Be Honest: Is Your Garage Just an Attached Storage Unit?
by Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton
We’ve all seen it driving through our neighborhoods: the car parked in the driveway because of a jam-packed garage that leaves no room for the very thing it was built to hold. Sometimes, the garage has walkable areas where someone can squeeze around the clutter to get into the house; sometimes, it is so cluttered that even getting inside the space is a battle. It might even be YOUR garage.
The garage has become, in modern America, an alternative to the storage unit. But just think of what you could do with the space if you cleared it out. Even if you never park your car there, it could become a den, a man cave, a playroom for the kids, a place to put a ping pong table…so much more than just a place where mice have lots of nesting space!
As with many organizing projects, the most difficult step is the first one – and, in this case, the first step is realizing that there is a way out. It takes planning and a sometimes a little creativity, but reclaiming your garage is possible!
So, here are a four simple ways to use your garage more effectively:
Make your to-do list as short as possible
It’s easier to complete a to-do list with three things than it is to complete one with twelve things. So, in that spirit, here are three ways to use your garage more effectively. It’s easy enough to make another short to-do list when this one is complete.
Buy a Shed
Many houses have back yards where a shed could be placed without detracting from the appearance in any way. In fact, a well-placed shed often can enhance the visual quality and practical value of many properties. Use the shed to store your lawn mower and other yard tools, your hoses and sprinklers, your fertilizer, etc. Just clearing out those items and giving them a dedicated home may give you some breathing room.
Sort Your Stuff
What have you kept boxed or stored for over ten years without touching or using? Five years? Two years? What are you saving simply for sentimental reasons? What about because you think you might need it at some undefined point in the future? Recognize that you are less likely to use something in the future the longer it has been since you last used it.
What do you have that you are saving for someone else? Do you have items that belong to your son or daughter? What items have sentimental value specifically because they remind you of someone else? Many of these items can be given to those individuals. This alone can clear up lots of space.
Ask for help
This is the best advice possible, but it often is the hardest. You are the person who is closest to your belongings. You are the one whose emotions makes it hard to let go of things you will never use again. Having someone else who will listen kindly and make productive suggestions is a wonderful blessing – and that person can be a good friend or a professional organizer. In reality, having both can make all the difference.