Spring Cleaning: Tackling the Garage

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By Julie Gram, Founder and Owner of Naturally Organized- Centennial
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It's surprising how many people actually can't get their cars into their garages because they've become makeshift storage units instead. 

Clearing the clutter not only makes room for your cars, bikes, and other thing, but it also makes your garage safer.  Collecting and storing lots of clutter in the garage can become a fire hazard and you can trip and fall if the pathways are clogged. It can also be an unpleasant sight that you don't want anyone to see.

Plain and simple, if things aren't organized so you can see and use them, they're just wasting space and gathering dust.

Finding Your Motivation

People often have said "I don't want to just throw it out". 

Well, if it's useful you can donate it, give it away, or sell it.  My theory on storage is it should be things you only use on occasion, but do actually use, such as: Christmas decorations, camping gear, gifts.  Otherwise, you aren't enjoying it, and no one else is either.

If you need a little help getting motivated, make a pot of coffee or have a favorite beverage handy, plenty of water, and turn on some great music.  Music can be a real energizer!

 

Getting Started

 

*Sort & Categorize  Put like things together: paint supplies, tools, camping gear, and garden products. If you have like things together, you will see what you have and not continue to buy more of the same until you need it. 

Also, have a trash container nearby and a donation box(es), so as soon as you discover something that is trash or you no longer want, you separate it from the good stuff and get rid of it ASAP.  Put them off to one side so they don't interfere with the items you are keeping.

 

Now What?!?! 

Okay, you now have your things sorted by categories, and those piles are spread all over the garage floor. 

Two things that are very important: You must have some kind of shelving so you can stack these items neatly and have easy access to them.  Convenience is one of the most important keys to getting and staying organized, or you will find an excuse to just lay it down anywhere, and the mess/stress starts all over again. 

Also, containers for small items are essential.  You may already have jars or containers you can use so you don't have to go out and spend lots of money.  However, the nicer and more consistent your project looks, the more likely you are to keep it that way.

 

To Label or Not to Label.. 

If you can see what is in the container, you may not need to label it.  But, if you can't, labeling can be very useful.  You can get a label maker at any office supply store, or use masking tape and a bold marker.  Again, this saves time, stress and makes looking for or putting something away so much easier.

 

Last, But Certainly Not Least...

The reason many people collect clutter is that it's an emotional attachment - even if everyone else considers it junk. 

Try to get into the heart of the matter to determine if an item is really useful, joyful, attractive; whatever is appropriate.  We hold on to things out of guilt that it belonged to a family member, or we didn't have much growing up, and now have become a bit of a hoarder. 

Think about this and be honest with yourself:  DO YOU OWN YOUR STUFF or DOES YOUR STUFF OWN YOU?

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