Transformation Tuesday #50: Get Your Garage Ready for Spring!

As I've mentioned before, the garage is that critical space that most people pass through everyday, but can't seem to get a handle on keeping organized. Some people struggle with being able to park their vehicle in the garage. Oftentimes when that happens, the garage starts to accumulate more stuff from empty Amazon boxes that you don't have time to break down, to friends or family needing a "quick storage spot" and leaving their stuff for safekeeping.

I spent a half day with a client going through her garage so that we could make room for her car. We spent about an hour sorting through, box by box, grouping into these categories:

  1. Trash
  2. Recycle
  3. Donation
  4. Keep - store in house
  5. Keep - store in garage

After an hour of sorting, I started moving the categories of items around. It happened to be trash day (yay!) so clearing that out helped free up floor space. All the items she wanted to keep in the garage didn't take up that much room, so I was able to stack a few bins alongside the wall. This is a great opportunity to grab a broom and clear out the cobwebs.

 
 

I moved donation items to my car so I could haul those away then spent the rest of the time putting various household items back inside. This is what takes the longest, but after seeing a newly cleared space, should give you a little boost of energy so you can finish out the project.

Are you ready to work on your garage this spring?

 

 

Transformation Tuesday #22: Quick Garage Clean-Out

After returning from vacation, I quickly got right back to work to help a friend reorganize her garage. Even though this wasn't an area of the home she spends much time in, she felt like some things just didn't have a home. This was frustrating because she had to see this every time she had to drive somewhere because clutter was always right there.

In less than four hours, we were able to sort through everything from consolidating tools and extra pantry items to the utility shelf, finding a home for the bikes, and clearing out leftover remodel materials.

 
 

 

I personally think people tend to delay garage and storage until clean-outs because there's always something that turns into a chore for disposing or recycling. We came across a number of old paint cans, extra flooring, and tile. My friend had an almost full container of kitty litter so we used that to mix into the paint cans that were less than half full (handy paint disposal guide can be found here). I hauled away the kitchen remodel materials to Ballard Reuse. Everything else was part of a Goodwill donation run. As I mentioned in a previous post, you can outsource some of these trips to the transfer station or Goodwill by using the Dolly app - it's super easy and you can sign up here (and get a discount on your first scheduled Dolly).

And for the before-and-after:

 
 
 

Some quick tips on preventing the pile up of garage clutter:

  • Break down boxes for recycling immediately
  • Consolidate loose screws, nails, anchors, etc. so that they fit in the toolbox
  • Review leftover paint, cleaning agents, and other hazardous items each season to see how often you're using them/determine if you need to dispose of any items

Transformation Tuesday #10: Garage Spring Cleaning

Do you feel like your garage, or any space in your home for that matter, has gotten out of control? When we start to let the clutter spiral out of control, we feel embarrassed at how it got to this point and overwhelmed at the idea of trying to come up with a game plan to clear it out.

I love organizing these problem areas because once a client sees the transformation, it feels more manageable for them to maintain the space. We're often too hard on ourselves about what we can accomplish in our free time between house repairs, chores, caring for kids and pets, getting to the gym, spending time with friends ... it becomes a long to-do list. 

A client of mind had a spare bedroom that needed attention and wanted some help with the garage. She and her husband moved into a beautiful home and then had their first child ... think of all the housewarming and new baby gifts people were sending to them. The boxes start to pile up and it's hard to visualize the garage as anything other than a storage or dumping zone.

I spent a morning working on the bedroom (stay tuned for pictures on that one!) and then focused my efforts in the garage on simply clearing out all the boxes to open up space. It made a huge difference! You can see how much space has opened up just from clearing out the unnecessary stuff.