By Suzi Conner, Area Manager, CSSM
The holidays are right around the corner and Spring will follow faster than you think. Now is a great time to organize your house and garage! You can get ready for the holidays and those out-of-town guests who may be staying with you, and be way ahead of the game when the warmer temperatures arrive so you can enjoy the warmer weather guilt free! Follow these garage and home organization tips to stay ahead!
I know, I know, you are saying, “Have your seen my house and garage? I don’t even want to talk about the basement right now!” Don’t worry, I am sure with a few helpful garage and home organization tips you will get your house and garage organized with ease and be ready for whatever is next to come.
When you have a large job to do, like cleaning out, the first step is to break it down into smaller jobs. So, pick one room in the house to start. I usually start with the room that will be the most difficult. Make a schedule to do one room a week, and be sure to stick to it. If you start now, you can have your home ready for the holidays. Then, continue in January after the holiday rush has settled, and you will have about 10-12 weeks until the weather starts warming up.
On your schedule, be sure to start with the rooms that you will need ready for the holidays – the spare bedroom, the kitchen and living room are great places to get started. Clean out the spare room for your guests, whip the kitchen into shape since you are cooking your famous gourmet holiday dinner in there, and the living room is where you will spend a lot of time with family so get it spiffed up as well.
Plan your schedule to get started again after the holidays by the second or third week of January at the latest. You can finish up the rooms in the house first since you spend your time inside in the winter. Then, move on to the basement and garage last. Those are the places you spend more time in during the warmer months, so they can be the lowest priority on your list.
Next step is to take three large empty boxes that you don’t need anymore. If you don’t have any lying around, stop in to any of our Moove In Self Storage locations and pick some up! Label the boxes STORE, DONATE and TRASH. After your boxes are labeled start in one corner of the room and go through your items one by one.
You have four choices for each item: KEEP, STORE, DONATE and TRASH. If you decide you are keeping the item, set it aside in the room. If you want to keep it but you don’t need it in the house, that would go into the “Store” box. If you no longer want or need the item but it is in good shape, place it in the “Donate” box. Lastly, if the item is in bad shape, broken, damaged or just not worth anything, it goes into the “Trash” box. If you have to think about what you may do with the item eventually, it’s probably not worth keeping. Rule of thumb – if you haven’t used it, worn it or played with it in a year, then you don’t need it!
As you finish each room, be sure to write on the outside of the box marked for “Storage” what you put in the box. You can even write which room it all came from. This will help keep your storage unit organized. Then, take your box(es) to your storage unit for safe keeping. Next, put the boxes out to the curb for the trash and take the donated items to a collection place such as the Salvation Army or Volunteers of America. Keep in mind some places you donate to will give you a donation slip for your taxes.
Continue this process one room at a time. Cleaning out in this fashion will keep it manageable. Plus, each time you complete a room you can celebrate a little victory! Just think of how great it will feel and how awesome your house will look after you go through all of the rooms. You can gain back some much needed space and your garage will no longer look like a tornado went through it.
If you have more home organization tips, please leave them in the comments below. And, if you have more questions or need more information on how to get started, contact any of our property managers and they will gladly help you get started. If you are ready to get cleaning and you want to start today, you can rent a storage unit online and set your plan in motion!