Organizing a cluttered garage
Organizing a cluttered garage doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. I observe that in fact, sometimes people would rather avoid this project and resign themselves to parking in the driveway or on the street. That may not be an option for some of you because of neighborhood rules. Organizing a cluttered garage has many benefits. Let me begin by asking you what your vision or need for the garage is. This is a key step for organizing any space in your home because having a vision enables you to create a well thought out plan. Begin organized requires planning and creating systems that can be maintained.
Organizing a cluttered garage | Storage, function
Let’s consider what the a garage is generally used for. The first function is usually storage. Storage may include any or all of the following items:
- Seasonal items
- Recreational and sports equipment
- Surplus household supplies
- Large and bulky items
- Paperwork and records
Garages may also be used for multiple functions such as:
- Laundry room
- Tool and repair center
- Gardening center
- Workout area
Your garage is no different than any other space in your home. You will decide how you want to use the space based upon your individual needs. As your San Diego Professional Organizer I don’t go in and tell you how to use it until we thoroughly assess the needs of you and your family.
Organizing a cluttered garage |What is clutter?
Clutter is an accumulation of unnecessary and useless things that are put into the space and never looked at or used again. It includes items that are useful but may be stored improperly and even pose a safety or access risk. Too many and improperly stored objects and boxes that take up valuable space, collect dust, mold, insects and rodents are clutter. Consider whether and how clutter impacts your and your family.
Organizing a cluttered garage |Why do I have clutter?
If you are asking yourself why the garage is cluttered it is helpful to look at the obstacles and then how to overcome them. A cluttered garage may be the result of:
- lack of planning,
- poor time management, or
- lack of necessary resources including help.
A cluttered garage is significant in many ways. It represents a lack of planning; there isn’t any sense of where things belong and how much should be in the space. Cluttered garages may negatively affect:
- Self esteem causing stress, overwhelm.
- Relationships with others who need or want to use the space.
- Finances; wasted spending.
- Health and safety.
Organizing a cluttered garage |When, how long?
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If the garage has been cluttered for more than a year it is unlikely that it can be organized in several hours. Be realistic about how much time is needed over the course of several days, at least. Consider the resources that will be needed to make decluttering and organizing manageable. You will need to account for time to plan and prepare for organizing a cluttered garage. You may also require:
- Renting a dumpster or extra trash and recycling bins.
- Researching how large and toxic items must be disposed of.
- Purchasing supplies such as safety gloves, heavy duty trash bags, face masks, storage containers, labels and markers.
- Scheduling pick times for donations.
- Arranging for help from a Professional Organizer, family members and/or friends.
Organizing a cluttered garage | Bottom line
Now is always the best time to organize your cluttered garage. Decide what you want to keep in your garage and let go of anything that doesn’t belong in there. Create designated zones for “like” items and contain them after you purge the clutter.