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For Your Residence July 12, 2016

Declutter Your Garage – Spring Cleaning Tips

Organized Garage

Is your garage jammed to the rafters with stuff so that your car(s) have to park on the driveway? Instead of letting go of our stuff, we dump it in our garages – out of sight out of mind.

Spring is a perfect time to clean the garage ̶ before it gets too hot, and before there are too many fun things to do in the summer. With a few simple organization ideas, tidying up your garage and keeping it neat and clean is not only possible, it’s very doable.

Here’s the plan…


  • Dedicate a full day or weekend, depending on garage size and amount of clutter
  • Make spring cleaning the garage a family project. Include family, relatives or a few close friends. Many hands make light work.
  • Go through every single item and sort into four piles – Keep, Donate, Sell or Trash.
  • Having trouble letting go? Ask yourself when was the last time I used this item? Have I used it in the last year? Get rid of it if your answer is “no”.
  • Do not keep items that you think you may use someday. Wouldn’t you rather have the space those items are taking up…right now?
  • Having a hard time letting go of things you spent a lot of money on? The money was already spent! It’s best to let go now and make better spending decisions in the future.
  • Recycle items you’ve decided to toss wherever possible.
  • Pack up items to be donated in your car and drop them off at the nearest donation center. Do it now and don’t second guess.
  • Set aside items you plan to sell at an upcoming yard sale, online, or local consignment stores. If you are planning a yard sale, schedule it now.
  • Look into an off-site storage solution to accommodate the items that still belong in your life ̶ not in your garage wasting space

Organize What’s Left

Figure out how much space your car(s) will take and then work with what’s left by placing items in spaces based on their types and uses.

Frequently Used

Keep shopping bags and pet leashes within easy reach – perhaps on hooks by the door.

Items Used Together

Create zones for groups of items such as auto care, gardening, and sports equipment so that like items are stored together.

Bulky Items

Use the two back corners of the garage to store bulkier items such as the lawn mower or snow blower.

Rarely Used

Place items such as holiday decorations or snow tires on higher, sturdy shelving units or consider installing a ceiling storage system. Instead of displacing such items to another area of the house, consider storing them elsewhere via self-storage or a similar service.

Tools and Bicycles

Shovels, rakes and bicycles are best stored by hanging on the wall.

Keep It Tidy

Congratulations! You did it. The next step is to keep it that way. Keep the floor space as free as possible. Avoid temptation to dump unwanted belongings in your garage.

The most important step of all: Repeat this exercise at least once a year to purge what’s no longer wanted or needed.

Related blogs:

Garage Sale Success in 6 Easy Steps

Want to De-Clutter and Clean Your Home? Involve the Kids!

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Written by Karen Pivnick

Karen Pivnick is the owner and operator of Topcat, a professional organizing and move management service. Karen has a strong desire to help people. Combined with meticulous organizing skills and corporate experience, she always delivers the highest level of professional yet personal service.