1: Remove Everything From Your Garage
The first step to cleaning out any space is to find out everything that’s actually in it. Move one section at a time and sort items into predetermined piles in your driveway or another empty space. Once you’re done, it’ll give you a much better idea of just how much of each ‘category’ of items you have, which will help you figure out storage and plan a new layout.
“Oftentimes, the garage floor is cluttered, preventing people from parking or even walking around. I typically start cleaning a garage at the outside door, moving inward and concentrating on clearing the floor. We make categories for each piece we find: garbage, donate or keep. All the items are separated in piles outside the garage, so we can easily see what’s left inside. We then work on the sides of the garage, using the same categories as we sort.”
Professional Organizer, Beth Levin of Closet Queen
2: What Will Your “Keep” Criteria be?
Once everything is out of the garage, you’ve got to make rules for deciding what to keep and what to toss or donate. This should help you from spending too much time on any individual items. Ask yourself: “Is this here for a particular reason, or was it moved here because it didn’t have a spot elsewhere?” If it isn’t there for a certain purpose, it’s time to get rid of it.
General guidelines/ideas for keeping items:
- You’ve used it more than once in the past year
- Things in working condition that could be sold. This does NOT include a project you’ve been “working on” for 5 years now and not gotten around to finishing.
- Particular or specialized tools that aren’t easy to rent or borrow.
“It’s important to keep items that the homeowner needs and wants while also zoning the garage. Some people are gardeners and need to have a gardening station with pots, soil, and other paraphernalia. Others are car aficionados, athletes who play lots of sports, handymen who need a station for tools. If, on the other hand, we find four items that all do the same thing, I would encourage the homeowner to donate two or three of them to save space.”
3: What To Do With Junk
If it didn’t make the “keep” pile, it’s time for it to go. With the useful items set aside, start to sort through your junk and clutter. Just because it wasn’t in your “keep” pile, doesn’t mean you can’t get one last thing out of it, the first thing you should do is pull out any items you can sell or donate. Anything left over goes straight in the dumpster. Don’t keep too much or you will need to call a Austin demolition company to help with the clean up.
The only options for remaining junk:
- Donate It.
- Sell It.
- Toss It.
4: Deep Cleaning
While you’ve got your garage empty, you’ve got a good opportunity for scrubbing and cleaning surfaces that are normally hard to get to. Unless you’re doing a complete demo or remodel, in which case you can go ahead and leave those cobwebs where they are.
Step 5: Get Organized
You won’t want to do this again any time soon, so try and get a game plan for keeping it organized moving forward. With your “keep” piles organized, you should have a good idea exactly how much space you’ll need for each category of item. Get shelving, drawers, or other methods that keep often used items close by and rarely used items further back.]]>