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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The three D’s of storage

 

There are three main reasons why people choose storage: divorce, death and downsizing. They are all difficult times and you’ll likely feel overwhelmed. One of your concerns will likely be what do with your stuff.

Divorce
Going through a divorce can be one of the hardest times of your life. It affects you, but it can also involve kids. Determining assets and figuring out what you’re going to keep can be a complicated process, but in the end, you’re going to part with many possessions.

There may also be a long transition going from your old home to a new lifestyle. You may need to find a new place or move to a new city altogether. Your new house is probably smaller than your last, or maybe you’ll rent for a bit. Either way, you need some time to get back on your feet.

With all these changes, many people choose self storage units to keep their stuff in while they figure out their next step. That way you can deal with the more important things while knowing that your possessions are stored away safely in a convenient location.

Death
Losing a loved one can be one of the most painful things in life. The time immediately following is stressful and emotional. Eventually, you’ll need to go through the belongings of your loved one and determine what you want to keep, give to someone else, donate, or throw away.

You’ll likely end up with a whole new bedroom set, clothes, collections and other keepsakes. You may not have the space in your own home, but these items are important to you. That’s where a storage unit may come in handy.

Downsizing
People downsize their homes for different reasons, but ultimately that means getting rid of stuff. Perhaps you recently retired and want to move into that neighbourhood you always dreamed of, the kids moved out and you’re looking for a condo, or you’re moving from the country to the city and can’t afford a big place.

Whatever the reason, you’ve gone from a large home to a smaller one. You’ll get rid of some stuff, give items to others, but there are probably some things you want to keep. You may want to hold onto useful items that you may still need like tools, or keep sentimental pieces like family heirlooms that you want to pass onto your kids.

Make sure that you enjoy your new lifestyle without clutter in your new home and grab a storage unit nearby.

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Downsizing doesn’t mean junking

Whether you’re downsizing your home, your life or your kids, you may find yourself in need of a storage unit in a hurry.

room

 

Maybe you’re retiring and need to move from your five bedroom country home to a condo downtown, closer to a popular neighborhood and friends. Perhaps your kids have moved out of the house, on to university and living lives of their own, and you don’t need that big space anymore.

Sometimes it isn’t your choice. You lost your job and need to downsize to a more affordable home or you’ve gone through a divorce and need to find a new, smaller space. You don’t always choose what life throws at you.

No matter what the case, downsizing doesn’t mean junking – don’t throw everything away! You can keep your belongings that you don’t necessarily access every day: items that remind you of your kids, a vinyl collection, art, power tools, etc… they can all be kept in a self storage unit.

You may need a small storage space, or something a little bigger. Self storage units come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.

Although you’re downsizing your life, don’t downsize your stuff.

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Breaking up and boxing up: How the right storage solution can help you through a difficult transition

Moving is tough, even under the best of circumstances.

What can make it even harder is figuring out the logistics when you’re in the midst of a divorce or recent split.

Sifting through belongings can be painstaking and exhausting… so where should you even begin?!

The important thing is to deal with the essentials- first and foremost. The bedroom furniture, the kitchen appliances, the designer coffee table. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re taking with you to start on this next chapter in your life in a new home. Box it up, pack it up, and get it ready for the big move.

This is where it gets tough : Christmas decorations, family keepsakes, the children’s memory boxes, your wedding dress. These are not things you want to be sifting through during what may be a more emotionally difficult time in your life.

These belongings are important to you, and you should absolutely take the time to go through them- when you feel good and ready.

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