Collaboration with 1-800-GOT-JUNK
Written by: Haley Kieser, freelance writer for 1-800-GOT-JUNK
A Guide to De-Junking Your Garage
Garages are consistently the messiest and junk-filled part of a home. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s a conveniently large and close storage space for everything that you don’t want to see or think about. Anything that you and your family file under “miscellaneous” probably winds up in the corner of your garage, forgotten about for months or maybe even years at a time. But that’s easy to fix. You can declutter and de-junk your garage in the course of a weekend with these simple tips.
Embrace a System
As with any organizing and de-junking procedure, you’re going to need to start with a system. The start of your system should be four sections to sort into: keep, junk, donate, and sell. Keep is everything you still use and want to keep. Reserve junk for anything that doesn’t work, has no value, or is fundamentally garbage. Sell and donate will depend on your own preferences and the items involved. If you have something you feel will fetch a good price at a yard sale or on Craigslist, don’t feel bad for not donating it. Likewise, you shouldn’t donate everything. Check with your local Salvation Army or other charity to see the kinds of things they’ll accept.
Sort into Piles
The sorting process is going to be the most difficult. Garages are most often the place where everyone’s junk and memories collect. After all, it’s a big open space that seldom sees a lot of foot traffic. The important thing while sorting out your objects is not to keep things for ‘just in case’ scenarios. That hinges on so many possibilities and none of it is concrete. This leads to keeping more than you need and taking up more space. Exactly the opposite of your de-junking efforts. Don’t let the price you spent on the object dictate how you feel towards it. You already spent the money on it, you’re not losing anything on something you don’t use. The best rule of thumb for things without sentimental value is to try to recall the last time you used the item. If it’s been over a year, get rid of it.
Regardless of the garage size, getting the whole family involved is always a good idea. Especially since you’ll need some input on what to throw out and what to keep. If you’re de-junking solo or don’t have a lot of time on your hands, contract a service to get rid of everything. They won’t be able to make the tough calls on what you should keep, but the actual removal process will go a lot smoother. Particularly if you have large objects like furniture or heavy equipment. Most junk removal services will even take the time to recycle and donate your waste. This can give you a clear conscious that you’re participating in landfill diversion and keeping things green in Montreal.
Sell the Extra
Once everything you’re junking is gone, start planning on how you’re going to get rid of the sell pile. In the spring or summer, a garage or yard sale is a good plan. Have a sale when you’re likely to get people walking by in your neighborhood. If you don’t have time for a dedicated sale, use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Be mindful of pricing. Set prices to be fair and flexible so you can get rid of everything. Remember, you don’t want this stuff for a reason, so don’t expect to make all your money back that you spent on it.
After everything, all that should remain is the things you plan on using, but you can’t let that lay about the garage. Get organized! Designate corners, shelves, or a floorplan in your garage for storage. Stow away items until it’s time you need them. Store things so they’re accessible. If they have multiple parts or are used together, keep them close by. Label shelves, containers, and boxes so you spend less time searching and more time doing. You should have a lot more floor space once the junk is gone. Start thinking about how you can make the best use of your freed space.
Still stuck on how to tidy up your garage? Let a professional organizer help you out!