Did you know that most garages are totally disorganized and filled with clutter and unnecessary extras?
If you have ever apologized for the state of your garage (or basement, or attic, or that closet you hope nobody looks inside), you are definitely not alone!
Most of us have wished these storage spaces were better.
We can’t find what we’re looking for, it’s not easy to get to our stuff, the spaces are not very pretty to look at, and (worst of all) we know that much of this stuff is not even necessary! Over time we grow more and more frustrated with our spaces.
So, given that most of our long-term storage are badly in need of an overhaul, it sounds strange for a home-management professional to write a blog telling you not do clean it out.
Just so there is no misunderstanding, I am not suggesting we ignore our long-term storage!
It’s the idea of “Clean Sweeping” the entire collection all in one shot that I am not a fan of. Here’s why…
First, because most garages/basements/attics store a wide variety of stuff.
The decision making process for camping gear is completely different from Christmas decorations, which is completely different from auto-supplies, which is completely different from sports equipment.
Trying to make decisions on all of those categories at the same time is just plain confusing. We won’t make wise choices.
Second, it would be too much work.
The physical work involved in clearing everything off the shelves alone is exhausting. Just bringing down the boxes and spreading everything out would take a whole day!
We know exactly what would happen. We would spend the weekend making a huge mess, we wouldn’t have time to sort and sift through everything properly, and we would end up wasting our time and energy without making any progress.
We need a better strategy!
We can’t leave our garage the way it is, but we can’t tackle the whole thing all at once. We need to find an approach that allows us to:
- Break down the project into manageable pieces
- Go slow so enough to make thoughtful decisions on our belongings
- Put things back in an organized way
- Build habits to ensure all of this wonderful progress lasts!
Want a perfect first step?
In my Long-Term Storage Lesson Series, the very first task of the very first lesson is to do a “Walk Through Overview.”
What you do is grab a pencil and a notepad and physically go to every spot where you keep any long-term storage items. As you look at your stuff, think about what specifically bugs you the most.
Which categories desperately need to be organized? Which spaces are over-crowded? Which categories definitely need to be downsized? What problems, if solved, would make your life easier?
Since attempting to conquer every detail in one Clean Sweep is unrealistic, we must spend our energy where it will have the biggest positive impact. The Walk Through Overview gives you this clarity.
You’ll look at one individual project and find yourself saying, “That’s not so hard. I can totally do that!”
Making a short list of your top-priorities will replace the old intimidation with new motivation!
And you don’t have to live with the aggravation of storage spaces that don’t function well. You don’t have to sacrifice a full week of vacation to improve things. You can take control of these spaces once and for all, if you divide-and-conquer with cunning!