All too often, our garage space turns into a glorified storage space that ends up housing a lot of junk in a tangled, piled-up mess. Not only does this essentially render the area not functional, but it also puts a lot of these items to waste. Having a messy, overstuffed garage can cause much stress, so when you finally decide it’s time to free up space and use the place as an actual garage, here are some good steps to follow.
Bring in all the tools you need
To keep things moving along smoothly and avoid delays that could make you feel less motivated to finish what you’ve started, make sure to prepare everything you’re going to need during this decluttering process. That means trash bags, boxes for donations, and cleaning equipment.
Depending on how much stuff you’ve piled up and what precisely those contents are, you’ll need selective things like gloves and disinfectant sprays. If you’ve left the space alone for too long, prepare to possibly encounter some spiders or even a rodent getting comfortable in your garage. When it comes to setting up cleaning materials, not only do you need the proper cleaning chemicals, but you should also shop for rags in bulk as there will be different surfaces and substances to contend with here. Get a bunch beforehand so that you don’t run the risk of contamination and spreading grime around more when wiping off oils and dust from accumulated items.
Segregate and remove
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a fourth of American homes with garages that can fit two cars don’t even have space for one vehicle because of all the items they’ve stored inside. It may be overwhelming to face all of this at once, so it would be best to map out how you’re going to clean out the area.
Set aside sections for a donation pile and a trash pile. Prioritize putting things that you’re sure you can get rid of while having a part for stuff you’re not sure about so that you can keep working and get back to those items later. You can also work in divided areas so that you’re efficiently clearing out space instead of going all over and tripping over things. Go for objects that you haven’t used for a long time. Work your way back to your possessions that you think you still need, then find a suitable space where they can reside instead of staying in the garage.
Deep cleaning and arranging
Once you’ve cleared everything out, it’s time to make the space usable by making it sanitary. Having a clean garage makes it more conducive for active use, but it’s also a crucial move to make to prevent any hazards to the health of household members.
Also, figure out what you’re going to usually do in this space. Will you be fixing up your car often or repurposing a section as an area for projects, or is it meant to be purely for parking? From there, you can determine how best to arrange the things you may have left inside.
Figuring out what to leave behind has been proven to be more manageable by going in order of recent use, frequency of use, ease of finding the item in the market, and value.
Once you’ve buckled up to hit all these marks, you can power through and finally have a clear garage space that you can make use of. Plus, you’ll have less clutter to worry about.