How to Fix Garage Clutter

Clearing your garage of clutter is not an easy task to undertake.

One important thing to remember in the garage is that there are often sharp objects like nails, screws, or splintered boards lying hidden where you’d least expect to find them. So protect your hands before you start. Pick up a pair of sturdy leather gloves and put them on before you start fishing around where you can’t see.

The first task I undertake when cleaning the garage is to throw away anything that’s obviously trash. Then, I move on to looking for things that the kids have outgrown or that we no longer use. Bicycles are one obvious item to apply this rule to.

Often, garages are full of items that are waiting to be repaired, or are just missing “one part.” Cleaning time is the moment of truth as far as these things are concerned. Today, you fix them, take the appropriate steps to get them fixed (order the part), or throw them away.

The decision to throw something away can be a tough one, but if you only picked it up because it was five bucks at a garage sale, and it would be “so easy” to fix, now’s your time to revisit that hasty decision. “Is it worth your time?” is the question you want to ask yourself now, and don’t let your answer be the answer that you think it should be. Make it an answer that you mean.

Make sure that everything you’re keeping in the garage is something that should be in the garage. Sometimes items migrate out there during car cleanings or transfers between cars — items that shouldn’t be exposed to the harsh temperatures that they’re likely to face in a garage.

Check to see if a new toolbox is in order. Often we purchase new tools when needed, without any thought as to where we’re going to keep them, and we end up with an overflowing tool box; or, worse, a huge pile of tools that is impossible to sort when the faucet is leaking! There are many excellent shelving units out there for garages, in many different price ranges, too.

Remember the “ease of use, ease of put-away” rule. Keep items close to where you use them, and they’re easier to put away, and you’re also more likely to use them, instead of trying to get by without something that you need, just because it’s inconveniently located.

Ensure that you store things in logical places, so that you can find them again later, even if things get a little overcrowded again. This may mean moving something from where you’ve always kept it (and maybe where your mother and father always kept it before). Categorizing is what’s important here.

If you keep like objects together, it won’t just make this one thing easier to find, but it and everything like it. It also ensures that anyone who ever enters your garage is more likely to put things back where they found them.

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