Howdy! It’s been awhile since the last post in the “No Brainer Things to Toss” series. In case you missed a post, here’s a summary of what we’ve covered so far:
- No Brainer Things to Toss in Your Kitchen Decluttering Session
- No Brainer Things to Toss in Your Home Office Decluttering Session
- No Brainer Things to Toss in Your Closet Decluttering Session
- No Brainer Things to Toss in Your Photo Decluttering Session
- No Brainer Things to Toss in Your Paper Decluttering Session
Moving on to garage decluttering! The garage is a BEAST of a space. And garage organization just so happens to be the focus this month in the Organize & Refine Your Home Challenge, I’ve compiled a list of 10 “No Brainers” (and a BONUS item) that you can immediately place into the “toss” pile during your garage decluttering sessions.
As always, this post is inspired by a recent tour of my own home. And as always, I’m kinda mortified to share the photos. But we’re all friends, right? #NOJUDGEMENTPLEASE
May I present…
The Garage Decluttering Toss List
When decluttering, my first piece of advice is to always go for the low-hanging fruit. Well, it doesn’t get any more “low-hanging” than trash.
As you begin to declutter your garage, you’ll inevitably come across items that belong in the trash can, but just didn’t quite make it there for some reason (like these random Amazon boxes that seem to always be littering up our garage).
Now’s the time to walk those items over to the trash can. There. doesn’t that feel good?
2. OLD PAINT
I actually staged this photo, because I don’t store paint in the garage. But most people do. In fact, there’s rarely a time that I completed a garage organizing session with a client that we didn’t uncover a fair number of almost empty cans of paint that were at least a decade old.
If stored properly, unused paint can be used for many years to come. But paint stored in a non-temperature controlled environment (such as a garage), will have a much shorter shelf life.
So…take a peek into those cans. If the paint has separated, gummed up, or hardened, it’s time to dispose of it (properly). Otherwise, relocate those paint cans to the basement (go through your cans of spray paint too while you’re at it).
In my case, this particular can of paint was still usable in theory. But since I’m about to change out the color of my son’s walls, I know I’ll never use this paint color again. Off you go!
Learn more about how to properly store and dispose of paint here.
3. EMPTY BOXES
Another common clutter culprit that I often came across during garage organizing jobs is the empty cardboard box. I know. You’re saving the box for that item just in case you need to return it or send it off for repair. But the fact of the matter is that these boxes are preventing you from parking your car in the garage.
If you have an attic, it’s the perfect home for these bulky, space-sucking items that have a rare chance of ever being useful. Better yet, use empty boxes to temporarily store all of the other items you decide to toss or donate during your declutter session!
Just be sure not to get stuck in the toss step of the decluttering process (read more about this issue in my Organize Like a Pro post).
4. “PAST THEIR PRIME” HOME DECOR ITEMS
This week, I was prepping for my Memorial Day picnic, and I pulled out my box of outdoor decorations. When I examined the contents, I immediately wondered what on earth I was thinking last year when I put these faded and dirty items back in the box at the end of the summer.
Whether it’s holiday decor or those outdoor decorations (think wind chimes, planters, etc.) that have seen better days, now’s the time to say adios!
5. OUTGROWN TOYS
My kids haven’t scooted or pogo jumped for several years now. I JUST hosted a garage sale last weekend. Why oh why didn’t I include these items in the sale?
I guess I’m in a state of denial that my kiddos are growing up and have moved on past this stage of outdoor play.
Take a close look around all of those remote corners of your garage to uncover the toys that your kiddos have outgrown. It’s time to let go 🙁
6. DAMAGED GARDENING EQUIPMENT
Got bent up tomato cages or similar gardening supplies that are teetering on the brink of being so damaged that they’re no longer functional? Treat yourself to some new ones this season.
7. OLD SPORTS EQUIPMENT
Wow. Just. Wow.
Exactly how many basketballs do we need anyway? When the boys are shooting hoops, they rarely use more than one ball. So why does our household have 10? And why do we hang on to the ones that look like this?
8. EXCESS RAGS
Here’s the part where I throw my Hubby under the bus. He has an obsession with holding onto every old item of clothing and using them as rags.
We have two huge bins in the garage devoted to rag storage. But you see, we rarely use these rags. Time to parse this rag collection down by 50% and free up that other bin to store something else!
9. OLD/EXPIRED CHEMICALS
Most everyone has a collection of chemicals in the garage. They take the form of fertilizers, bug spray, car care products, anti-freeze, and general cleaners. Don’t overlook this opportunity to rid your cabinets of expired, old, and just plain nasty chemicals during your garage decluttering sessions.
Like paint, there is a proper way to safely dispose of these items. In my neck of the woods, we have a special household hazardous waste center that accepts these discarded chemicals. Do some digging around where you live to find a similar resource in your community.
10. GRUNGY SHOES
You probably remember that I recently solved my problem with garage shoe clutter. While our collection of shoes is now neatly organized, we could still stand to parse the collection down a bit.
Kinda like his “turning old clothes into rags” habit, Brian likes to demote his older shoes to “lawn-mowing shoes” whenever he purchases a new pair. I’m all about having a dedicated pair of grungy shoes for jobs like lawn mowing. A pair. Not eight pairs.
He’ll be asked to make some tough choices later today.
BONUS – THOSE “I MIGHT NEED IT SOMEDAY” ITEMS
Here’s my bonus tip…if you come across an item in the garage (or in any room for that matter) that you’ve kept because you might need it someday, think twice.
We’ve had this lovely collection of broken sprinkler heads stored on our shelf for about five years. The thought was that maybe we could harvest spare parts from them if we run into further sprinkler system snafus down the road.
I’m hedging my bets that we could live without them. What do you think?
Phew! Once you clear out the items on the No Brainer List, you’ll be well on your way to conquering that garage clutter, and being able to park your cars in the garage.
What items will you be tossing from this garage decluttering list? What else would you add? Share with the rest of us one of the items in your garage decluttering toss pile!
And be sure to download my Declutter Tool Kit, a free resource for helping you declutter your home from top to bottom. Click on the image below to grab your copy:
Check out these other posts to help you declutter & organize your garage:
- Garage Organization 101
- Is Garage Organization on Your To Do List This Weekend?
- Monkey Bars Storage Product Review
- Tidy Living Storage Products