Tips for Cleaning Out the Garage

It’s that time of year again.  If you’re like me, your garage is a mess from a summer filled with soccer, bicycles, kites, baseball and several home improvement projects whose remnants have found their way into piles in the garage.  Last week, I decided to take advantage of the sunny, warm weather and tackle a project most-overdue.  Here’s what I learned:

Remove EVERYTHING  The first step to any total organization project is to remove everything.  If it wasn’t plugged in or nailed to the wall, I took it out of the garage and piled it on my driveway.  My neighbor asked if we were planning a garage sale, but I told her that everything worth having was going back in.

Organize Into Piles  As you remove items, organize them into piles of similar items.  I had sections for lawn care, tools, bicycles, kids summer toys, kids winter toys, golf, etc.

Consider Your Needs  After everything is out and organized in piles, you will have a better idea of what your needs are.  Think about how you will use the space.  For our family, easy access to the garbage and recycling bins from the house was a must.  We needed to be able to access the freezer from the house and from the minivan that makes the grocery runs.  I wanted to be able access the snow blower and lawn mower and easily get them out of the garage for use.  Finally, I wanted to finally be able to use the garage access door which had been blocked for a number of years.  In order to make all of this happen, I decided to get rid of some old cabinets we were storing for a future, unnamed project and switch parking spots with my wife in order to maximize space (luckily, she didn’t mind the change).

Get Rid of the Junk   With everything displayed on the driveway, it was easy to see that our family was holding on to stuff that we simply didn’t need.  So, we loaded up the van and took the good stuff to St Vincent de Paul and loaded up the broken stuff and took it to the city dump.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect  Despite all of my efforts, I was tired, and it started to sprinkle, and my garage still doesn’t look like this garage.  I still want to organize the area under the stairs (who knows what lurks down there!) and someday add elevated storage and maybe one of these cool tool organizers.  It’s not perfect, but it is much better than it was before I started, and it’s good enough for now.

Jim Zachar - Realtor

Jim Zachar, Realtor | Licensed in the State of Iowa | Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty | 5408 Blairs Forest Way NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402 | | 319.389.0008


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