5 decluttering tips for your garage

Most garages are a catch-all space for anything related to the outdoors like tools, sports gear, lawn equipment. Some people dump indoor items as well: boxes, garbage, appliances. Life happens and suddenly you can’t even fit a car in your garage. In most cases, garages get unorganized and can be dangerous for kids.

Here’s the thing – it’s a huge space with great square footage that can be better organized for maximum efficiency. Here are some tips.

Chuck the junk
Most garages become a dump for all things, but what kind of treasures could you find once you take the time to look? Appliances, a computer still running Windows 98, a sweet Tron poster. You may have placed those items there because at the time, you didn’t want to make the decision to keep them or throw them away.

The first thing you’ll need to do is chuck the junk. You may only need a garbage bag, or maybe a truck. Take a deep breath and go at it. Start anywhere and create a staging area to sort your junk – so you’re not sorting what you’ve already sorted later on.

Also, consider what you’ll do with that junk. Maybe you’ll just throw it away, but consider donating it.

Have an end goal
What do you want this space to be used for? If it’s to park your car (or cars), pull it in and work around that space. That way, you’ll know the exact dimensions you require.

Garages are a great place for workshops regardless of if you like to putter, take on weekend projects or are a professional carpenter. Plan out what you need, like an area to keep your tools and a flat surface to work. You may even have power tools professionally installed to give you that extra edge.

Your garage can be turned into your sports locker room too. Keep that toxic waste out of your home and in your own personal space with hooks and a bench. Consider putting up shelves for baseball bats, cleats, golf clubs, or tennis rackets.

Maybe you just want a storage area. There’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure your storage is organized. If you’re using your garage as a general storage area, consider heat fluctuations, rodents and insects. Only keep things that can withstand these elements.

Assign spaces
If you’ve decided to use your garage for multiple items, assign spaces for each category. Camping gear to the right, sports equipment to the left, tools hung on the wall, lawn and garden equipment near the door and seasonal items tucked away in boxes. Categorization will save you time trying to figure out where everything is later on.

Use proper storage
Not everything needs to sit on the concrete floor. Think about how to better utilize the space by installing hooks on the wall to suspend bikes, wood shelves for paint cans, and plastic boxes for Christmas decorations and to protect against bugs and rodents. You’ll be able to utilize those other flat surfaces in the garage and gain extra square footage.

Take the required time
If you’re going to tackle this job, make sure you come at it with the right attitude. Don’t be afraid to take the time to do it right, and don’t be afraid to toss the junk or put it aside to donate. A change of season is a great time to tackle this job.

Decluttering doesn’t just involve a few boxes or shelves. You need to take everything out and reassess where each item needs to go. Get all the things you need such as boxes for storage, garbage bags for junk and cleaning products. Pick a starting point and have at it!

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