GET ORGANIZED AMY TOKOS Amy Tokos is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Freshly Organized. You can find more organizing tips at freshlyorganized.com.
WHAT’S IN THE GARAGE? Keep-trash-donate exercise helps you find out
uring the winter we pull into the garage and quickly close the door. Now that the temperatures have risen, we might linger a little longer. When we do that, we start to notice how messy things have become. One of the biggest obstacles to having a clean garage is deciding what to do with the stuff in the space. You can do an online search for options to dispose of metal and chemicals. There are also services that for a fee will take everything away for you and do the recycling and donating of items. This can be a quick way to get rid of items if you’re feeling overwhelmed. To start the garage cleanup, sort all items into groups: 1. Keep 2. Trash 3. Donate 4. Recycle 5. Belongs somewhere else 6. Belongs to someone else The keep items can stay in their current location for now. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to put the trash, donate and recycle items in different packaging. Have clear bags, black bags and/or white bags available throughout the process. Create an area for items that belong somewhere else. A common mistake is taking an item to where it belongs right when you see it. This can result in
Getting as many things off the garage floor as possible will make it easier to keep clean.
loss of momentum. The minute you leave the clean-out area, distractions can pull you away from your project. The time to tackle this pile is at the end of your organizing. That’s when you can take items into the house. When only the keep items are left, you can start to organize. Take time to think through groupings of items and where the groupings will be located. An example: Put all gardening supplies in one space. Location will be determined by the amount of use and layout of the garage. If your gardening supplies are
high use, you want them to be handy and near an outdoor exit. If gardening is something you do once a year, then all your gardening supplies and tools (which should be minimal) can be put in a more remote location. Creating groupings of similar items is very helpful for when you need to retrieve a specific item. You’ll find it quicker. Raise as much off the floor as possible with hooks and shelving. The fewer items on the floor, the easier it is to clean the space going forward. Happy garage organizing!
A parenting magazine from the Omaha World-Herald