It’s about to get cold here in SW Ontario, and with that comes snow. And sure, snow is beautiful when it sparkles in the sunlight, it adds an extra bit of holiday spirit (there’s Christmas carols about it…), and it’s even a great source of entertainment.
But do you know what’s not so fun about snow? Having to wake up earlier to clean off your car before you head out to work, chipping off ice, and freezing your buns off in the wind. If you’re lucky enough to have one, now is a better time than ever to clean out your garage, donate unwanted items, and make space to park your car! (they call it a “2-car garage”…. because cars are supposed to fit in it!).
Depending on how full your garage is, this may be more than a one-day affair. Luckily, my husband and I have an unfinished basement for items we want to store (more on that later), so keeping our garage items to a minimum wasn’t too difficult.
Similar to Day 1: The Closet, make areas for piles to organize your items :
These are items that you used often in the garage or outside (such as tools, shovels, gardening items, sporting equipment etc.)
2. Box up
The are items that you want to keep, but aren’t sure why or use rarely. Box these items up and keep for one year. Date and label what is in the box. If you take something out to use within the year, cross off the item from the label. Other items that are still in the box at the end of one year should be donated.
3. Donate / Sell
Items like outgrown kids toys, duplicates of items, unused appliances, etc. If you’re a garage sale person or you use an online community sales site, you could make some of your money back selling these items. If not, there will be places that will take useable items such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries
4. Toss / Recycle
These items do not work or cannot be used by others. Things like old plant pots (like the ones they came in when you bought them), or broken tools.
5. Store Elsewhere
Certain items that you may be keeping in your garage may be better stored elsewhere. Things like:
- Paint: Extreme heat or cold can spoil your paint
- Paper products: These are great bedding for rodents, and sometimes food for insects. These should be kept indoors in a dry space.
- Propane tank: These are safest if stored outdoors, they can be kept with your BBQ
- Pet food: unwanted critters will sniff this out and could make a visit to your garage. Extreme heat or cold could also spoil your pet’s food. Keep these in a temperature controlled dry place.
For the items that you chose to keep, subcategorize the pile into categories such as: sporting equipment, hand tools, yard tools, etc. Plan a layout for these items before putting them back in the garage. Try putting larger items in the corners so that they don’t get bumped or knocked by your car.
Most importantly, try to keep items off the floor. My husband and I installed pegboard in our garage. It keeps the items we use most often organized and easily accessible. Pegboard can be purchased by your local hardware store, and installed easily with with 1”x2” wood behind as a spacer, and we purchased these hooks from amazon. We also hung up our yard tools such as our rake, shovels, broom, hose, etc.
Your garage shouldn’t be a wasteland for unsorted junk. Give your garage back its purpose, keep items organized, clean regularly, and save time in the morning by parking your car in the garage.
Check out my Pinterest page for some garage organization inspiration.