Here’s a fun fact: A typical two-car garage contains about 500 square feet of space. That’s 500 square feet to fill with old toys, broken appliances, moldy magazines, unused exercise equipment, dirty gardening tools, and boxes of clothes no one can—or should—wear again. (And cars are, of course, parked outside in the driveway!) If your garage is in desperate need of a makeover here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
- Shine a Light On It: Move the cars onto the street and drag every last item out of the garage and onto the driveway. You’d be surprised how useless some of that precious stuff looks in the light of day.
- Dump or Donate: Those who study such things say you should throw away or give away anything not used in the past 12 months. When cleaning make two piles, one for the dumpster and one for donations. And remember, the garage is not a place for your hopes and dreams. Are you really going to use that treadmill with 20 boxes piled on it?
- Remake the Space: Before you start, decide what you want your garage space to become. Most people want to (finally) park their cars in the garage. Others want a workout space or studio while leaving room for essential tools, paints and cleaners, holiday items, and gardening equipment. Sort stuff left on the driveway into the categories that you want to keep.
- Contain It: One thing that makes a garage truly clean is that nothing is left on the floor. This allows for easy sweeping and prevents creeping clutter as the days and weeks pass. Consider buying new, color-coded containers to organize similar items. For example, Christmas decorations go in green boxes, tools in blue boxes, and so on. Label the contents with a label-maker. Stack the boxes on wooden shelves in the garage placing the least-used items highest off the floor.
- Recycle: Agencies like Goodwill do not want broken appliances, building materials, old computer components, or paint and chemicals. These items can be recycled. Visit your local government website for details.