Sunday, May 3, 2015

Garage Purge

Our garage was a mess after a long winter. It definitely needed some cleaning, purging, and organizing. It was too large a project to sneak in during Liv's nap, so I took a day off this week and got it done.

Here is our before. What you don't see is the broken fridge that was sitting where those coolers are now stacked (as the coolers were stored on top of the fridge). The fridge had been broken for months now, and we finally got the doors off and got it down to the street for pick up.

It doesn't look horrible (or maybe it does to some). I'd done a mini clean out in the fall, so this was sort of like round 2. We were able to park both cars in here, and it is a small 2 car garage, so I feel like that is a small victory. But there was definitely extra stuff that we'd collected, and it was totally disorganized. See:

I went through every item on the shelves one by one, with a bag for tossing and a bag for donating by my side. Once the shelves were cleared off, I moved them away from the wall and vaccuumed. One of the bags of grass seed had ripped open and there was seed everywhere--ugh.

Next I texted Mike to ask why we have 4 large jugs of coolant/antifreeze and 3 jugs of lawn mower oil. All partially full. He had no real answer but wanted me to keep it, as we'll use it. Oil yes; coolant? 4 huge jugs... I don't remember the last time we topped off our coolant. But, as the book says, you should only purge your own stuff. So back on the shelf it all went.

I then thoroughly swept up all the dirt and leaves and put everything back in zones as best I could. Some items had to go up high due to their size, but I put like items together as best I could--all the kids balls, bubbles, chalk, etc. on one low shelf so that they can help themselves. All the bike helmets together. All the gardening stuff on one shelf. And so on.

I realize this "after" doesn't look much different. I should have taken a close up shot. But it is so much less cluttered, everything is binned and labeled, and there is room to breathe on the shelves, whereas before it was like a house of cards trying to get anything off of them.

I made it a point not to put anything down in the basement. I wanted to deal with it all now. The only things I relocated were a shelf that ended up empty that I can use down in the basement and Mike's bean bags (since the bag boxes themselves were already being stored down there. Made sense to put like with like).

After all was said and done, I had a trunkful for Goodwill and three full garbage cans (plus some stuff that won't fit in a can like that broken screen). I guess we'd better not throw anything away this week as there is nowhere to put it! I went straight to Goodwill after that and said good riddens to the rest of it.

With the rest of my day, I started tackling the basement. Are you ready for the before? Sneak peak at the disaster.

Yikes, that one is going to be awhile. More to come. I had to start piling garbage because our cans are full. I'm tempted to try out the bagster so I can quickly get rid of everything once and for all...


  1. Looks like you guys need a shed. I don't know what we'd do without our shed. But we don't have a basement so storage is limited.

    1. We do, we really do. But they HOA is so strict about sheds. Darn them!

  2. We don't have a basement or shed, but would sure love to have either one.
    However, I'm afraid I would probably just start hiding stuff out there and not dealing with it. I think less storage space for me is the key to streamlining my possessions. You have done so much in so little time, Jaysa. You don't have far to go before you run out of places to purge and tidy.

    1. Yep, the bsmt is an easy space to just dump stuff and forget it. You tell yourself you'll deal later, but you never do. So from now on I deal with my stuff as needed. And one day I will get the bsmt all settled too. :-) The "house" is basically done as far as purging. Just the basement remains. And the kids' stuff can always use revisiting.

  3. Yep, no basement here either which may be a good thing since they tend to be clutter catchers! Nice job on the garage, Jaysa, I'm truly impressed! You're doing an awesome job getting things organized.. it's such a liberating feeling to be free of clutter! :o)

    1. Thanks Allison. Yes, I've been very strict and making good progress. And the best news is that I've been keeping up with the clutter and being very careful about what comes in now. I tend not to want to buy the little stuff anymore. I see it as clutter now. I'm saving my money to buy the bigger ticket items like furniture, etc. that make an impact and are 't clutter.