The Great Garage Clean-Out

As I mentioned before, one of my major tasks on my To-Do list (to get ready for the hectic Spring sports season) was CLEAN OUT THE GARAGE.  This was not a task I could complete on my own, so Matt had to help.  A lot.  He loves cleaning out the garage, so, so much.  (No.  No, he doesn’t.)  But even he agreed it had to be done.  The kids helped too, because most of what we needed to organize was their stuff.

The garage tends to be a dumping ground, especially over the winter when we basically move through it to get inside the warm house as quickly as possible.  It took a whole afternoon of dirty, hard work, but we cleaned it all out, donated stuff we don’t need (double strollers, which we haven’t used in years), and threw out literally a truckload of crap. 

The beginning of the emptying process…this pile more than doubled before we had everything out of the garage.

We took just about everything in the garage OUT, and it nearly covered the front yard.  TOO.  MUCH. STUFF.

Having it all laid out on the lawn was great though, because we could easily sort through what we had, make piles to throw out or donate what we didn’t need, and reorganize what we wanted to keep.

The kids needed a place to store their sports equipment that they could get to easily.  I also really wanted to make it organized so they could put things away properly in order to prevent the garage from reverting to a dumping ground. 

We used the lower shelves on this unit and plastic storage bins to create a place for each type of equipment–one (large) bin for baseball stuff, one for hockey stuff, one for soccer stuff, one for football stuff.  And we labeled the bins, so now there is NO EXCUSE for things not to get put back where they belong.  NO EXCUSE.  Right?  RIGHT?!?!?!

All of these shelves got cleared, swept, and reorganized.

We rearranged also–moved Matt’s tool bench to create more room for 6+ bikes, wagons, scooters, etc.  Took boxes of old paperwork out of the garage and into the office so we’re forced to finally (FINALLY!) sort through them and shred the unneeded paperwork and properly file the necessary stuff. (We haven’t gotten to that step yet, but it’s coming.  It’s coming.)  And we made a pile to bring to Goodwill–all of which is currently loaded in the back of my van and will be dropped off today!

We rearranged so we didn’t have tools stacked on piles of cardboard next to extra furniture.

In the end, the garage seemed to double in size.  We finished the clean out a week ago and so far (aside from a large pile of cardboard that is waiting for recycling pick-up later this week), the floor has remained clear.  The last thing we have to do is reorganize all the tools on the tool bench and find some better vertical storage system for the wall so we can hang up more of the tools and get them off the work surface.  All in good time, though.  All in good time.

Eventually I’d also like to build a set of lockers with doors along the right-hand wall so the kids each have their own space that can be closed up and look MUCH neater, but for now, I’m happy with a clean and organized garage.

It feels so nice to pull the car into the garage and not have to climb over piles of bats, roller blades, helmets, and bikes to get into the house.  It feels lighter to know we aren’t storing piles of stuff we simply don’t need.  And it feels amazing to know the kids can get their things and put them away without a hassle.  I feel like a huge weight was lifted, and every time I come home I’m reminded of how happy the clean garage makes me!

Who knew that simply cleaning out the garage could be so therapeutic?

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