Hey all! Today I am having a guest poster help me out while I am taking care of some medical issues with hubby. Barb was kind enough to respond to my call for help during this busy time. So please enjoy her post, I know I did!
Household Tips For Decluttering A Garage
Spring is in the air… and unfortunately for me that includes pollen and dust and other yuckies. But it is the perfect time for cleaning out closets, reorganizing garages and visiting what might be a dreaded dusty attic.
My first piece of advice: get disposable face masks. After 2 straight days in the garage working through box after box my allergies and asthma took a hit… so invest in some to prevent the flare up if you are prone to allergies.
Now back to that garage…here are some of my tips:
* Know your “stuff” philosophy and work with it. My intent was to toss as much as I had forgotten I had… of course that didn’t mean everything I didn’t know I had. After all I wasn’t at war with myself or my stuff… I just wanted less hanging out for “someday” and more inside being used and appreciated. Gone are the days of wishful projects, so either it meant fitting an immediate purpose or risk being tossed (rather donated). But perhaps you have handed down items that just haven’t found their own space outside of storage, perhaps you anticipate a move or you are storing things for older children or family. Maybe you are sporty active family and have less being stored and more gear. It might not make sense to enter the space armed with 30 trash bags.
* Start with a goal of two boxes or clearing a path to something specific, which was my case… I just couldn’t stop there, but I could have if I needed to. So often the garage door lifts and we are defeated and exhausted before we’ve even begun. Think small and work in chunks… 2 boxes before noon, take a break and see about 2 more boxes in the next hour… chances are you’ll blow through the 4 boxes before knowing you’re even hungry.
* Have empty boxes or storage bins by your side for easy repacking and organizing… transferring items from broken boxes to new ones is easiest if anticipated beforehand. And sometimes items in a box need to be resorted and again, having the containers empty and available make it so much easier.
* Remember to take it one box at a time. Take a peek, toss what you can and relabel the box so the contents are visible. Complete that box before moving on to the next.
* Be careful of how much spills out of the garage while you are working… trash definitely and the “good-bye” pile as we call it goes right into the car but remember at the end of your session you have to move your outside piles back in, so you might not want to make the extra work unless you know you are putting in a full day or have help. It can be very disappointing to see all the newly cleared space and feel like you’re done only to turn around and find items waiting to creep back in. A garage takes progress – those tv shows have a whole crew helping, so be mindful of your capabilities and time; and pace yourself.
* Never throw out or donate items that belong to your spouse. Just don’t do it… instead find a time to sift through one box at a time with him or her. Sometimes it is easier to do together, and in some cases he or she needs to make the time on their own. People are weird about the stuff they keep, about what brings back a memory and no matter how much we think we know a person… there’s always that chance of one untold story. Be respectful of their belongings, regardless how messy, disorganized, broken or mix-matched it may seem… it is theirs. I will say this, when I came across my husbands belongings I collected like items in one open box, relabeled several other boxes and created a corner to stacked most of his boxes so that his items were somewhat more organized and ready for his review at a later date.
Our items whether awesome yard sales finds, prior gifts, spill over from combining households or whatever, are our things for one reason or another and deserve the respect of such. If you know for instance that holiday items will continually be stored in your garage, invest in the proper organizational containers especially since year after year you are dragging these items into your living space for use. Books, fabric and clothing soil and spoil easily in moist dark spaces, my favorite storage secret are the vacuum seal bags that shrink the storage of items in airtight bags. Love them!! Outside toys and sports equipment should be placed closest to the door to allow easy access (and clean up).
These are my garage quick tips, do you have any other suggestions for keeping an organized garage space?
Barbara Spalding is a professional organizer working with Destination Organized. She is the President of Homeroom At Home, an educational resource for parents with children K-6th grade. The Homeroom At Home blog offers tips, suggestions, reviews and mini lesson plans for parents and caregivers to enhance their children’s academic journey and embrace their child’s natural gift of curiosity. Barbara is a speaker, writer, wife and mother of two out of Southern Jersey.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, and the suggestions and opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. Affiliate links with Amazon are included. I was not compensated for this article.
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