Fall Clutter Busting: Garages

Garages are often clutter burial grounds. It's where clutter goes to die. It's common for people to put something in a garage that's no longer a part of their lives. It's too hard to let something go and it ends up in a stack in the garage. I remember one client feeling too overwhelmed to even step into her over-crowded garage. I had to open the garage door and have her stand in the driveway. She winced at the warehouse in her garage. She said, "I just wish I could park my car in there."

I'd like for you to consider your garage as an important room in your home. Every space in your home is significant. We're going to clutter bust in your garage with the same questioning eye we've been using in our previous fall clutter bustings.

Proceed into the garage with your box of trash bags and a healthy suspicion of what you'll find. Pick up the first item and honestly ask, "Am I going to read this magazine?" "Do I want to hang this painting up in my house?" "Am I actually going to wear these clothes, even with the mildew smell?" "Would I be okay if I let go of these old birthday cards-photos-letters-books-bags-shoes-random papers?" "Would I buy this sofa today?" "Would I feel better if this sofa was gone from my life?" "Will I use these sporting goods or would it feel better to donate them?"

I remember one couple who had a gym's worth of sports equipment in their garage. Half of it was still in the boxes from the stores. The rest of it was tangled together. They felt a lot of guilt that they weren't using the sports stuff. They said, "We should be using these things." But they weren't. That's what I want you to notice. What aren't you using? You might want or wish to use these things in your garage, but if you're not, that's a good indicator of how you are feeling about these things now. The couple got rid of their sports collection when they realized they got exercise from walking their dogs twice a day.

Your garage is not a storage locker. What goes on in your garage effects the rest of your home, and your life. By removing what's no longer a part of your life from your garage, you are showing respect for this room. What you take care of, takes care of you.

When you're done, put the donation items in your car and drive them over to your local charity. Clutter left sitting in bags or piles is still clutter destructively impinging on your life. Put the trash items in garbage cans. Then stop and take in your garage. I like to have my clients take the time to notice the difference of a clutter busted space. It's nice to notice the peace you created.