The first step of any organizing project (after admitting the problem exists) is to DECLUTTER!
Problem Area: Garage
Ultimate goal for space: clean, organized storage, safe for kids to use space for games and crafts, room to park vehicle
- Group like things together when sorting (seasonal items, your stockpile items, etc)
- Eliminate duplicate items (particularly tools, toys)
- Items that have not been used for a significant period of time (i.e 3 months) should consider getting rid of unless they are seasonal items for holidays
- If items do not get used often (seasonal, etc.) group them together for storage (such as the attic area) that is less accessible
- If you have boxes, containers storing items- now is a good time to go through and make sure what you think is in the box actually is, make sure the things in there really need to be stored (have you used them recently?, will you use them in the near future?, etc)
- Try to avoid being distracted by sentimental items. Make a pile of anything that has sentimental value to go through later. It will slow down the decluttering process if you try to do that at the same time.
- Items not recommended to be stored in the garage/shed: candles, paper, clothing
- You mentioned gardening equipment- when going through this only keep what you have used in the last gardening season. Resist the urge to keep things just because you might need them someday. Someday rarely comes and if it does, you can go borrow one or get another.
- Any chemicals (paint, car chemicals (oil, antifreeze, etc) need to be stored in a locked place if children are going to be playing in the garage for liability reasons.
De-cluttering made easy:
- Have a box for yard sale, a box for donating, a big trash bag and a place to put the things you intend to keep. You can also have a box for items you can’t decide what to do with and come back to it later.
- Be prepared to compromise with your spouse- de-cluttering can be emotional.
- Do this in short 15-30 minute spurts. Don’t try to do a marathon de-cluttering. You will tire out and start to make decisions about the items based on wanting to get finished rather than choices that will stick.
As Melissa says: Happy Organizing!