Thursday, March 19, 2009

Organizing the Garage


We recently celebrated 15 years in our house. I can still remember what our big empty garage looked like the day we moved in, and how much fun our boys - then 3 and 5 - loved running all around such a big space. These days though, it is under a mountain of stuff. Stuff we don't ever use. Stuff piled so high we don't even know half of what's in there and couldn't find it even if we tried!! So this Saturday my husband and I - along with our two now grown sons - are going to begin to clean out that mess of a garage. My one obstacle will be my husband - who is a bit of a pack rat, and my motto is -- if we don't use it - it goes. Have a ever mentioned that my husband Mark and I are opposites. I guess it's true that they attract, but have you ever tried to organize something with someone who is your opposite? Wish me luck!!
Here's my plan of attack.
1. Assess the clutter. Start by creating three categories: keep, donate, and toss. As I go through the items, I assign each one to a category. If we rarely use a piece, it’s a good candidate for the donate or toss pile.
2. Donate or toss. Contact local charities and arrange for a pickup of items to be donated; put the toss items out with the trash or recycling.
3. Edit the keep pile. Sort the items we're keeping into new categories, such as sporting equipment, power tools, etc. Assign each category a defined location.
4. Label items. Give anything that is not plainly identifiable a clear label.
5. I only use plastic storage boxes. Cardboard boxes, no matter how strong, bend and dent with frequent use and eventually succumb to dampness. Waterproof plastic containers protect their contents better, seal tighter, and are easy to carry or shift around on shelves.
P.S. Love you sweetie - and I did not call you a rat. xoxo


Content in a Cottage said...

We are definitely on the same wave length. I have been thinking about organizing my garage too. It is full to the brim with things I don't use, haven't used since I moved in, didn't know I had, had completely forgotten about, and just plain junk. You have inspired me to tackle mine too. ♥Rosemary

Bridgette said...

This weekend must be "clean out your garage weekend"! My husband Mark and I are doing the same. He is a pack rat as well! We had our garbage disposal replaced and he want to keep the broken one, he said "you never know". Have fun!

Linda Lou said...

Oh Sabina, we have the same problem, the inside of our home is fairly neat, but the garage is really bad, and pack rat is the term we use for my husband too, we won't even attempt to look through all the "stuff" - he said his weekends are for relaxing, and he doesn't care how messy and disorganized the garage is - we have been in this house almost 11 years - and he saves every piece of paper- I will be interested to see how your organizing goes-GOOD LUCK!!

Momma Chae said...

good luck! I also live with a pack rat. The only way for me to give things to Goodwill is to sneak it out of the house under the cover of night. :)
I'm a chronic "deleter" and "tosser," so I know I sometimes get rid of things that I should keep. I just love that fresh clean feeling!

Piecefulafternoon said...

Have fun cleaning. Unfortunately I am the pack rat in our family - Don is the tidier one. I do go through my stuff more often than every 15 years though - but things tend to pile up on me a lot so I spend a lot of time sorting and sending stuff to keep, donate, throw piles. I love it when things are orderly - just haven't figured out yet how to keep it that way all the time.

Jess said...

Good idea-- You will feel so much better once the job is done :) We've been helping my in-laws do the same

Sabina said...

I actually use to be the one who kept the garage clean and organized up until the time we adopted our three youngest children and then I handed it off to my husband. Somehow 8 years have passed since then and here we are.


annechovie said...

LOL. Love this post, Sabina! I can relate, becuase I am a ruthless organizer and am challenged by my own pack rats at times.

Cynthia Maniglia said...

It that time of the year for jobs like that. Have fun spring cleaning! Your plan of attack sounds like it's going to make things go smoothly.

Jen Kershner said...

Great list Sabina! Thanks so much for sharing it. I'm in the middle of a whole house overhaul and I was just out in the garage cleaning out my car and wishing for a another pretty weekend so we can clean and organize our garage. It's a disaster and my hubby is the worst offender. His "work" table is piled high with junk. When I get in these moods, if it doesn't move, it gets tossed!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh and his name is MARK too! I noticed another ladies husband was Mark as well :-) :-)

jenjen said...

My husband is a pack rat too!!! LOL
My garage is so gross, it's on my list for this Spring.

Good luck with yours!


wild child said...

We need an update on your garage project Sabina!

We're pretty good about continually cleaning out our garage, but only because 1) I am forced to do laundry in there, among other things, and 2) we have a lot of black widows, which scare me to death! We rotate and donate things frequently, but I also know my husband puts a LOT of things up in the attic because he knows I won't look up there! LOL! AARGH!

I truly would love to hear how everything turned out for you guys - DO TELL!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi I just noticed a whole comment of mine is missing...I was saying that we cleared our garage out too!! But not a simply as that, I ordered the skip, I made my husband throw things away...he was soooo he was losing his toys or something. Actually items that we had moved from our last house 3 years ago and have not seen light of day since!! The other comment says that he is called Mark as well...!

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