By Paul Bianchina, Friday, October 26, 2012.
Yeah, I know, you don’t want to face it. But summer’s over, and it’s time to put all the warm-weather toys away. And if you’re one of those people who’ve been leaving their $25,000 car outside all winter to create room for a $100 tent, maybe it’s time for a little garage cleaning and reorganization!
Reclaiming your garage may seem like a pretty daunting task, especially if it’s been a dumping ground for years. But trust me — it’s doable. Break it down into the following five steps, done over five days or weekends (depending on just how much clutter you’re dealing with). Once you’re done, you’ll be amazed at how much room you have, and how much easier your storage life becomes — and how nice it is to have the car inside again!
Step 1: Get rid of what you don’t need
Start by moving everything out of the garage. As you do, separate it into three piles: Keep, Sell/Donate, and Toss. What goes into the Keep pile should be only those things that you really need to keep. In the Sell/Donate pile are things you haven’t used in six months or more, that would be good garage sale items. If you don’t want to have a garage sale, donate the items to a local charity.
Pile three is trash. Bag it up and say goodbye to it, and don’t drag it back into the garage ever again. If your Toss pile contains old paint, pesticides, flammables, cleaners, batteries and other similar items, talk with your local landfill about the proper way to dispose of or recycle them.
As soon as you’re done moving everything out of the garage and sorting it, have a garage sale. Make it a one-day sale, make your prices reasonable, and be done with it. Whatever’s left over should be donated or thrown away, not brought back into the garage!
Step 2: Create a storage and usage plan
Check out that big open space! It’s a blank canvas, so decide what its future holds. What will the space be used for? Parking? Storage? Crafts?