I had organised our garage about 7 years ago when I was first introduced to Marie Kondo’s life changing magic of tidying up methods and although I had a lot of success with the method over time things had slipped and although we hadn’t quite returned to the total chaos within the garage. It was getting close!
The challenges in organising our garage this time around were the following;
- The budget was limited to a skip and some new simple storage boxes as i’m working on a bathroom update at the moment.
- We own 9 acres of land and and this means we need quite a lot of stuff to manage this. We have a tractor, a ride on lawn mover, a robotic lawn mover and a full range of power tools and accessories needed to maintain the land.
- We actually don’t have huge amounts of storage in the house so we need space to store items like Xmas decorations, hobbies etc.
- My husband uses the garage as his gym which is challenging as there is heavy equipment on the floor that I can’t move and it isn’t easy to clean around.
- Finally, i’m afraid to say that I take on more of the traditional female roles around the house so this is an area I always find challenging to declutter as I came across a lot of stuff I really have no idea what it’s purpose is. I hope you can learn from some of my mistakes and learn from some of the tips below.
With this limitations in mind these are my 7 top tips for anyone to brave the task of a major clear out of the garage.
- Depending on your start point don’t underestimate the size of this job. For my triple garage this took a full week. If you do the process properly and go through everything then know that you will start all optimistic on Day 1, by Day 2 you will be seeing the scale of the problem. By Day 3 you will be wishing you had never started the process but if you keep going you will probably get through most of the decluttering. Day 4 you will be scratching your head trying to work out what is the best way to store all the stuff you have and then by Day 5 you will be looking for storage solutions for those really tricky items and may need to purchase a few additional storage solutions. After that you need to sell those items you can and get other items to a local charity outlet.
- A skip is really useful purchase for this type of job as you will be surprised how much rubbish you probably have accumulated and this will save countless trips to your local household waste site
- As with most decluttering processes take everything out of the space if you possibly can. I was a limited this time around as I was doing this all alone and couldn’t move the gym equipment. We were also having torrential storms which made things more challenging but it is so important to see the total amount of what you actually have and this helps later on when you are thinking of organising.
- As with all decluttering processes I separated those things which I needed to trash, things I could sell, items I would send to charity for reuse and those that we wanted to keep
- Within the piles of stuff I wanted to keep I further sub divided these things down into the following piles. Home, Outdoor and Garden, Power Tools, Automative, Hand tools, General Spares, Gym and Sports equipment, Seasonal items, Camping, Bicycle, Disaster and Hobbies and I think these areas worked quite well as I think this helps when you moving from the decluttering stage onto the organsing and storage stage and you can see the size each area needs later on. I’ve given a summary below of what I kept in each of these areas.
- Once you have sorted through things I would recommend that you have appropriate sized containers for as many of the things you have and label as much as you can and give every type of item a home. There are some excellent images of garage makeovers on Pinterest and at this stage you can really go to town with creating a calming colour palette but this is something i’ll have to invest in later on. I’ll make sure I post again if we update the space further.
- Outside of the garage we also have created further storage where we keep materials that come in bag size in like sand, grass seed, firewood etc. With the acreage we have we go through these materials quickly but you may be able to contain these types of products in your garage if you have a smaller outside space.
Within the home section I stored all our painting and decorating products and tools. I also kept spares of things that we need within the home. e.g. I kept spare sockets and light switches
Outdoor & Garden
In this section we had a number of products we use regularly like weed killer and fertilisers. I also stored all our irrigation spares.
Within the Power tools section I kept all those electrical tools that my husband has accumulated over the years and any accessories and spares he has for them and some fuel canisters. For now I have kept them in their boxes which take up quite a lot of room but I may look for alternative for the next time I tackle this space and I have a bit more budget.
In this area I stored products and spares we use for all the things we drive. This may be a smaller area for you but we had items for the car, the tractor and our ride on lawnmover so this section was quite large in the end.
This was quite a challenging area to organise but I found B&Q’s website really useful to develop our categories and organised things into the following subcategories; Screwdrivers & Keys, Handsaws, Spanners & Wrenches, Wood work tools, Pliers. This is another area that i’d like to improve on as my husband would like a board but this will be a project down the line again.
Within this area I sorted all those screws, nails, bolts etc. so that my husband can find them when he is working on a project.
I think the other areas are probably fairly self explanatory and for most of these we stored these items in large boxes in our overhead storage. I am still working on selling a few items and getting other to reuse sites but i’ve added some photos below to show the progress I made over the week.
I hope you find some of the categorisation useful. Please let me know how you get on with your decluttering projects and let me have any other tips you can think of.