Your garage should be a place where you can put your car. Not only is it what a garage is FOR, but all that crap in there isn’t healthy for you. Seriously, studies have shown that the burden of “stuff” is bigger than we think it is. There’s mental space that those possessions take a hold of and don’t let go.
Once winter kicks in and you have to bundle up just to scrape and dust off your car each morning while your engine warms up, you’ll wish that you had garage space that you could use for your car. So get moving now to clear out your garage for the winter.
Here are some tips to help you de-clutter your garage so you can use it for its true purpose: stowing your car!
Tip #1: Dedicate some real time to it
Devote your entire weekend to it, and enlist some help for the project from your friends (bribe them with a pizza party if you must). It might take more than a weekend, so be ready to put in some real time. Open every single box to see if you can get rid of half of it, and determine to dig all that junk out of every corner and shelf.
Tip #2: Sort everything into three zones
These three zones are usually: keep, donate/sell, and toss. Be generous about tossing stuff out. Remember, if you’ve forgotten that it even existed for this long, you probably don’t need it at all! Be discerning about which items you’ll donate and which you’ll sell. Selling things can often take more time and effort than you think, so if you’re not willing to put in the work to get what it’s worth, seriously consider just donating it so you can get it off your hands sooner.
Remember to also be honest with yourself about which items you’re going to repair. A garage can often gather items that are currently useless, but actually represent an unfinished project, because you’ve always meant to just fix it up yourself. If you’re not sure where to start for the repair, enlist professional help. If it’s not worth your time to fix, and not worth the money to get it repaired, just get rid of it! You don’t need stuff like that just hanging over your head, making you feel guilty every time you step into the garage. Let it go!
Tip #3: Bag it for now
If there are things you just can’t bear to get rid of yet, try this exercise: bag them and date them. Set yourself a certain amount of time (6 months–a year, usually). If, during this time, you remember the item and end up using it or fixing it, then you can keep the item. However, if after your set period of time, you’ve never once opened up that bag to use the item, it’s time to dump it.
Tip #4: Get a garbage disposal service
When it comes to cleaning out your garage, you often need more dumping space than your household utilities and garbage disposal service is set up for. However, it’s easy to set up additional waste disposal services. Look into thebagster.com, or order a one-time dumpster that will be picked up and hauled away for a reasonable fee. You can also look into your local dump and see what their fees are just so you can compare rates and see what the best value will be for you.