There are various spaces in a house where people keep items stored. The spare bedroom, the home office, the hall cupboards, are some places where things (which most people might call “clutter”) are kept. But the most popular place in the house for clutter is the garage. The ultimate expression of garage clutter is the household’s vehicles needing to be parked out in the open because there is no room in the garage for them.

Why is it so?

Here are probably several reasons for the problem of garage clutter. But basically, the main reason is that you need space to store your “things”. You don’t really want to get rid of these things. What else would you do with the sailboard you used to take out on the bay on a regular basis? Even though that was a decade or two ago, and your body is not likely to allow you to do it again any time soon, you keep it as a memento of your youth. So the sailboard, and its associated paraphernalia, stay in the garage. There’s also the old TV that you inherited from your grandparents. Maybe it still works, maybe it doesn’t, but you keep it. Then there are the boxes full of childhood mementos. The tins of paint that may be needed some time in the future. Tools that probably should go into the garden shed, but end up dumped in the garage because it’s easier to put them there. Even old packaging – boxes, plastic, bubble wrap … We keep it in case we can use it again. But how often does that happen?

What can you do?

The bigger the garage, the more clutter there is. It seems to expand to fill the space available. So in order to give your vehicles the shelter they require, it is necessary to look over all the items in your garage with a rational, unsentimental frame of mind. And the first thing to do is to divide your garage into three sections, one for keep, one for give away, and one for disposal. Obviously, DISPOSAL is for the things that are broken, those cardboard boxes, the dried out paint tins … basically, things that you can live without, and that are no use to anyone else. The KEEP section is for those items that are extremely important – perhaps this includes the bicycles, the beach umbrellas, the outdoor games and picnic tables, even the Christmas tree and decorations. Everyone has a different set of “extremely important” things. And the GIVE AWAY section speaks for itself. The items are good enough to be used by someone else – clothes, furniture, etc.

The ultimate garage

This is an area that you can be proud to show your visitors. Think about the items you want to store, and what is the best way to put them away tidily. Think about the walls, and whether a set of shelves, large hooks, peg boards, and the like, can deal well with your bicycles, tools, and beach umbrellas. An internet search might give you ideas. Plastic storage boxes abound in the stores, and can be labelled with their contents. For best visual results, try to use the same size boxes. At the end of the day, and it might take you one day, or several, to reach the end of the day, you will have a garage that looks neat and tidy, and your car will be happy to live there.

Oh, by the way, there’s still that GIVE AWAY section to deal with, not to mention the DISPOSAL section. Charities are happy to receive, or they may pick up, items of furniture or good quality clothing, and if it is too difficult to get your pile of DISPOSAL disposed of yourself, look for the local rubbish remover to help you.