When you really stop and look at the garage space and the stuff that is stored in there, do you ever ask yourself if it all belongs in there? Do you shove stuff in the garage because all the space inside has already been used? It makes the garage the space for storing the ‘leftover’ stuff as opposed to the stuff you really want or need to store in the garage.
One way to declutter the garage is to ask yourself a series of questions…
Would this item be in most people’s garage? There are a number of items that you would likely find in anyone’s garage. Things like shovels, rakes, lawn mowers, snow blowers, bikes, etc. These are the items where the garage is actually the perfect place to store the item unless you have a shed. These are the items that you want to find a more permanent spot in the garage where they always go back to. It will make tidying up the garage a smoother operation when it gets out of hand.
If I had space inside the house, would I rather store the item inside? These items are the thinker items. If you would really rather store it inside, but can’t because of lack of space, is there something you could get rid of to make room inside instead? Or, is there something that can trade spaces with the item in the garage? Some of my camping equipment comes to mind here. Just because most of the camping stuff can be stored in the garage doesn’t mean that some items are better off inside or even hanging up. It’s best to go through any items that you may want inside and determine which items are better suited for what kind of storage.
Would this item be damaged by storing it in the garage? If the item is going to be damaged by being stored in the garage, then what is the point of storing it there? You may need to reconsider your storage space, or at least, think about ways you could protect the items from the elements that are causing damage. Maybe the garage is too hot, too cold, or too damp. Maybe an air-tight container is required or a tightly sealing bag for an extra layer of protection. Either way, it’s best to store items in a way that you can extend their life rather than cut it short!
Do I actually need this item? This is the magic question! It’s always the fallback question! Be realistic! Do you need it, or will you need it in the short-term future? If the answer is no, then the space is likely more valuable to you than the stuff.
Keep in mind that your home is a home, not a storage space. It’s handy to have a home with some storage space, but you still want your home to feel like a home, first and foremost!
If you’re struggling to keep your garage tidy, it might be time to ask yourself more detailed questions about your stuff and why it’s in the garage.
So, stop storing the leftovers in the garage and focus on the essentials!