Garages are a wonderful convenience to have. They can be used to store so many things, especially in a place like Vancouver where with each seasons, outdoor activities often require large toys and equipment like skis, snowboards, bikes, kayaks… you get the idea. But since you probably don’t spend too much time in the garage each day, it is very easy for it to go from a clean and organized second space, to a cluttered disaster.
Once that happens, once the scales tip from clean to tornado-hit-it, it’s a daunting task to tackle a garage clean out. Sometimes years can go by before a garage gets the proper attention it needs, but at some point, it will have to be done.
In order to help you tackle your garage clean out, we’ve come up with some tips to help make the process a little easier.
To clean out your garage, it’s a good idea to think ahead. If your garage is dark, you’re going to want to bring in some extra lighting and you need to give yourself ample time to tackle a proper garage clean out. You might want to set aside a whole weekend (at least!) and be prepared to get dusty. Go into a garage clean out with all the supplies you might need, including materials to build shelving, any other hooks or rope you might need to store things, large plastic bins with a marker to label them, garbage bags, etc.
Garages tend to become a disaster because things are out of sight out of mind. You might have gotten into the habit of shoving things into dark corners and then forgetting about them so you might be surprised at what you come across while you’re cleaning it out. Once you’ve started going through your garage, it’s a good idea to make three piles — things to keep, things to sell, and things to donate. Being organized will help the process stay on track.
Once you’ve organized all the things you are going to keep, it’s time to figure out how you are going to store them. There are all sorts of unique storage solutions that you can find online, like storing bikes vertically, keeping seasonal winter gear in the rafters, tying equipment up with rope, or installing built in shelving for your tools. Using creative storing solutions will free up space and keep things off the ground while they are not being used. You’ll be amazed at all the extra space you have.
Get rid of it.
Now it’s time to get rid of all the things you don’t want. If you’ve got enough stuff that you think other people can make use of, consider having a garage sale. You can involve the rest of the family and see if they have anything else they’d like to sell. You can also ask your neighbours if they want to have a joint sale, which will draw in bigger crowds and move things along more quickly. Once you’ve made a bit of extra cash from your unused things, it’s time to donate the rest or make a trip to the dump.
Now it’s time to look around and pat yourself on the back for all the hard work it’s taken to get your garage to a place where it is clean and organized. If you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a second space where you can do projects, safely store your gear, tools and toys, and get some enjoyment out of it, too.