With summer coming up, you’ll really want to be using your garage for storing all your summer essentials; whether it’s power tools, the lawnmower or the kids’ bikes. To be honest, all of the above are probably already in your garage, but it’s getting access to them that you’re going to have trouble with. If you’re anything like the typical UK homeowner, your garage will be your personal dump; full of old stuff you never thought you’d see again. Cleaning it will be the last thing on your list as you will most likely only use your garage for a few months a year, but if you clean it once then you’ll be sorted for at least a couple of years.
Unless you have a magical cleaning fairy, I wouldn’t expect your garage to clean itself. Next time we’ve got some nice weather, however rare that may be in the UK, you should take the opportunity to clean out your garage. You don’t necessarily need the weather to be good, as you can just assemble some boxes to help, but when you can space everything out in the garden or on the drive it just makes things a lot easier.
It’s heart-breaking, and I know from personal experience, but getting rid of stuff you are never going to use is difficult. There are a few things to entice you into getting rid of stuff that might give you a better piece of mind – selling, donating or simply giving it away. Knowing that somebody else will be using your old junk is quite refreshing. If you donate it, you know that somebody will be appreciating it. If you sell it, then somebody else could be using it and you get a bit of spending money. Of course, the last option is to just throw it out which is a lot harder than it sounds. Not everything needs throwing out though. You could have a broken bike or a broken power tool that just needs a little DIY to get it up and running again.
The first thing you need to do when cleaning your garage is to categorise everything, including the current furniture such as shelving, cabinets and even lighting. To help keep this more organised, you can assemble some boxes and tag them so you know what’s what. The categories I’d use are Keep/Repair, Sell, Charity and Trash. There are a few things you can do to help you decide what to do with something.
- Working with intent to use again in the next year – Keep
- Working with no intention on using again in the next year – Charity/Sell
- Broken with intent to use/repair in the next year – Keep/Repair
- Broken with no intent on fixing or using again – Trash
The second step is to revamp your garage, but not all of this is required. Once your garage is completely empty, get the vacuum cleaner out and the dustpan and brushes. Get everything off the floor and looking nice. There will be a shed load of dust – more like a garage load, but still…a lot of dust. Either way, it needs to be removed. That part is almost compulsory if you want your garage looking nice.
The next step to revamping your garage, which isn’t compulsory, is to install new lights, repaint the walls and to install new shelving or cabinets. Shelving is almost an essential as it creates a lot more space. Another highly recommended thing for the garage, if you own bikes or ladders is to install a bike/ladder wall hook which will allow you to place the item on the wall rather than on the ground, thus creating a lot more space. The used space is vertical rather than outwards so there will be more space to move around. Once everything is installed, it’s time to put everything back in.
Take your “Keep” box that should have everything you want to keep and put it into an open space in your garage. Start unboxing everything and putting it where you want it to be. Make sure it’s clean and tidy, otherwise you might feel like you’ve wasted your time.
Now it’s time to sort out the other boxes; Sell, Charity and Trash. They should already be categorised so there shouldn’t be an issue in that department. Selling is the longest method, but you do get a bit of money out of it that you wouldn’t have. If you have a bit of time, a car boot sale is the easiest method. You’ll spend a little bit to get your spot for the day, but everything you get from selling is yours, unlike other methods such as eBay. eBay is the next method; you can sell to anybody across the country, and you will always find a buyer for pretty much everything. An auction format is the easiest path to take, but if you want a quick sale the list as buy it now at a reduced price and it will sell pretty quickly.
Time for the charity box. This is the easiest box to sort out because you just need to take stuff to a charity shop of your choice. Pretty much every town in the UK has one so make your way there with the box and hand the stuff in. Make sure it works beforehand. Now you need to sort out the Trash box. The hardest box to part with, as it’s full of things you once spent your precious pennies on. You might have never used things in this box. Either way, the easiest thing to do to get rid of this stuff is to go to a local skip. Try and categories things before going into things such as clothes, electronics and so on as there are different skips for different categories.