It’s easy for a garage to become cluttered over the years, but what's the best way to get organized? Marie Kondo is a well-known professional organization extraordinaire from Japan. She developed the KonMarie method to help people organize their homes. It’s a simple yet effective tidying process that ensures you don’t relapse into more clutter over time.
For many people, a garage is an obvious place to store items you have no use for, but might need one day. Let's explore how you can start cleaning it and make it a meaningful space with the help of the KonMarie method.
Make it a delight to open your garage door
Getting organized has numerous benefits. Experts agree that a tidy and well-organized space in your home can improve your sense of clarity, boost confidence, and increase productivity.
Finding things among clutter can be stressful, too. It requires decision-making, prioritization, and sometimes a lot of patience. Cleaning your garage removes these stressors that can build over time the more you need to use your garage space. Decluttering also gives you the peace of mind that you know where everything is, and that your garage isn’t a burden to your house, but a useful extension of it.
Interested in a new garage door but not sure where to start? Read our guide for everything you need to know about buying a garage door.
How to clean a garage, according to the experts
Let’s apply the famous KonMarie method to your garage space. Here are her six rules, applied to cleaning your garage.
Commit to tidying up
Cleaning a garage requires good intentions. Approach the task with a positive vision for your outcome and release any stress before you begin. This helps you feel more motivated about the task.
If your garage is a shared space, ask your family or housemates to help sort through your garage contents, deciding what to keep and what to sell/recycle. Then, sort what you're keeping by what you'll use most to least so you know what needs to be easily accessible. A clear vision enables you to start cleaning with confidence.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Envision opening up your garage door to a neat and ordered garage space. Imagine what you’ll use the newly organized space for. Visualize yourself quickly and easily finding everything you need. It can be useful to sketch out your ideal garage space, discuss it with friends or find inspirational pictures. This provides the added motivation to get started.
Finish discarding first
In the KonMarie method, discarding doesn’t mean simply throwing things away. It’s the process of meaningfully assessing the value of each object. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of the object?
- Does the object add value to your life?
- Will you use the object soon?
This step provides an accurate understanding of what you need to store in your garage space. If it hasn’t had a place in your home all this time – do you need it? If not, discard the object.
Tidy by category, not location
A cluttered garage space is daunting. Marie Kondo acknowledges that many people store the same type of item in more than one place. This makes it difficult to understand how much you have. This is particularly common with a garage space when you use it for:
- Long-term storage
- Overflow of household items like cleaning products/toilet paper
- Storing garage objects, like tools, or outdoor equipment like bicycles or tents.
To tackle this, tidy by category. Choose a type of item and focus on it while tidying up. When you’ve finished one type of item, move on to the next.
Order the items by priority
The KonMarie method proposes a clear order to tidy. But a garage space could include a wide variety of items, so she suggests starting with your favorites. After discarding and categorizing, you might still be unsure how to get started. What's your favorite category of item in your garage? What will you benefit from the most by tidying?
Ask yourself if it sparks joy
The more decisions you make, the harder it becomes to think clearly. This creates a mental overload known as decision fatigue. Choosing which object is important and which isn’t could be why many of us might put off tidying in the first place!
Ask yourself if an object sparks joy. This helps you overcome decision fatigue by creating a simple, intuitive decision-making process. You can identify which objects you want to keep for personal reasons and which items you need. If something isn't useful or joyful, it's time to discard it.
What to use to organize your garage
Now you've tidied your garage, let's consider how you can organize it. Some helpful tools include:
- Storage racking
- Tool benches
- Pinboards and pegboards
Consider how you'll use your garage to store things, too. For example, if your location experiences very hot summers and cold winters, make sure your garage door is properly insulated to store items at the correct temperature, and make full use of the height of your garage when storing things. By doing this, you'll make the most out of your garage storage space.
Clean up your garage, inside and out
These tips will help you create a garage space that you’re proud of. You can enhance it even more with customizable, long-lasting garage doors that complete the space. Choose from a wide range of designs to suit your home, installed by local experts.