garage the right way!
Instead of organizing, donating or throwing things away, they just end up in the garage. You might feel overwhelmed at the thought of decluttering your garage but with the right strategy it’s doable. We’re going to cover how to fix that today so you can have the space you need and access to organized storage you will still use from the garage.
Get Rid of Obvious Trash
If you have decided to declutter your garage that is great news! You might not know where to start, however.
The best thing to do is pick up around the garage things that are garbage so they won’t get mixed up in the organizing effort. It’s okay if there is some left behind, but you should get to the obvious stuff first.
Begin in whatever section catches your eye. The important thing is to just start. Don’t put it off for another weekend or you may never get to it. You’re wasting space you could utilize for so many things, so it’s best to get it taken care of. You might want to set a timer for fifteen minutes and then take a break before setting it again for another fifteen minutes. If you focus you can get a lot done in short bursts of time spent.
Sort Everything to Declutter
You should set aside a decent amount of time for this project, like a full day to even a full weekend, and recruit family and friends. This will help make things go faster.
Sort everything into several piles, such as Keep, Donate, Sell, and Trash. You can create a staging area in the garage or even in your driveway to do this. Bring a box at a time to the staging area if you have to.
The important thing is to start sorting and get as organized as you can before you have to reassemble your collection in the garage.
Determining if Something is Trash
Something to consider while decluttering your garage is how long it has been since you’ve used the item, if ever.
If you’ve had it over a year and didn’t use it then you may want to consider getting rid of it. You’ll appreciate the open space or maybe even trade that space for something you will use.
If you are concerned about the money spent, the money is gone whether you keep the item or not. If you aren’t using the item, you aren’t saving money. Make sure to recycle any trash that you can. It may be hard to part with things but it’s worth it in the end. If you really don’t know, consider sleeping on the decision if you are working on the garage for more than one day. Really though, you should be able to make this decision quickly.
What Should You Do With Other Items?
Pack up donations in your vehicle and bring them to a donation center of your choice. Goodwill and The Salvation Army are always good recipients for donations.
Consider selling some items online, at a yard sale, or even on consignment. If you are committing to a yard sale then be sure to pick a date.
With items of some value, you might want to sell on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
If you do decide to meet people, do it in a public place during the day and preferably do not go alone. Some police stations have volunteered to let people meet there to stay safe when selling things online. You might wish to call the non-emergency number and ask the police station if they allow it.
If that’s not possible, consider a grocery store or a bank, as they generally have cameras.
Do not invite people to your home.
It may not seem like a big deal, but there are always people with bad intentions out there and it’s best to just not risk it.
Organizing by Creating Zones
Once you have gone through the process of determining what you will keep, you should organize things you want into zones.
These zones could be anything depending on you and the things you decided to keep.
It might be one zone for out of season clothes, another for holiday decorations, a space for beach trip chairs– the possibilities are endless.
You’ll want to organize your items and put them in each area in the garage. In this way, you’ll know how much you have for each particular zone and you can figure out the best way to store it. You’ll want to make sure you store things in a way that makes them easy to find.
Don’t Buy Storage on a Whim
You should not purchase a storage system blindly not knowing what you have. It may not work correctly for your items and that is wasted money and wasted time.
The goal is to declutter your garage after all, not add more clutter!
Make sure to utilize any vertical space and keep toxic items high up if you have children. You don’t need to purchase anything expensive. You can get plastic bins cheaply at big box home improvement stores. There are DIY options for storage as well.
If money isn’t a factor then the possibilities are truly endless.
Clean up Any Remaining Mess
After you have organized and decluttered your garage, you’ll want to make sure you clean up anything remaining that has soiled the area over time. You’ll want to make sure you get things like nails off the floor and any other small items.
You should clean up chemical stains such as those from oil.
Get rid of any cobwebs.
Make sure there is no evidence of animals or animal waste that you may have found while cleaning and organizing.
Garage Cleaning Tips
- Use cat litter, dish soap, and a metal scrub brush to remove oil stains. This will help make the space more usable.
- Vinegar or bleach diluted in warm water can wash away mold. Mold can make you very sick and is not something you should allow to grow.
- To clean the walls of the garage use a sponge mop. Use a flat head mop to dry the wall afterward.
- Use a fan to dry surfaces more quickly, as not to create mold and to speed up cleaning time.
Garage Organizing Tips
- Use shelving as this will make it easier to reach items you use often but only after knowing what you have.
- Consider cabinets for less frequently used items after going through the items you have.
- Things like hammers and hacksaws can go onto a peg board for easy access.
- Items such as rakes and shovels can be hung on a wall hook or placed in a sturdy bin.
- Group everything by category so it is easier to find as well as put away.
Maintain a Clean Decluttered Garage
Once you have everything situated you’ll certainly feel accomplished. What you’ll have to do now is try to maintain your decluttered garage from becoming cluttered once more.
To do this, you’ll want to do a quick once over every season change or even once a month. Keep the floor space in the garage as clean as you can. Spray for pests if appropriate. Be sure to sweep or hose down the floor to keep out dirt.
There is a lot of traffic that goes through the garage so you might want to clean it frequently. It shouldn’t take long now that it’s organized and free of clutter. At a minimum, you should repeat at least once a year so you can get rid of anything that isn’t necessary to keep or doesn’t belong in the garage. You wouldn’t want all that hard work to go to waste.
You must prevent the garage from being a catch all of various items.
Wrapping It Up
While cleaning is probably not your favorite thing if your garage became messy and cluttered, you’ll not only feel better for having a clean space and you’ll be able to utilize it too.
Just think about not having to clean the snow off the car or being able to access a hobby project and work on it in the garage. If you think you are saving money by holding onto these cluttering items, you really aren’t if they are just wasting your space.
You can also help improve the lives of others with donations and even selling the things you own that take up too much real estate. There really is no reason to put off cleaning the garage any longer so hopefully with this tips you’ll be on it in no time.
No matter the season its a good time to clean the garage so you can get more use out of it and be productive.