Here in the UK, summer is fast approaching and people are merrily mowing their lawns and having spring clearouts. What a perfect time to clear our sheds and garages!
Just like with attics, sheds and garages tend to accumulate years of stuff. Sheds that once held a collection of gardening tools and a toolbox, suddenly have enough odds and ends for every possible scenario.
Cars are cast out of the garages that were meant to shelter them because objects without a home have taken up every bit of floor and wallspace.
I’ve written about garages and sheds in the same post because people treat both of these places like overspill rooms to store all the additional stuff there’s no room for anywhere else. If you don’t have a garage, you can ignore that section (unless you want to help a friend).
I remember when my nan went inside her shed shortly before she had to move out to be cared for. Incredibly, there was the old bike that my dad used to ride to work, complete with the seat I sat in as an infant. Dad used to take me up to nan’s on that bike to be babysat while he went to work. Sometimes, when it was raining, he would leave the bike in her shed.
One day, it was put in there where it rested for 25 years – a relic of the past.
When unused things are left in sheds and garages indefinitely, finding that drill set becomes an event. And who wants to put the screwdriver back when it’s toolbox is behind a tower of paint cans and garden chairs?
Below, I have shared some tips to reclaim the space in your shed.
- To make a big impact, you should bring everything out and organise it into categories. For example, gardening tools together, nuts and screws in a pile, screwdrivers and other tools in another pile, and so on. By doing so, you will see exactly what you have and how many of each thing.
- There’s nothing wrong with keeping spare screws and wall-fixings, but a handful will suffice. If any are rusty, throw them out.
- Do you really need 3 hammers and 20 screwdrivers? Keep one of each tool, and one of each type of screwdriver.
- Hanging gardening tools on hooks will give you back floor space.
- Get rid of old and unused paint. Be sure to dispose of it in a responsible manner and check your local recycling.
- If you’re keeping gardening furniture, how much of it do you really use? Could you keep it outside with a protective cover?
- How long has it been since you used that bike? If you haven’t touched in a year, sell it on.
- Donate or discard anything you’ve not used in a year.
- Get rid of those things which you’re keeping for that ‘someday’ project – ‘someday’ never comes.
And here are some tips for the garage:
- With garages, adopt the same strategy as the shed and bring everything out of it. Garages can end up like attics with all kinds of equipment, decor and trinkets, and because they’re bigger than sheds, can be overwhelming. Ideally, you want nothing in your garage except your car and a shelf for car maintenance.
- If you have trinkets in your garage, think about donating them. Afterall, if they’re hidden away in boxes they’re not serving you and are likely being kept because of guilt or sentimentality.
- For outdoor sports and play equipment, only keep the ones that you or your family use regularly. Don’t fall into the ‘someday’ trap. ‘Someday I will invite friends over for that tennis game’, ‘When I have time, I will make use of that golf set’.
- Instead of keeping rarely used sports equipment, why not make use of your local leisure centre if you have one?
- Some people keep all kinds of workout equipment in their garages but don’t get the use out of them. Equipment like this also tends to fall prey of the ‘someday’ mindset. If you don’t work out regularly, save the space and take long walks instead, or make use of your local gym if you have one.
- Don’t keep stuff for hobbies you no longer take part in. It’s easy to cling to your past self ‘just in case’, but it’s calming and freeing to make space for the present ‘you’.
- Don’t look at the garage as extra storage space. Just like buying more storage boxes gives a mere illusion of having more space, treating a room like a giant storage box simply adds to your clutter and your stress levels.
And there you have it. If you declutter your these spaces fully and stay mindful of your freshly created space, you’ll never have to declutter them again. Everything you need will always be in easy reach.
If there’s something I’ve not mentioned, do leave me a comment and I will respond in less than 24 hours.
On a side note, I aim to post every Thursday or Friday but this post was later than usual because I’ve had an incredibly busy few days with wedding prep.
I want to thank every one of you who reads my posts and hope that they help in transforming your space and your mindset.