Need to downsize and clean out a garage, where to start?


Any suggestions as to how to start organizing and getting rid of stuff in boxes in garage. One person, suggested to me to empty all boxes and put into piles of like items, like Kitchen, bathroom, Christmas. I don't know.

  6 answers
  • That is exactly what you do! Grab a friend to come help you so it is not so painful, plus a fresh set of eyes can't hurt either. He / She can help you decide to keep, sell or donate items you may be hesitating on.

    Don't feel bad, my garage has all the boxes sorted and labeled, just that there are far too many of them! Mine is still a mess too.

    • See 1 previous
    • You never know . . . Ask and see what happens, you might be surprised. Might be worth it though, a couple days at your place then a couple days at a friend's . . . You both end up with more organized and tidier spaces. Might be worth the trade off. Mull it over then decide!

  • Janet Janet on Jul 13, 2018
    Yes separate items into categories, also have a pile for trash and pile for donation or even have garage sale pile. I am in the process of getting my garage in order so I can paint the walls and floor. I really need to organize all the tools and garden stuff. I found at Home Depot a Rubbermaid rail system that you can hang your big garden tools on. I have everything standing against the wall and they are always falling over, people tripping on things. Good luck with yours. I know it's a daunting task. This winter I will tackle the basement. Yikes!

    • Catherine.johnson Catherine.johnson on Jul 13, 2018
      Thank you Janet, I would love to get this done and maybe even get some shelving to store on. Then I have a room that needs cleaned out too. Enjoy your weekend. So far, I keep coming up with excuses.

  • Betty Nuovo Betty Nuovo on Jul 13, 2018
    Hi Catherine. I am facing a similar situation. I thought about just doing a major purge as was suggested to you but I know myself too well. Doing it that way seemed so overwhelming that I could not get motivated to even start! So, what I am doing is taking one box at a time and going through it. My mindset is that there probably isn't anything in this one box that I really need to keep. Will one of my children want an item? Is it useful for someone I know? Can I donate it? Or, please, can I just bring myself to trash it? I have a BIG trash can nearby so I can toss things and not have to look at what I have thrown out. (I hate to throw out something I might use "some day." )
    I then call my kids, friends or donation folks and get rid of everything from that one box. I look at what I decided to keep and ask again if I am really going to use it. If not, it has to go. It is hard work but will be worth it in the end. There will be so many fewer boxes (or none of I get brutal) and I will have the space back.
    One box is not overwhelming where 20 or 30 boxes are. Good luck and I hope this helps.

    • Catherine.johnson Catherine.johnson on Jul 13, 2018
      Betty, you sound like me. I got myself into this situation, maybe one box at a time is the answer, just like weight loss, huh? Thank you for your helpfulness.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 13, 2018
    I start by sorting into piles. Pile one throw away, pile 2 donate, pile 3 repair and put back, pile 4 could just be stuff to put in its proper place (kitchen, bathroom, kitchen). After stuff is pulled out clean and then clean some more. A good time to get the bleach and mop out to scrub that nasty garage floor. I have been working on my Dad's garage for almost 2 months now (he is a hoarder and has saved EVERYTHING for the last 40 years). Plan on making a trip(s) to your local Salvation Army and the dump!

    • Catherine.johnson Catherine.johnson on Jul 13, 2018
      Thank you Mogs, what a great video and wonderful Ideas. I don't think I'm a total hoarder; however, other people who looks at my garage may think I am. I figure if I haven't used something since I moved in 4 and 1/2 years ago, then I don't need it. Thanks again.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 13, 2018
    Look at the garage, decide where you want things to go, like yard tools, etc. on the walls on nails, hooks or what ever. If you have shelving, what will go there. Start in one corner, the three pile system of keep, donate or sell and garbage is a good one. Go through the whole garage that way, then deal with the piles. Get rid of the garbage right away, then decide what you will donate and what you can sell and box them up and label donate or sell. Start putting away the things that have somewhere specific to go. Now is the time to start putting up nails, hooks, shelving and get totes to store your things in, if needed, as you will see what fits where. Go to restore, Salvation Army, etc. and see if you can find used kitchen cupboards you can put up on the walls to help store things. I have a few upper cupboards on the walls, and they really do help. I even started putting a few of my large pots that don't fit in drawers or cupboards with out using up precious space needle for things that are used more often. We hand our blower, vacuum/shredder on a chain with a hook on the end to get it out of the way, yet be easily accessible. You will soon be in a garage that is much more organized.

  • Catherine.johnson Catherine.johnson on Jul 13, 2018
    Wow, very helpful and new ideas, thank you so much Nancy. I'm going to try the re-purposing idea. Enjoy your weekend.