By Shell on Jun. 10, 2020
If your garage has reached the over-accumulation stage, now is the time to put aside a weekend and give it the ultimate tidy-up. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: Empty it
Just as you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg, you can’t properly clean and reorganise a space without emptying it first. How empty? Properly empty. If it’s not pinned down or too inconvenient to shift, get it out. Before you start, ensure you have enough space to separate items into three piles – stuff you’re keeping, stuff you aren’t and undecided items. Then start emptying.
Step 2: Sift it
You want to get all Marie Kondo now. Are you ever going to use that skateboard/snowboard from your misspent youth, or will it just put you in a cast? Are those sleepers ever going to make it into the garden, or will they just sit there taking up space for another decade? These are the kind of questions that need to be asked of everything that comes out of the garage. Be tough but wise enough to know when you do really need something, then allocate each item to its appropriate pile.
Step 3: Clean it
Garage emptied, it’s time to get out the duster, broom, mop, rags, vacuum cleaner and whatever cleaning products you need to turn a dusty, grimy, cobwebbed space into a thing of beauty. Clean from top to bottom to avoid having to do the same job twice. You’ll want gloves if you’re working with heavy-duty cleaners and goggles to protect your eyes when cleaning high surfaces.
Step 4: Reimagine it
Now it’s time to cast an eye over your newly emptied, squeaky-clean space and ‘keeping-it’ pile, which should hopefully add up to less than what you pulled out of the garage in the first place. Have a think about how things could be stored more safely or neatly. Could ladders or bikes be hung from a hook or rack rather than leant against something? Could smaller items go on shelves, in drawers or in tubs for neater storage and easier retrieval? If the answers to these kinds of questions are yes, scribble out your must-have storage solutions and get shopping (or, if you have the skills and materials, DIYing).
Step 5: Repack it
Before starting the repacking process, revisit your ‘undecided’ pile for the final judgement. The clarity gained from the process so far should make it easier to decide whether each item should be kept or binned. Then it’s onto the onerous but unavoidable task of carefully repacking everything. How often you use each item – rarely, occasionally or regularly – should guide your decisions but it’s really just a big game of Tetris. That means getting creative and not being afraid to repack or stack to make the most of your available space.