Summertime is the perfect time to clean the garage. There’s no rain or snow stopping you from pulling out your tent, tools, scuba gear, or kiddie pool. While you’re enjoying your seasonal goodies, use this sunny opportunity to purge, organize, and take inventory of the garage’s contents before fall.
(Pro tip: If you’re on the cusp of a garage renovation, this is the best time to do it.)
Purge anything you don’t use at least once a year.
Seasonal equipment gets a free pass (for now), but you should sell, donate, or toss anything else you don’t use at least once a year. Plan where, when, and how you’ll dispose of the purgeables in advance.
Pick a dry, warm day to lay a tarp on the driveway or lawn. Use different tape colours to mark sections as ‘keep’, ‘sell’, ‘donate’ and ‘trash/recycle’. Start pulling things out of the garage and place each one on an appropriate section of the tarp.
You can use these tips–as well as the ones here from our clutter-free guide–to declutter the basement, attic, or storage room.
Next, get rid of the donate and discard piles as soon as possible. Save yourself the trouble of putting these back in the garage to gather dust for another year.
Organize the ‘keep’ pile by category and utility.
Categorize the important stuff while it’s still on the tarp: tools, pool toys, lawn furniture, and so on. If you’re limited for storage space, plan which items can be less accessible and put anything you need immediately on top.
If you’re having trouble parting with some items or your ‘keep’ pile is bigger than expected, save yourself the stress of prioritizing and get an off-site self storage locker*. This way, you’ll no longer have to shuffle around the car to open the door, or you’ll be able to make space for that workshop you’ve always wanted.
Take inventory so you always know where things are.
To make your life even easier the next time you’re searching for something in the garage, use an inventory app or spreadsheet to keep track of what you’re storing. Wondering where your hammock is? Quickly search the app and you’ll see that it’s in a box on the top shelf at the back of the garage.
Not enough space in your garage? Get an off-site storage locker for almost-as-easy access.