Has your garage become a haven for just about anything that you don’t want in your house? Many people have so much junk in their garage that there isn’t even room for their car. Whether your clutter problem is massive or just close to getting out of control, a disorganized mess can lead to stress and even a scattered mind. Fortunately, there is an entire industry built around garage clean-up organization so that you can regain your space and your peace of mind. Here are seven tips for cleaning up that chaotic garage.
1. Block Out Some Time
Cleaning out a cluttered garage properly isn’t a one or two-hour job. If you want to get this task done right, set aside at least a full day and preferably an entire weekend for the work. While not fun by any means, you could speed up the process and might even have a few laughs if you include family and a few friends.
2. Sort Through Everything
You’ll need to pull absolutely every item out of each nook and cranny of your garage. Open closed boxes to find out if you have junk or hidden treasures. As you go through each item, test electronics and appliances to see if they work. Inspect tools and sports equipment for rust or mildew. Now it’s time to make some decisions.
3. Discard and Donate
When you touch each item in your garage, you’ll need to make several piles: garbage, donate or sell, and items to keep. If you expect that your discarded items pile is going to be massive, you might need to rent a dumpster for this occasion. Also, check with your local waste service for rules about discarding certain chemicals and electronics. Arrange for a service, if possible, to pick up donation items as soon as possible. If you’re going to sell some items, be sure that the effort is worth the potential gain.
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4. Organize and Strategically Store
You should now have a pile of articles that you’ve decided to keep. The next garage clean-up task is organizing and storing these items in the best way possible. Things that you shouldn’t store in your garage for a variety of reasons include paint, food, and paper products. If you already have shelving and storage systems, use what you have on hand.
5. Invest in Storage Products and Systems
To get the most organized garage, you’re probably going to need to invest in some storage products. Plastic bins are relatively cheap, many are see-through, and they can be stacked. Open shelves and tool systems work well in garages to keep your items easily accessible and organized. Pegboard organization systems are another inexpensive and efficient solution.
6. Use Ceiling and Wall Space
Since your goal is to de-clutter and make room for your car, you’ll want to get as much of your stuff off of the floor as possible. You can do this by using wall and ceiling space to store various items. Pegboards or large bins work well to store tools and sports equipment that you use frequently. Ceiling systems work to keep large items (surfboards, fishing poles, Christmas tree) out of the way. Just make sure that any ceiling storage doesn’t impede your garage door operation.
7. Tips to Stay Organized
Once you’ve achieved an organized garage space, the chaos can slowly creep back in over months and years. You can prevent this from happening with some careful planning and maintenance. Each spring, go through your items and donate or toss out what you no longer use. Sweep out and hose down the floor and apply a natural pesticide to the perimeter to keep bugs at bay.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to a successful garage clean-up project.