Declutter your garage
The primary job of a garage is, of course, to keep cars out of the elements. But it also provides space for lots of other items and activities. Storage for tools, seasonal décor and extra household supplies probably come to mind first. Depending on the size and layout, however, some garages also contain a workshop, workout studio or home office.
Unfortunately, garages are also prone to clutter. According to a 2019 survey by the National Association of Productivity and Organising, 43.7 percent of respondents consider their garage the most disorganised storage area in their home. Not only that, in another survey, 25 percent of homeowners reported their garage is so overstuffed with, well, stuff that it couldn’t accommodate a single car.
Is this inevitable? Not at all! The key is to change your mindset about the garage. If you think of it as a clutter catch-all, it’s bound to become a mess, if it isn’t already.
Instead, try the following:
Commit to storing only things that belong in the garage in the garage. Think of it like this: You wouldn’t store books in the refrigerator, so why keep a heap of old magazines in the garage?
Designate a corner or specific bin as an “exit zone.” If you need to get rid of something but can’t do it at that moment, put it in the exit zone. Plan to remove everything from the exit zone at least once a month.
Keep things neat and tidy by grouping like items together. Sports equipment here, tools over there, and the remnants of your 2020 toilet paper hoard on an easily accessible shelf.
Finally, spend a day (or a whole weekend, if needed) tossing those random items you don’t need that are taking up valuable space.
Not sure what you should eliminate? There are a few sources of clutter common to many garages. Here are some of the items to get out of your garage, ASAP!
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Hoarders, you know what happens when garbage piles up in and around your home. Not only does garbage stink, it attracts mice, rats, insects and other pests. That’s a bona fide health hazard to you and your family.
If you have garbage of any kind in your garage, bring it to the kerb on your next garbage day. Or if the load is too large, take a trip to the dump or another legal disposal site.
Outdated baby and toddler gear
Your kids have after-school jobs and are thinking about university, yet you’re still hanging on to that old pack-n-play crib, stroller and high chair.
As hard as it is to let go of the past, these items have no place in your garage. Donate them to an organisation that provides baby and toddler supplies to families in need. Or give them to someone you know with little ones in the mix.
Car seats, especially, need to be dealt with. Once they pass their expiration date, they’re no longer safe for babies to ride in. However, you usually can’t donate them. Typically, they should be thrown in the garbage or recycled; be sure to cut the straps first so they can’t be used by anyone else.
If the car seat hasn’t expired and hasn’t been in an accident, you can pass it on to a friend.