The snow has melted, birds are singing and temperatures are rising. Spring is finally here! And with the new season, many people get inspired to clean and organize. Over the winter, your garage may have become a catchall for various items: out-of-season sports equipment, holiday decorations, household items that were replaced by gifts, outdoor furniture, tools and more.
If your garage could use a good spring cleaning, we have some tips to help you tackle the mess. One of the most widely accepted methods for de-cluttering is the four box method. To get started, all you need to do is grab four boxes (or bags or storage containers – whatever you have or like to use) and head to the garage. Then, separate your items into the four categories below
- Purge / Trash.
This pertains to anything that is broken, torn or otherwise beyond repair. Also in this category is any item that is out-of-date or completely useless. It is natural to want to save some sentimental items, but try to be discerning. Really be brutal here; there is no reason to keep anything that doesn’t work or that you haven’t used in a long time.
More things can be recycled than ever before – paper, glass, cans, bottles, metal, most plastics and many electronics. Be sure to check with your recycling or garbage collection company to ensure you follow their guidelines. For items like electronics, consult local retailers, the EPA or other local agencies to find the best place to take them.
For items that are still in good working order or condition, donate to Goodwill or your local organization of choice. Most places will gladly take gently used furniture, clothing, electronics, home goods and more. Please don’t donate items that are in disrepair or poor condition. You should only contribute things you’d be willing to give to your own friends or family.
This category should be for items that you actually can and do use. You may consider using a guideline such as anything you’ve used in the last year or even the last six months. Try not to play the “I might need it someday” game. Seasonal or special occasion items, such as holiday decorations, camping equipment, sports gear are acceptable to keep, but should be stored when not in use.
Now, take those boxes where they belong. Don’t hold onto them – that defeats the purpose! Trash the trash, get the recycling to the proper facility and make a trip to Goodwill. We’ll address strategies for the “keep” box in our next blog.
Do you have great tips or methods for spring cleaning in the garage? Share them with us here. Happy spring!