OK hands up. Who can’t fit their car in their garage?
Well, you’re in good company. A quarter of us with a garage cannot fit our car in because our garage is crammed to the rafters with family clutter.
So much stuff in there gets lost and wasted and broken and we’re not able to enjoy the good stuff because we can’t get to it without pulling everything else down on top of us!
It’s overwhelming isn’t it?
It feels like it will take an age to declutter it and haven’t a clue where to start.
But the good news is, you truly can declutter your garage easily without giving over every spare minute of your life to it or creating an even bigger mess.
Sounds good huh?
I’ll take you through how to do it step-by-step in a moment starting with the two most powerful tools you need to declutter your garage successfully but if you’re struggling with clutter full stop do check out my FREE declutter guide which will help you declutter every area of your home.
Two Powerful Tools For Decluttering Your Garage
So, there are two super powerful tools for decluttering your garage and we need to stick to them because the clutter in our garage is a monster for most of us!
The sheer volume of clutter either makes us run and hide or it sucks us in, gobbling up our precious free time so when we do finally escape, we run and hide, never to go near it again.
But these two declutter tools creates an amazing feedback loop to our brains and give us the confidence to go back and fight the clutter monster little by little, week by week until it’s slain.
But what are these amazing declutter tools you shout?. Very simply they are a timer and a pair of imaginary blinkers! Let me explain …
- The timer ensures we declutter in short, sharp, successful time blocks so we do NOT get sucked in and overwhelmed. We’re in and out of the garage before the monster can get his teeth into us!
- The blinkers focus us on a few things because the clutter monster is a trickster … “ooh look at this lovely box over here, full of your forgotten past … and this one here … and here … ” he says. But with our imaginary blinkers on, we enter the garage on a mission. We know what we’re looking for and we do NOT listen to the monster so he cannot overwhelm us 🙂
OK. Armed with our timer and imaginary blinkers we’re ready to hit the garage and we’re going to declutter it in four stages:
- The Power Purge
- One Big Thing
- Just 10 Little Things
- The Box Trick
1. Power Purge Your Garage
The first thing we’re going to do is a power purge. It’s going to take us 15 minutes not a second more.
We’re going to hit the garage with two big bin bags – one for trash, one for recycling.
We going to set our timer and then rapidly grab broken and expired stuff lying around we can instantly:
- Throw away
- Or chuck in recycling
Don’t yank anything out. Just focus on any pure trash on the floor or scattered about.
As soon as 15 minutes is up get out of there and get the trash in the bin. Done.
If you’ve got loads of loose trash lying around in the garage repeat the power purge. I did it three times!
Just remember: 15 minutes only; don’t yank stuff out; focus on no brainer rubbish.
Some of us will clear more with the power purge than others but we all need to start with it because it gives us the practice we need to say “Yah boo!!” to the clutter monster. We’re showing ourselves we can get in, get out – “See yah!” – without getting overwhelmed.
Now onto step two …
2. One Big Thing
The next thing we’re going to do is focus on one big thing. It needs to be unloved, low value and reachable i.e. not hiding at the back of the garage where you can’t get it.
It could be broken furniture, a bike, garden equipment or DIY stuff. It just needs to be something chunky.
What we’re going to do is offer it for FREE to anyone who will come and take it off our hands.
And the reason for doing this one big thing?
Well, firstly, it just creates some space fast but we also want to get good – ASAP – at getting other people to do our hard work for us by coming to pick up our unwanted clutter.
We do not want to spend half the year schlepping stuff to the tip every weekend.
I got all these collected from me with just a few minutes effort on Facebook …
That was lots of space freed up fast and I made money.
So start off-loading one big thing every week. Do stuff you are happy to freecycle first because it will clear space quicker and gets us into an easy rhythm of clearing one big thing quickly week by week by week.
With tiny amounts of effort we can have have really big impact.
Right onto step three, just 10 things …
3. Just 10 Little Things
We’re now going to use the just 10 things method to tackle all the little stuff in our garage.
It’s going to help us keep our blinkers on because that old monster can’t wait to overwhelm us with all our itty–bitty stuff!
All we do is hit the garage every day for 5 minutes-ish – and certainly no more than 15 – and find 10 little things to let go. But each day focus on just one small category of garage clutter.
Use the prompts below or this detailed list of 100 things to help you focus …
- Garden tools
- Hoses & watering
- DIY tools
- Nails, screws etc
- Left over DIY supplies e.g. tiles, wall paper
- BBQ equipment
- Garden toys
- Raquets, bats & balls
- Car accessories
- Pet stuff
- Bird & wildlife feeders
- Old electronics
- Cleaning supplies
As always with the just 10 things method …
- Do NOT yank stuff out
- Don’t agonise over stuff – quickly let go of no brainers
- Keep your eyes peeled for duplicates, outgrown, expired and broken things plus all the just-in-case stuff you will not miss
- Remember the more often you do it, the easier it gets
The key thing is you must stick to your timer and get out of there the moment it pings. Do NOT let the monster suck you into an hour long, going nowhere session!
My prompts will help you keep your blinkers on and focus plus – and it’s a biggie – they will give you neat bundles of stuff to sell or pass on.
Most of the time people won’t come to you to pick up a bag of random clutter and charity shops don’t typically take old plant pots, half used paint or watering cans! But people will come for a handy bundle of garden tools or DIY supplies etc and they’ll often pay for them because they can see the value of the bundle.
So every week take quick pics of your bundle for that week and offer it on Facebook or Craigslist.
It’s not going to make you millions but over the year it could be an easy extra grand and you will have over 3,000 less things in your garage which I can assure you is priceless!
OK so we’ve made loads of progress with our garage declutter but we’ve still got one final battle to win against the clutter monster in our garage. And that’s the boxes of random forgotten stuff …
Scary huh? But never fear.
We will conquer them and we will finish the garage monster off for good and we’ll do it, over a nice cup of tea or even a glass of wine 🙂
4. The Box Trick
Most garages these days are storage rooms for all the boxes of clutter of all sorts, we don’t know what to do with. How many boxes have you got? 10? 20? 30?
Honestly, you’re not alone if you’ve got 50 or more.
It feels overwhelming doesn’t it? Horribly. So again, we need to put our blinkers on and this time, we do it by taking one box at a time out of the garage.
We then use the simple box trick I’ve shared before here to work through it in 15 minute stints over a cup of tea, a glass of wine or a cool beer with some music or a favourite audio book on in the background.
Try and do 15 minutes a day as often as you can.
It’s actually wonderfully relaxing and very therapeutic and if get into the habit of just doing 15 minutes at a time you will power through your boxes easily without getting overwhelmed.
Each day, you sit down calmly for those 15 minutes and let go the things you can, without worrying about the things you can’t, you hammer another nail in the coffin of the garage monster and win back your garage as a space to store carefully a few important things in your life.
And perhaps – even – the car!
I do so hope this helps you declutter your garage easily.
Do give me a shout with any questions or thoughts and for loads more FREE declutter help check out my simple step by step declutter guide.