Alternate titles for this week’s article involved fun with spelling:
“Garbage / Garage”, or “Take Care of Your Car, Not Your Crap”. I stuck with the least offensive, please see above.
This warm weather we’re having offers a great opportunity to clear out and Organize Your Garage Before Winter! We need to take care of our cars instead of our clutter!
Our garages can sometime be a place of wonder. Not “Wow, how Wonderful”, but, instead,
- “I wonder what That is?” or
- “I wonder what happened to the (fill in the blank here)?” or
- “Hmm, I wonder how that got here?” or
- “I wonder who that belongs to?” or
- “I wonder how to get rid of that?”
It is time to answer these questions and restore some order in your garage this week!
- First things first, purge the garbage / recycling / donations. And pull out the cars while you work!
- Next, break down boxes. It’s astonishing how much space is taken up by empty boxes. I know, it’s tough to decide do we keep the box the vacuum / lamp / appliance came in or recycle it? However, we’ve discovered that if we do need to pack the item up or return it, we can find another box (more come all the time!) or return the item without it. If you just can’t part with the boxes, break them down and store them flat.
- Now, Pick A Spot To Start. Just one spot. And just start.
Work methodically clockwise around the room, so you know where to focus your efforts. Garages are big spaces, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Pick just one spot, and start making decisions about what to purge, what to keep and where to keep it.
- Corral the yard implements.
In two recent garage projects, we made lots of progress by simply gathering up the brooms / shovels / rakes / etc., that were leaning against (read BLOCKING) everything! Vertical storage for such items, like wall hooks or a peg board, would be best, but if you don’t have that, a re-purposed garbage can will work.
- Consider and store kid / adult toys.
I took a batch of stuff to Play It Again Sports this summer. I walked in with a bag of my sons’ outgrown sports items, chose to leave the items there (instead of hassling with selling them on consignment), they cut me a check. Beautiful! Try listing outgrown bikes and scooters on Facebook sell pages, there is a market for such things! And, thinking vertically again – install some hooks on the walls or beams, to get those summer toys and bikes off the garage floor for winter!
E-Waste (old computers, TVs, etc.) and other household items: Keep your eyes open for local E-Waste collections, very popular this time of year! And try the ultimate recycling tactic – if you have an item that someone else may want (furniture, scrap metal, etc.), put it out early the day before trash day. That sort of stuff is usually gone by the next morning!
- Paint and other Hazardous Waste.
I’ve gotten the “what do I do with old paint / paint cans?” question a lot lately. Here is the answer: If the paint is dried, toss it in the regular trash. If the paint is even a little wet? Water based paint will dry out eventually if you pry off the top and leave the cans open to air (be careful of pets and small children). If you want to speed up the process, or if your paint is oil-based, you can buy packets of paint thickener at a home Improvement store like Home Depot, or add kitty litter to dry up the paint quickly. Once the paint is hardened, with the thickener or kitty litter, it is safe to toss on the regular trash. In addition, many communities have Hazardous Waste collections in the Fall and Spring, so keep an eye out for local events to collect paint and other hazardous waste.
Get out there this week, and clear some clutter from one of your hardest working spaces – the garage!
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