# Your Home

What you shouldn’t be keeping in your garage

Has your garage become a storage unit for all the bits and bobs you're not sure what to do with? It's time to reclaim your garage with a little bit of decluttering and organization.

Is everything in your garage, expect your car? Our organizing Pros estimate that only 30% of homeowners store their cars in their garage. The reason? Too much stuff!

If your car is a five-figure investment that you can’t do without, why leave it outdoors where it can suffer damage from UV exposure, bird droppings, tree sap, and car thieves?

Our Home Managers have put together a DIY organization guide to rid of your garage’s accumulated clutter, once and for all:

1. Rally the troops and carve out the time

The easiest and most fun way to clean out your garage is to make it a weekend family affair! Afterall, the more the merrier!

2. Go through absolutely everything

A full declutter requires a full inventory of everything in your garage. Open unopened boxes, sort through stuffed bins, and clear out all shelves.

3. Sort into piles

Before re-organizing everything, sort your items into three piles: keep, donate/sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or marked off areas in your driveway for efficient sorting.

4. Sort keepers into categories

Place like-things in like-containers. For example, sports equipment, hand tools, and gardening tools should be categorized and placed in their own stackable, clear-plastic bins.

5. Donate and sell promptly

As soon as possible, donate giveaways or schedule a yard-sale to get rid of usable castoffs. The longer you prolong this step, the more likely this clutter will end up back in your garage or your home.

6. Toss smartly

If you have unusable rubbish that you want to dispose of, recycle as much of it as possible. Be sure to check out the City of Toronto’s Blue Bin guide or the San Francisco’s Recycling Guide before recycling. Improper sorting can lead to contamination that relegates the whole batch to landfills. Alternatively, if you have a lot to be disposed of, consider organizing a professional junk removal service. Setter can help with that.

7. Store elsewhere

Lots of items commonly stored in homeowners’ garages should really be stored elsewhere for safety and longevity:

  • Paint: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store cans in a more temperate location.
  • Propane: Flammable gas and cars don’t mix. Tanks should always be kept outdoors.
  • Paper goods: Pests like cockroaches and other bugs love paper. Move them to your pantry.
  • Refrigerator: They are a huge energy drain in spaces that are not air-conditioned.
  • Pet food: Small critters will sniff it out. Keep it in a sealed container indoors.

Layout logically

When organizing all of the remaining items to keep, store items that you use together (such as gardening tools and lawn fertilizer) close to one another. Place bulking equipment, like lawn mowers, in corners where they won’t get bumped or knocked over by your car. Place frequently used items, like bikes closer to the garage door. And stash seasonal or rarely used items in the hardest to reach spots

Organize upwards

Peg boards and open vertical storage systems are worthwhile investments to keep everything off the ground except your car. Don’t forget your ceiling as well! It’s a great spot for hanging long, flat items that you don’t use every day, such as ladders and seasonal sports gear or suspending bikes during the winter months.

Helping Hands Make Light Work

It’s best to get you garage in order before the summer months descend and your family starts rummaging through your garage for bikes, basketballs, and rollerblades.

At Setter, we know that cleaning out your garage can be a big task though — especially if you start to encounter other problems like pests and leaks. If you need a helping hand, our Home Managers are always ready to assist with:

  • Professional cleaning and organization
  • Pest control
  • Junk removal

For all of May, we are offering 10% off one-time home cleaning, junk removal, and organization services when you mention the code SPRINGCLEAN to your Home Manager. Book by May 30th to take advantage of this offer.

Start Your Spring Clean-Up Today