Spring has sprung and so has the coils in the mattress you’ve got stuffed in the rafters of your garage.  Your stuff has taken over the storage area of your home and no longer functions as usable space.

Fear not! In just 15 minutes – well, after an initial “power-three-hour” clear-out session (Tip! Give yourselves an awesome after-cleaning incentive: kids – pizza and shakes, you and your significant other: pizza and spiked shakes! When you’re done, you’ll be on your way to a garage where even your car (or two) will fit.

 Wow!  Cars parked IN the garage!

Yes! Today’s blog emphasizes the biggest hurdle to a clean garage: getting started!

Since this is likely the most cluttered area of your home, a little kick-start and encouragement might be in order just to open that big ol’ door. There’s a great tip given by “De-Clutter King” Peter Walsh, where he encourages people cleaning and organizing their garages to use his “F.A.S.T.” method.  To facilitate this toilsome task, I would like to add a couple more letters: E. & R. = F.A.S.T.E.R.!

F: Fix a time-this keeps you and your family motivated and focused (i.e. the 15 minute timer, and the “power-3-hour” clear-out session).

A:  Anything not used in 12 months-you know who you are and what things you’ve been holding on to.  Time to let those items go and be put to better use by someone or some organization who might need them (i.e. Habitat for Humanity ReStores or Mychal’s Learning Place). Peter continues by suggesting we ask ourselves the following questions:

• Do I use this?

• How long has it been since I’ve used it?

• Will I use it again?

• Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?

S: Someone else’s stuff-time to return that lawnmower you broke (Oops!  Sorry, Tom!), or that bike “borrowed” from your old roommate.  Empty nesters: this is a great excuse to get your kids to pick up their stuff and store it in their own garages!

T: Trash-it’s amazing how much we can actually throw away that’s been left in boxes, hanging in the rafters, and collecting dust and cobwebs on the floor.  Time to purge.

E: E-commerce your building & home supplies, furniture and/or materialsDiggersList is a great place to sell things such as office/home furniture, tools (power/hand), gardening supplies, tiles, paint, mirrors, etc.  Why trash it when you can cash it!?!

R: Recycle-before dumping your things into a trash can, consider recycling them for sale on DiggersList, as a donation to an organization or a giveaway to friends or family.

Follow the “F.A.S.T.E.R.” method of cleaning your garage and you’ll be ready to go to the next step:  organizing!

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