Sometimes when I’m driving, walking, or biking around the neighborhood, I play a little game in my head. It’s called “Guess the Clutter.” I look to see how many cars are in the driveway and then try to guess whether they have a lot of driving-aged people in the house, or if their garages are so stuffed with clutter that they can’t fit any cars in the garage.
The game works best when I’m slowly approaching a house with the garage door open. I take a guess before I get with sight distance of the inside of the garage.
If I see cars that look like teenage beaters, then I guess Lots-of-Cars. Typically it’s a minivan and/or a family car, so my guess is usually Cluttered-Garage.
I love rolling by and taking a peek inside the garage to see how much stuff is piled in. You might be surprised at how many people can’t fit any cars in their garage because they are stuffed to the rafters. Some are able to fit one car in with clutter taking up the other half. And I’ve seen a few that had toys, bikes, and a lawnmower on one side with a car on the other.
For all my readers that can’t fit cars in your garage, my challenge to you is to clean out at least one side so you can get a car in there. Bonus points if you can get two cars in.
Set aside a Saturday and dedicate it to cleaning out the garage. Here are some steps to get you started.
- Start by removing the trash. Anything broken, expired, or old and useless. (old paint, broken tools, random trash)
- Then remove duplicates. (3 shovels, 2 rakes, 15 sets of pliers – anything that you don’t need multiple of)
- Move holiday decorations to the attic or a closet. The garage is not a good place to store items that are used once a year.
- Look for items that haven’t been used in the past 6 months (or in the last year if you prefer) and donate them to someone that could use them. (I gifted my A/C repair guy with some old tools I was decluttering and he was very appreciative.)
- Stack items that you need to keep, make use of your shelving, and/or install new storage if necessary.
- Move bikes, scooters, toys to the sides of the garage, hang from ceiling, or relocate to open up the space.
Spend a day getting that garage in order, open up the space, and enjoy your new-found use of a garage!