Here in the high dessert spring is not exactly glorious. It’s brown, cold then hot then freezing, and windy in a way that borders on terrifying. But I still like it. You know why?
Because it means we are getting close to summer! And in the summer we have so much fun with friends in the mountains, at the lake, and even at the parks.
Spring is it’s own fresh start and as the plants start to think about living again so do we. The sense of hope we lost around January 15th when our diet went out the window is starting to rekindle.
Then we look around at our cluttered house and we are inspired to declutter it! So we go through every nook and cranny collecting things to get rid of and promptly put them in the garage. Now it’s time to declutter the garage!
You know what though? Even writing that sentence, ‘declutter the garage’, makes me cringe. It just sounds so overwhelming to declutter a garage. I don’t even want to look at the cluttered garage!
But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or paralyzing. So let’s break down how to declutter a garage in 5 easy steps you can do THIS WEEKEND!
PS: Most of these tips will also help you if your extra storage space is an attic, a basement, a shed, or a spare room!
Why Should You Declutter the Garage?
Right now, facing the idea that you need to declutter the garage, you might be making some excuses to try and get out of it.
“I am fine parking outside.”
“Maybe one day I will need my 50 year old leaking tent.”
“No matter what I do it will just get cluttered again.”
But those are just lame excuses and you know it! Still you might need a little motivation so picture yourself with a nice and tidy garage.
In the winter, when it’s time to go to work you won’t need to go out and start your car or scrape the windshield. Instead you will simply pop into your car and drive out of your garage!
And as summer comes, you will be able to pull your cars out and have a party with friends in your garage! There is going to be plenty of room for tables and chairs or a pool table or a ping pong table!
Then too, in the summer, when it’s time to head out to the lake you will easily find your kayak. And when you want to hit the trails your bikes will be easy to grab!
Last but not least, if you live in a place where winter isn’t a big deal you can turn your garage into a gym or a craft space.
The possibilities are really endless when you don’t have a cluttered garage. It will make every day life easier and maybe even give you some space for fun stuff too.
Take that picture in your head with you as we embark on your journey to declutter the garage!
1: Look for Trash
Are you in your garage yet? If not picture what it currently looks like.
Are there any Amazon boxes? ( I know there are…) and what about packaging of other kinds? How about broken tools and lawn furniture?
I bet you will find all that stuff in your cluttered garage. The first thing you need to do it take out the trash.
Look for all the things you can simply throw away. Break down the boxes and get them in recycle. Let go of the ancient folding straw beach chairs that are falling apart. Discard the broken tools and scraps from your DIY projects. If you have confidential paperwork stacked in there put it aside for a bonfire later!
And whenever you put something in the trash or recycle bin tell yourself this:
“It’s not my problem anymore!”
Doesn’t that feel great? And I bet your cluttered garage is already looking a lot better!
2: Donate Things You Don’t Use Anymore
Now that you have gotten rid of the obvious trash in your garage it will be a lot easier to see the stuff that you put in there “for later” or “for the yard sale”.
It’s time to get really honest with yourself. Have you used this stuff in the last year? Or are you living in the past?
Are those things that you put out there to get rid of worth having a yard sale for?
I am sure that you will be able to find at least a few things you don’t use anymore that you can donate. And you don’t just have to just donate stuff to the same old places like Good will.
Could your women’s clothing go to a women’s shelter? Nursing homes like coffee table books and places that take care of the disabled like craft supplies. Is there a friend or relative that might need your old pots and pans or tools you no longer use?
When you declutter your garage ALWAYS think about donating stuff first.
Why? Because time is money and donating stuff is the most time efficient way to declutter the garage, or any space for that matter!
3: Declutter Your Garage But Ditch the Garage Sale
Still, I know that there are plenty of things in the garage that might be valuable. As you declutter your garage look at your stuff again with the view that you could recoup some of the money spent on these things.
And again, be honest with yourself.
Did you go camping with your camping gear or are you planning to go camping soon? Really?
What about those skis? If you are going to use them next winter then you should definitely keep them. They are an investment and you don’t want to let them go if you are still using them.
But if you really don’t go skiing anymore it’s time to let go.
How about the craft supplies you bought when you were feeling inspired but never used? Or the old bookcase you replaced? What about your older electronics or the extra Instapot you were gifted?
As you declutter your garage you will inevitably find these things. It stabs your heart to think of donating them because you spent so much money on them. I understand.
However there are two things I have to tell you about these kind of items.
First of all, the money you spent on them is gone. That decision is made. You can’t reverse time and you probably got some use out of them which is the value you got from that item.
Second, you can sell them! And you don’t even have to have a yard sale.
How in the world can you sell these items without wasting an entire of weekend of your life sitting hopefully in your driveway? How can you declutter a garage without a garage sale?
EASY! Sell your clutter on Facebook Marketplace! I’ve sold all sorts of things of Facebook Marketplace and not only did I make almost $2,000 in one summer, I also found people who really needed the things I was selling!
4: Organize and Declutter MORE!
See! It’s not that hard to declutter the garage! Once you learn how to declutter your home it follows pretty much the same principles.
The only difference is that the garage is a bit bigger and may include things you decluttered from your home. That is why it feels hard to know how to declutter a garage. But it isn’t really that hard after all.
But there is one more step. What are you going to do with all the things you are going to keep?
It’s time to organize the things you are choosing to keep and you may need some specific storage solutions for these items.
For example you will want a hanging bike rack to save room. You can also get great ski racks and snowboard racks.
I like to keep my camping gear in 2-3 tubs so they I know exactly where everything is and it’s easy to grab when it’s time to go!
Take the time to find storage solutions that work and only invest in things that will actually help you save room.
Last but not least, as you organize your stuff you may find more things you can declutter.
Odds are good that the containers you buy will set a limit you can’t quite meet without letting go of just a bit more. But you know what to do now! Either donate or sell anything you else you declutter.
5: Clean Up!
I bet your cluttered garage isn’t looking so cluttered anymore! I bet it’s looking pretty amazing at this point! You have done the hard work of decluttering and organizing your garage.
Now there is just one more step.
You need to clean our your garage.
Get a blower or a shop vac you can reverse and blow out all the dust and dead leaves. Sweep the cob webs in the corners. Sweep the cracks.
It may not feel that necessary. It will just get dirty again. But so does everything else. So clean that garage and then sit back and enjoy the beautiful open space you can use to the full now that are your junk isn’t filling it up!
Declutter the Garage and Have More Fun This Summer!
I promise it is worth the effort to declutter the garage. It might take a day or a whole weekend or maybe even a bit longer depending on your schedule but when you declutter the garage you make a lot of things easier!
As we imagined at the beginning, parking in the garage means no more scraping ice off your windshield in the morning when you are already late for work. It means that you can grab your bikes and go cause they are easy to get to!
And most of all it means that the heavy burden of storing junk you don’t even want is FINALLY lifted off your shoulders!
Declutter Your Whole House!
Now, you have probably already done some decluttering in your home. That’s where all that stuff in the garage came from.
BUT if you walk back into your home and feel like your garage looks nicer it’s time to get serious about decluttering your whole house. A nice home reset will make you feel a lot better!
Do you feel overwhelmed again? Don’t be! I can help!
Just like we learned how to declutter a garage in steps we can learn how to declutter your home in 3 easy steps that build your decluttering muscles gradually so that you don’t get rid of anything until you are ready to.
I created this 3 step process called Fearless Decluttering to help you overcome all the fear, guilt, and overwhelm that is associated with decluttering.
With Fearless Decluttering you can go at your home pace whether it takes 1 weekend, 1 month, or 1 year. No matter how long it takes, I promise you will end up living in a home you enjoy at the end of it!