Don’t Let Your Garage (or Any Other Space in Your House) Scare You…
My client Elisabeth invited me over this summer to help her get her two-bay garage in order. Years of procrastination had led to a non-functional space that was poorly utilized for family and work needs. In three hours we turned this large space into delightful instead of frightful. We created “Homes & Zones” where anyone in the family would know where to find things, with access to anything in seconds and the ability to return items to their homes easily.
A few “before” pictures…
I taught Elisabeth my SSPOE (Sort, Select, Purge, Organize & Equalize) methodology and then we took about an hour to empty most the garage contents (except for the really heavy things) onto her driveway into categories that made sense to her:
THE BIG SORT
Professional products and items for Elisabeth’s career
Overstock Kitchen and Pantry
Once the sorting was done, Elisabeth made thoughtful decisions on each category of what she wanted to keep. Then she:
Now that her decisions were made, we knew what was staying in her garage and what was not. We did the “purging” which does not always mean garbage. In this case, our “letting go” consisted of these categories:
Sell (on social media)
Junk Removal – we hired a junk removal truck which we pre-scheduled since there were large items her town’s department of public works would never pick up such as the old refrigerator, broken furniture and old filing cabinets
Belongs Elsewhere – For example, the “keep” furniture moved to the proper spaces inside her house and the sell furniture left with their new owners by the curb
Only after the Sorting, Selecting and Purging, did we Organize the garage by moving the items categorically into their new homes. We created designated areas for:
Overstock Pantry and Party Supplies
One Parking Spot
Family Fun Time – We placed items like the ping pong table and bikes in one garage bay near the garage door so the family could easily access these for daily play
In Process – We reserved a spot in the other garage bay by the garage door so Elisabeth could follow up on these items that we deemed homework such as fixing items she really did want to keep or giveaways to specific people
So here is the last step in an organizing endeavor…How will Elisabeth and her family keep the garage in order, balanced, tidy and organized? By consistently being mindful of what goes where and always returning items after use to their designated homes. Of course, life will change and she will have to adjust new items coming in and going out but if her family can think categorically and always keep “Like With Like” as well as being mindful of the “One In, One Out” principle, the garage contents can remain in relative harmony. And should the garage fill up with clutter in the future, she can always resort to going back to a day of SSPOE!
Jean Marie Herron is organized both in and outside her profession. When she is not playing the role of Certified Professional Organizer® with POSSE, or Business Development Manager for The Junkluggers, she can be found dancing Hustle, West Coast Swing and Two Step.
Additionally, living on the border of New Jersey and New York, she enjoys all the hiking opportunities of the local State Parks.